Identification milestone

Today I reached a milestone in IDs.

While identifying I filter to my county and 4 adjacent counties (Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Nantucket, and Dukes, MA) as to only be looking at flora and fauna I'm most familiar with, not filtered to any specific taxa, and I've just completed reviewing all observations within that criterion.

I don't have exact numbers for what I've reviewed as observations that are now research grade aren't included in this list but it is greater than 4,443 pages or 133,290 observations. It's taken a couple years of steady ID'ing to get through and the irony is that I now know how to identify probably a few hundred more species than when I started so there are undoubtedly many observations I "missed". As of today I have added 11,751 identifications within this geographical area, which makes the counties light up light a lite brite, which is kind of cool.

Overall it was a great exercise to get repeated exposure to our common species, practice identification skills, and encourage learning new species either by digging through literature for an observation (thank you GoBotany and Salicicola) or communication with users here on iNat. A few common themes that I noticed; our salt-tolerant bushes were greatly neglected (Iva frutescens and Baccharis hamifolia), as were cordgrasses and pickleweeds, and nobody wants to commit to the identification of those darn dewberries (Rubus hispidus or flagellaris).

Now what?

Posted on March 28, 2023 09:11 PM by natemarchessault natemarchessault


Very neat achievement. So much data… so many people helped. You rock.

Posted by bennyalbro 11 months ago

Nice work, Nate. I really appreciate all the ID help you provide for MV and me personally.

Posted by mpelikan 11 months ago

Congratulations! Nice achievement, Nate! As well as contributing valuable data to the flora and fauna of our area, and helping many naturalists and observers with your identifications and comments, you've been a great help to me personally. Thanks!

Posted by margaretcurtin 11 months ago

Thanks @bennyalbro , @mpelikan , and @margaretcurtin ! I have thoroughly enjoyed communicating and collaborating with you all, and appreciate the help you've given me too! iNat is great because really everybody wins so long as you have humility enough to accept you'll be wrong every once and a while. As much as I've helped on here, I feel I've been helped far more and it feels good to be able to contribute back.

Posted by natemarchessault 11 months ago

Great work, Nate! Those who work on biodiversity issues in Massachusetts are grateful for your efforts, keen eye and persistence! You've certainly helped me on occasion, especially with birds. Many thanks.

Posted by wernerehl 11 months ago

Thanks @wernerehl , it's nice to have the platform to be able to contribute if even only in a small way, among tons of other great things about this site.

Posted by natemarchessault 11 months ago

Very impressive! :)

Posted by tim_kirsten 10 months ago

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