Endangered species

I'm not sure how these journals work, so I'm not sure if anyone will see this, but I hope someone does.

I'm new to the iNaturalist community. Before I used the iNaturalist app, I used the Seek app. While only using Seek, one of my friends happened to spot a gopher tortoise. We maintained a mostly respectful distance and left it alone, especially since it seemed to be guarding its home and possibly some eggs.

Gopher tortoises are a threatened/vulnerable species. There aren't many of them left. It's illegal to mess with them by touching them, painting their shells, etc.

Is it ethical to post about endangered or near endangered species on iNaturalist? One of the reasons to use iNaturalist is that, by sharing the location of the species you found, other people can go and look for the same species. Another reason to use iNaturalist is that it can help researchers who study these species, and we can give them information gathered by the public.

If it were something that roams a lot, like a Florida panther (which is actually at a way higher risk of extinction than gopher tortoises), I wouldn't feel so bad about posting it. The issue is that this gopher tortoise pretty clearly lived there.

What do you all think? If anyone's seeing this, would you post about a threatened species if you saw it, or no? Or does it depend on different factors for you?

This is all a hypothetical since I didn't even use iNaturalist at the time, but I'd like to be prepared for next time if I come across something like this again.

Thank you, and please let me know your thoughts if you read this.

Posted by olivertree olivertree, July 21, 2021 15:02


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