South Australian iNaturalists's News

December 04, 2019

SA iNaturalists - November 2019 Update

Posted on December 04, 2019 10:29 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

iNaturalist Projects List for South Australia

iNaturalist allows for the creation of three project types: Umbrella Projects, Collection Projects and Traditional Projects.

Currently the Project Search page lists a few Featured, Recently Active and Recently Created projects, but doesn't provide additional search features, such as searching for projects by region, taxa or users. This means it can be difficult to find projects that may be of interest.

Here, I have attempted to collate all the iNat projects that relate specifically to South Australia. They have been organised by project type and further by taxa or location. I've also attempted to group projects with similar themes. I have excluded from this list only those projects that relate to events that have since past, i.e. Bioblitz projects.

Please let me know if there are any projects I've missed. I'll update this list as more projects are created.

Project Type: Umbrella Projects
Umbrella Projects are used to compare statistics across two or more Collection or Traditional Projects, allowing visual comparisons of data among projects under the umbrella, including project leaderboards and links to each Collection or Traditional Project.
All the projects linked to the Umbrella Projects are listed individually below, with the exception of the Collection Projects in "Protected Parks of South Australia"  and "City of Onkaparinga NATUREhoodz", as this would make the list below unwieldy. Click through to these Umbrella Projects to see the linked Collections Projects.

Umbrella Projects
Project Title (Linked Projects) (Project Members)
Protected Parks of South Australia   (353) (8) - Includes most National, Conservation, Marine and Recreation Parks and Reserves
City of Onkaparinga NATUREhoodz   (108) (6) - Includes all natural areas in the City of Onkaparinga
Shore-entry dive & snorkel sites in South Australia  (29) (2)
Marine Species of South Australia - A Field Guide  (12) (7)
Ferals in South Australian Reserves   (12) (2)
Onkaparinga Coastal Projects   (9) (1)
Trees For Life, SA   (8) (11)
Parks of the Fleurieu Peninsula   (7) (3)
Yankalilla District Council coastal projects, South Australia   (4) (1)
Force of Nature Project Comparison   (4) (1)
Coastal Councils of Metropolitan Adelaide  (4) (1)
Introduced marine species in South Australia (by region)   (3) (1)
Botanic Gardens of South Australia   (3) (1)

Project Type: Collection Projects
Collection Projects gather and visualize observations of particular taxa, regions, and/or users. Everything meeting the project parameters are automatically included. They include statistics and Leaderboards.

Collection Projects - By Taxa (Plants)
Project Title (Project Members)
Mosses, Liverworts & Hornworts of South Australia  (6)
Carnivorous Plants of South Australia   (4)
Ferns of South Australia  (2)
Orchids of South Australia   (6)
Weeds of South Australia   (3)
Eucalypts of South Australia  (1)
Acacias of South Australia   (1)

Collection Projects - By Taxa (Terrestrial Animals)
Project Title (Project Members)
Insects of South Australia  (1)
Mammals of South Australia   (2)
Reptiles of South Australia   (6)
Birds of South Australia   (7)
Moths of South Australia, Australia  (11)
Odonata of South Australia, Australia   (2)
Amphibians of South Australia  (1)
Butterflies of South Australia  (1)
Ants of South Australia   (1)
Bees of South Australia  (1)
Flies of South Australia   (1)
Arachnids of South Australia  (1)
Jewel Beetles of South Australia   (10)
Jumping Spiders of South Australia  (1)
Bandicoots of South Australia   (6)

Collection Projects - By Taxa (Marine Animals)
Project Title (Project Members)
Fishes of South Australia   (4)
Iconic Marine Species of South Australia   (1)

Cetaceans of South Australia   (1)
Dolphins & whales of South Australia   (1)
Pinnipeds of South Australia   (1)
Seals and sea lions of South Australia   (1)
Sharks, Rays and Skates of South Australia   (5)

The Marine and Estuarine Gastropods of South Australia   (8)
Crustaceans of South Australia  (4)
Bivalves of South Australia   (3)
Cephalopods of South Australia  (3)
Leatherjackets of South Australia   (3)
Sea Spiders of South Australia   (1)
Spider crabs of South Australia   (1)
The Bryozoa (Lace 'Corals', Moss Animals) of South Australia   (1)
The Brittlestars (Ophiuroids) of South Australia   (2)
Flatfishes of South Australia   (2)
Jellyfish, anemones & corals of South Australia   (4)
Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs of South Australia   (8)
Marine Worms of South Australia   (3)
Ascidians of South Australia   (3)
Spoon Worms of Southern Australia   (2)
The Crabs (Brachyura and Anomura) of South Australia   (4)
Gobies of South Australia  (3)
Sponges of South Australia   (1)
Seahorses of South Australia   (1)
Seahorses, sea dragons and pipefish of South Australia   (3)
The Sea Cucumbers (Holothurians) of South Australia   (3)
The Featherstars (Crinoidea) of South Australia   (1)
Echinoderms of South Australia   (6)
The Barnacles (Cirripedia) of South Australia   (2)
The Seastars (Asteroidea) of South Australia   (6)

Collection Projects - By Taxa (Other)
Project Title (Project Members)
Fungi of South Australia   (4)
Algae of South Australia  (4)
Green algae of South Australia   (1)
Slime Molds of South Australia  (1)

Collection Projects - By Place (Terrestrial, Region)
Project Title (Project Members)
South Australian iNaturalists  (37)
Flora and Fauna of South Australia  (13)
Nature Found in South Australia  (11)

Collection Projects - By Place (Marine, Region)
Project Title (Project Members)
Southern Spencer Gulf MP  (1)
Northern Spencer Gulf   (3)
Kangaroo Island, South Australia   (3)
Fleurieu Peninsula's nearshore waters  (1)
Kangaroo Island (North Coast), South Australia  (2)

Collection Projects - By Place (Terrestrial, Locality)
Project Title (Project Members)
Nature of Port Augusta  (1)
Semaphore & Largs Bay Dunes, South Australia   (2)

Collection Projects - By Place (Marine, Locality)
Project Title (Project Members)
Port Adelaide River, Barker Inlet & West Lakes  (11)
Port Adelaide Inner Harbour   (2)
Ardrossan, South Australia   (3)
Christies Beach, South Australia  (4)
Boston Bay, South Australia   (1)
Coffin Bay, South Australia   (1)
Pennington Bay, South Australia   (1)
Pelican Lagoon, South Australia   (1)
Edithburgh, South Australia   (6)
Encounter Bay, South Australia   (3)
Moonta Bay & Port Hughes, South Australia   (2)
Point Souttar, Point Turton & Hardwicke Bay, South Australia   (2)
Port Victoria Jetty, South Australia   (2)
Rapid Bay, South Australia   (3)
Second Valley, South Australia   (3)
Stansbury, Yorke Peninsula   (1)
Lady Bay to Wirrina Cove, South Australia  (3)
Port Broughton, South Australia  (1)
Port Noarlunga, South Australia  (6)
Port Neill, South Australia   (1)
Lipson Cove, Lipson Island & Rogers Beach, South Australia   (2)
Tumby Bay & Tumby Island, South Australia   (2)
West Lakes, South Australia   (2)
Marion Bay, South Australia   (1)
Aldinga Bay, South Australia  (8)
Aldinga Reef, South Australia  (2)

Smith Bay, Kangaroo Island   (2)
Bay of Shoals, Kangaroo Island   (1)
Boxing Bay, Kangaroo Island   (1)
Christmas Cove, Kangaroo Island   (1)
Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island   (1)
Penneshaw & Hog Bay, Kangaroo Island   (1)
Kingscote & Brownlow, Kangaroo Island   (2)

Coast and Marine: Port Stanvac to O'Sullivan Beach  (4)
Coast and Marine: Barker Rocks and Bluff Beach, Yorke Peninsula   (1)
Coast and Marine: Brighton to Seacliff   (1)
Coast and Marine: Goolwa and Sir Richard Peninsula   (1)
Coast and Marine: Point Gilbert area, southern Yorke Peninsula   (1)
Coast and Marine: Port Julia   (1)
Coast and Marine: Port Vincent, South Australia   (1)
Coast and Marine: Toe of Fleurieu (Morgan Beach, Cape Jervis, Fishery Beach, Deep Creek)   (1)
Coast and Marine: Wallaroo to Point Riley   (1)
Coast & Marine: Myponga Beach and Coweelunga Bay   (2)
Coast & Marine: Kingston Park to Hallett Cove, South Australia  (3)

City of Charles Sturt Coastal Waters, South Australia   (1)
City of Holdfast Bay Coastal Waters   (1)
City of West Torrens Coastal Waters, South Australia  (1)
City of Marion Coastal Waters, South Australia  (2)

Collection Projects - By Place (Areas)
Project Title (Project Members)
Gallery Yampu, Port Adelaide   (2)

Thorndon Park, South Australia   (1)
Hazelwood Park Nature Map   (1)

Frank Smith Park Wetland, South Australia   (1)
Laratinga Wetland, South Australia   (2)
Glade Crescent Wetland, South Australia   (1)
Gillman Wetlands, South Australia   (2)
Greenfields Wetlands, South Australia   (1)
Oaklands Wetland and Reserve, South Australia   (1)

The Biodiversity of Chapel Hill Gold Diggings, South Australia   (1)
The Biodiversity of Grasby Memorial Park, Balhannah, South Australia   (1)

Collection Projects - By Place & Taxa
Project Title (Project Members)
Introduced Marine species in Boston Bay, South Australia   (1)
Introduced Marine species in Northern Spencer Gulf   (1)

Sea slugs of the Port Adelaide River & West Lakes   (3)

Birds of Byards Wetland, South Australia   (1)
Birds of Cliff's Waterhole, Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park  (1)

Project Title (Project Members)
Mozzie Monitors  (24) - Australia wide, based in SA
Activating Australians for Citizen Science   (33) - Australia wide, based in SA

Project Type: Traditional Projects
Traditional Projects are an earlier type of Project on iNaturalist. They include additional features such as the ability to use Observations Fields and access obscured coordinates. They also require that observations are added manually, which means additional work for project admins.

Traditional Projects
Project Title (Project Members)
Temperate Marine Cleaners of South Australia c/-MLSSA Inc.   (3)
DragonSearch South Australia   (8)
Marine Life Society of South Australia  (5)
Hills Face Zone - Adelaide, South Australia  (8)

Posted on December 04, 2019 07:07 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 03, 2019

Project Scope Update

At present this project is set up to only include the observations uploaded by the project members, provided they are residing in South Australia (or ex-resident). This means the observations included in the project represent approximately 55% (~34,000) of all observations recorded in South Australia. The remaining 45% (~28,000) are either observations from local residents who are not project members, or from visitors to SA.

I am planning to alter this so that ALL observations from SA are included. The project focus will remain the same, with a membership of only those residing in South Australia with knowledge of local places and species. The effects of this change will be:

The observations and species totals on the project page will change to the SA totals, and the ‘stats’ tab will reflect this.
The project “Users” list will change from individual members names to “any”.
The “Most Observations”, “Most Species” and “Most Observed Species” leader boards will include all observers who uploaded any observations in SA, even if they are not project members. (For example, this will put the “questagame’ account on the leader boards as it currently has the 3rd highest number of observations in the state).

Please let me know in the comments section if you prefer the current format or have any concerns with the change. I think including all observations for the state will better show the effect of all our contributions.

Posted on December 03, 2019 00:07 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 05, 2019

SA iNaturalists - October 2019 Update

Posted on November 05, 2019 08:38 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 21, 2019

Quick Tip: Removing Obscured Observation Dots from the Explore Page

One of the filtering options that is not currently available on the "Explore" page is the option to remove the obscured observations from the Map view. This means that the map view of populated areas can sometimes look cluttered with obscured observations making it difficult to see the pins for observations with public locations. The below URL can be used to return a page where the obscured observations have been removed from the map view. Keep in mind this will remove not only the observations users have chosen to obscure, but also those obscured automatically for conservation reasons.

Posted on October 21, 2019 01:00 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2019

“iNaturalist Australia” Launched

The Atlas of Living Australia has launched the "iNaturalist Australia" website.

See the "Announcement on the iNaturalist Blog" and "blog post on ALA"

At present observations can still be "uploaded to ALA through their Record a Sighting tool" but this will be phased out in favour of uploading observations through the iNaturalist platform.

Observation from iNaturalist are synced with ALA but the details on frequency of syncing, refreshing of records and which observations were synced have been a little unclear. The process has been explained by ALA HERE, and is worth quoting in full below:

Data is harvested from iNaturalist Australia to ALA daily. After processing, it is refreshed once per week.

Observations will come across to the ALA if they are:

Shareable under a Creative Commons license
In Australia
Verifiable observations - those which are marked Needs ID or Research Grade

If an iNaturalist observation is updated with a new identification, image, or a changed location, the record in ALA will be updated as part of the regular data harvest.

If records are removed from iNaturalist, they will be removed from ALA.

So which site should you use? This iNaturalist Blog post explains most of the differences with comments from some ALA staff.

By making iNaturalist Australia your "iNaturalist Network Affiliation", ALA will be given access to the location data of your obscured observations. This will provide those using the ALA data for research and conservation efforts with more valuable information. To make this change, head to your iNat User Profile and select "Edit Account Settings and Profile". Scroll to the bottom of the settings page and change your "iNaturalist Network Affiliation" to "iNaturalistAU"

Posted on October 08, 2019 08:53 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 28, 2019

Native Orchids of South Australia – Identification Resources

There are more than 350 native Orchid species in South Australia. While some have distinct characteristics that make identifying them relatively easy (when flowering), others can be a lot more difficult. Below I’ve compiled some resources that should help to aid both the beginner and experienced enthusiast in identifing local Orchids.

For the beginner "The Common Native Orchids of the Adelaide Hills" is a two-page poster detailing 30 species of native Orchid commonly found in the Adelaide Hills.

If you are after a bit more detail, the 2011 Heritage Bushcare publication "Start with the Leaves: A simple guide to common orchids and lilies of the Adelaide Hills" by Robert Lawrence, provides info on 50 common native Orchids (and others that may be mistaken for Orchids). This book is also applicable to Kangaroo Island, Northern Lofty and South-East SA.

Other books that may be of use, but aren’t specific to Orchids, are "It’s Blue With 5 Petals: Wildflowers of the Adelaide Region" and "Focus on Flora: Native Plants of the Adelaide Hills and Barossa"

For the enthusiast looking to dig deeper, "Orchids of South Australia (R.J. Bates & J.Z Weber, 1990) " is a comprehensive publication covering all Orchids in SA as of 1990. However this list in now quite outdated, describing only around 140 species from the 350 or so now known. It is freely available through the Department for Environment and Water website (click the link above to download the PDF). It includes keys, species descriptions, distributions, flowering times, etc. It also includes a colour plate of each species.

More recently the Native Orchid Society of South Australia published a DVD of South Australia’s Native Orchids (R.J. Bates, 2011). The included PDF builds upon the previous version of “Orchids of South Australia”. The text doesn’t follow the format of a traditional "Flora" and is quite easy to read. It is available for purchase through "NOSSA" and can be borrowed from a public library.

The primary online resource is the "Native Orchid Society of South Australia" website. The site has a blog and numerous articles on all aspects of local Orchids.

In 2017 the University of Adelaide received a sizable citizen science grant to develop the "Wild Orchid Watch" project to collect, record and share scientific information about native Orchids. A short introductory video was recently released summarising the project. The project includes the development of an app allowing citizen scientists to record and upload native Orchid sightings, planned for release in 2020. (The app will have some iNaturalist integration, but as yet I am unsure what form this will take)

Pterostylis or Linguella? Caladenia or Arachnorchis? Corybas or Corysanthes?
Attempts have been made in the past to split up some of the larger Orchid genera (i.e. Pterostylis, Caladenia and Corybas) resulting in inconsistent naming conventions. The NOSSA article "A Beginner’s Guide to South Australian Orchid Name Usage" provides some background and a list of the common synonyms. A full list of synonyms published in South Australia’s Native Orchids (R.J. Bates, 2011), can be found "HERE". iNaturalist handles synonyms reasonably well, i.e. if you begin to ID an observation as Linguella it will adjust it to Pterostylis to match the taxon scheme in use by iNaturalist.

What Orchids can I expect to find?
Again, the NOSSA website has some valuable info. The article “When Do Orchids Flower?" shows the number of species that can be found in flower in any given month or region across SA. The associated article “Month by Month Flowering Times" provides a full list of Orchids that may be flowering in each month.

SA Orchid observations
There have been a total of 1,374 observations of Orchids uploaded in SA from 88 species. This month there has been 290 observations from 37 species. That leaves around 260 species of native Orchid that have no iNaturalist observations recorded in SA, with upwards of 235 of them flowering during October.

Just one more reason to head out and see what you can find this Spring.

Posted on September 28, 2019 07:01 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 1 comments | Leave a comment

September 23, 2019

Shifting Baseline Syndrome…and why that’s not really a big fish

Shifting Baseline Syndrome (SBS) describes a gradual change in the accepted norms for the condition of the natural environment due to a lack of human experience, memory and/or knowledge of its past condition.(1) In the absence of past information or experience with historical conditions, members of each new generation accept the situation in which they were raised as being normal.(2)

The fisheries biologists, Daniel Pauly, introduced the term in a 1995 article. In 2017 he discussed the idea in his TED Talk "The Ocean's Shifting Baseline"

He and George Monbiot, an environmental writer and proponent of the idea, discussed it in a 2017 article with "Daniel Pauly and George Monbiot in conversation about shifting baselines syndrome"

The recent ABC article “Bird populations are collapsing, and it's a sign of a bigger problem” suggests the lack of monitoring of Australian insect populations, a vital food source for a number of bird families, means we lack objective data to combat SBS.

I recently visited a local suburban pond surrounded by trees and flowering plants, birds singing, and juvenile fish at the water’s edge. The trees were Willows (Salix sp), the flowering plants Boneseed (Osteospermum moniliferum moniliferum), Gazanias (Gazania sp), Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) and Onion-Leafed Asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus), the birds European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) and Eurasian Blackbirds (Turdus merula), the fish European Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Mosquito Fish (Gambusia holbrooki). This environment may well form the 'baseline' for some of the next generation.

As an example, take the Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla). This little Parrot has not been recorded in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Adelaide region in many decades and is considered a rare seasonal visitor travelling up from the South-East of the state. However historical accounts suggest it was present and breeding in the region. (The Little Lorikeet in South Australia) Without these accounts, our 'baseline' for this region may not have included this Parrot.

The 2017 paper “Shifting baseline syndrome: causes, consequences and implications” proposes three main causes:
(1) Lack of data on the natural environment,
(2) Loss of interaction with the natural environment, and
(3) Loss of familiarity with the natural environment

To address these causes, two of the recommendations are to "increase monitoring and collecting data" and to "increase people's natural history knowledge through education".

It is here where the value of iNaturalist becomes apparent. The primary goal being connecting people to nature through a platform that provides a space to share biodiversity information and help people learn, while also generating scientifically valuable biodiversity data from these personal encounters. iNaturalist works to address all three potential causes of SBS listed above.

So consider when making an observation that a species that is common in an area today, may be rare or entirely absent in that area at a future time. That record will help to establish an objective baseline for the species historic distribution.


Posted on September 23, 2019 23:48 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 1 comments | Leave a comment

September 17, 2019

Observation Search and Filtering Tips

One of the first things I wanted to do when I began using iNat was to find out what species had been seen in various conservation areas I wanted to visit. I used the Explore page and searched for Onkaparinga River National Park, which returned an over-sized rectangular Bounding Box around the park that also included observations from lots of other areas I wasn’t interested in. I tried the same for Scott Creek Conservation Park and it returned a Bounding Box far smaller than the park. This wasn’t quite what I was after.

iNaturalist “Places”
iNaturalist has some built-in locations that can be searched. These are “Standard Places”. For example, enter “South Australia” into the search location box and you can select that standard location from the down-down list. However, many local places are not listed at all. This is where the “Community Curated Places” come in. Any user (with at least 50 observations) can create their own place, with any boundary that they choose, and save it to the iNat database of places. These places can then be used by any iNat user through the search filters, or the place can be added to a Project. To search or add Places, click the “More” drop down menu in the iNat page header and select “Places”. (

How to Search Community Curated Places
The Community Curated Places don’t appear when typing the place name into the location box on the “Explore” page. This appears to be restricted to the Standard Places. To search for a community curated place, on the “Explore” page open the “Filters” box, click the “More Filters” button to expand the filtering options, then in “Place” type in the community curated place name and select it from the dropdown list.

After creating the necessary community curated places, I could now use the above search/filter method to return observations from much more accurate locations.

Which Species Have Been Seen?
Using the above search will return a full list of observations, in date order, from within that place. To see a summary list of which species have been observed, select the “Species” tab below the search boxes (shown below). This will return a grid list of the species observed in the place in order of frequency seen. Provided the place has a good number of observations, this can provide a guide as to what you are most likely to see when visiting the place.

If you have a particular interest area, further filters can be applied to narrow the search to particular taxa, i.e. Lepidoptera in Onkaparinga River National Park

Further the URLs can be manually modified to filter in increasingly complex ways. This URL shows only Pterostylis and Caladenia Orchid species recorded during Spring months in Onkaparinga River National Park and Scott Creek Conservation Park:,10,11&place_id=137877,70310&taxon_ids=83401,140838&view=species

Currently Existing “Places” in SA
Finding that many interesting places in SA were not listed, I set about creating places I wanted to be able to search, and then creating places I wanted to visit, eventually putting many of them together in a single Umbrella Project covering the protected parks of SA. Each of the places in this project are now searchable using the above filtering methods. There are also a growing number of local marine and coastal places being added to the iNat places database and used in various projects, for example the Aldinga Bay and Sellicks Beach places used in the “Aldinga Bay, South Australia” project (@wamoz @danimations). There are presently 554 places listed within South Australia.

If you have any questions regarding searching iNat records, please ask in the comments section below.

Posted on September 17, 2019 08:48 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 01, 2019

SA iNaturalists - Nature Talk (Sept 2019)

Have any questions about local species or natural areas? Please use the comments sections of this post as a place for general discussion on local species and local natural areas during September 2019

A place to ask questions about local species and places.
Share your knowledge of a local species or experience of local natural areas.
Do not discuss specific location details of vulnerable / endangered species.

Posted on September 01, 2019 23:08 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment