Journal archives for March 2020

March 16, 2020

City Nature Challenge 2020: Greater Adelaide - Taking on the Challenge

Following on from the post Natural Areas in the Greater Adelaide Region, this post is for those that plan to take on the challenge and want to maximise their contributions during the City Nature Challenge.

While the primary purpose of the challenge is to have fun, get people outdoors and to develop an appreciation for nature, that doesn't mean we can't take up the "challenge" and see just how many observations we can make and species we can record. Contributing to the challenge need only be taking a walk through your local park and uploading a few photos of interesting species you spot. Every verifiable observation is synced with the Atlas of Living Australia and contributes to research and conservation efforts. For those that want to find out just how many observations they can contribute and how many species they can find during the challenge, the below presents some of the considerations and actions that can be taken to make the most of the 4 challenge days.


The observation period of the challenge runs over 96hrs. There are two extreme approaches that can be taken to the challenge: (1) Maximise your observations, or (2) Maximise your species. A more enjoyable approach is likely some combination of the two.

Maximising Your Observations

Upper Limits
Each year that the City Nature Challenge is run, the record for observations and species observed by a single contributor is broken. In 2019 the contributor with the highest number of observations uploaded 4,039 records across the 4 challenge days (amazingly almost all were verifiable). Assuming observations are taken only during daylight this equates to an observation every 38 seconds for 4 straight days! Even considering some of these may have been after dark, this can probably be considered a reasonable upper limit to how many observations can be taken by one individual during the challenge, although no doubt someone will eventually crack 5,000 observations.

The highest number of species observed by a single contributor was 1,014 from only 1,232 observations across the 4 days. Clearly the approaches to achieve either of these are quite different.

Even if choosing to maximise the number of observations, quality and value of observations should be considered. Thousands of observations of unidentifiable organisms or garden plants is of little real value. Take the time where necessary to ensure each observations has photos that give it the best chance to be identified down to species level.

Represented Taxa
A look at exactly what species were observed by the highest single contributor shows that over 90% were Plants. This holds true for many of the highest contributors during the challenge having at least 50% Plants (with Insects the next highest group, but primarily for Northern Hemisphere cities). So, if you goal is to maximise the number of observations you take, then find a large natural area with a high density of under-story plants. Repeated observations of the same species is necessary. Exactly how far you travel before taking another observation of a the same species is up for debate. Making an observation of every individual seems against the spirit of the competition and reduces the conservation/research value of each record.

Minimising Travel
Every minute of daylight travelling between locations is a minute not making observations. So to maximise your observations you'll want to minimise the number of locations travelled to each day. Ideally only one location each day, large enough for collecting observations for a full day. If you have the option, travelling to the location before sunrise and leaving at sunset can reduce the lost observing time to zero.

After Sunset
There are also possibilities for making additional observations after sunset (if you have the energy left after a full day of observing):

  • Invertebrates can be attracted to outdoor lighting (or black lights or mercury vapour lights if you have the equipment).
  • A hike around a familiar area with a headlamp and spotlight can reveal a wealth of nocturnal creatures.
  • Insect traps can be set with the collection reviewed at the end of each day.
  • Water samples from local waterways containing various water bugs can be collected during the day and reviewed during the evening.
  • Frog calls can be recorded and uploaded.
Equipment The equipment needed to maximise your observations is nothing more than a phone with a camera. As most observations will be of Plants, which don't flee when you get close, this will be sufficient. A compact camera or high-zoom bridge camera would also be suitable, however these cameras usually require the photos to be manually transferred to a computer at the end of the day, which adds a step to the workflow. A DSLR is perhaps less suitable due to its weight. Although if you have the equipment, using several cameras can be of value. Diagnostic Features Each observation should take a minimum of time, so taking multiple photos of an organism will obviously eat up time. Ideally, a single photo of each organism, showing the necessary diagnostic features is sufficient. The hard part is knowing exactly what those diagnostic features are for each Plant. This becomes far more difficult with Animal species, particularly Invertebrates. So if you really want to maximise your observations, skip the Insect/Arachnid you spot on the Plant that requires four photos to get an ID and instead just record the Plant. Identification Identification of what you've observed can wait until April 28th when the observation period is over. When uploading observations, aim to get them uploaded as soon as possible to give others maximal time to assist with the IDs. Simply uploading any observation you are not certain of the species as Plant/Animal/Fungi/Chromista is sufficient. Refining of the IDs can be done later. Following the above will help to maximise the number of observations you take during the challenge, but unless you are 'in it to win it', this extreme approach may not be a particularly enjoyable way to spend four days.

Maximising Your Species Locations Maximising your species count will involve many of the tactics above. You'll still want to maximise your efforts during daylight hours and keep each observation time to a minimum. However visiting one location each day is likely to result in recording species from only a few different environments. To maximise your species count you'll want to visit as many different vegetation communities as possible. Each will have its own array of Plant, Animal and Fungi species. Necessary Travel Travel time between destinations is still considered lost time as no observations are being made. However the potential for locating new species is worth the loss. Each new vegetation community will have an array of easy to locate dominant and under-story species that differs from the community at the previous destination. The goal will be to maximise the number of vegetation communities visited while minimising the travel time between them. Although various vegetation communities will boost the species count, Plants alone will be insufficient. You'll also want to record Animal species encountered along the way. Careful inspection of the Plants will likely result in an equal number of invertebrates being found. In most instances to get a species level ID, if at all possible from photos, multiple photos will be required. Recording Birds Recording Birds can also add quite a few species to the list. Consider visiting vegetation communities near waterways such as wetlands, estuaries and marine environments. Coastal and Marine Species Including coastal and marine environments will add many additional species. Diving might eat up a lot of time in preparation, but can contribute a large number of species. These would be a particularly beneficial contribution to the City Nature Challenge results. Alternatively a snorkel or beach/reef walk would also net a large number of species. Low tide occurs around midday on each of the challenge days so should provide a good opportunity to find intertidal species. Suburban Weeds A great way to boost your species count is to record species in suburban parks and waterways. These often include numerous 'garden escapee' species that are not found in such abundance in protected parks. (Although protected parks do have quite an array of introduced species throughout them). Also consider ForestrySA Pine plantations. While the Pines themselves would be a Casual observation, there are numerous weed species throughout the plantations worth recording. Roadsides too can be of value often containing some unusual weed species worth recording. Tiny Taxa Small invertebrate species are incredibly numerous, and if you have a camera suitable for capturing images of them they are certainly worth recording to boost your species numbers. Most Plants will have at least a few species on them, although finding them can be challenging. A single outdoor nightlight can attract dozens of species (if the weather is suitable). Recording these is a must if you wish to maximise your species count, so consider recording them during the City Nature Challenge Australia Moth Night on April 26th. Difficult to Find Taxa Other groups such as Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians are going to be harder to intentionally locate and trying to add these to your species list may eat up a lot of time. However many should be encountered by chance while collecting other observations. Also if you know of a resident population that can be quickly located, they are well worth adding to your species list. Hopefully we can record at least one sighting of the locally rare Cunningham's Skink (Egernia cunninghami) Often Overlooked Taxa Don't forget to include some of the more overlooked groups of organisms:
  • Fungi - Although early in the season, some species will be fruiting. Lichen are always present. Hard to ID to species from photos, but still worth recording
  • Bryophytes - Mosses, Liverworts & Hornworts are often overlooked due to their size. Get the camera close and the species can often be determined
  • Red, Green & Brown Algae - Numerous species of 'seaweed' litter many beaches, but are often overlooked while searching for more appealing species.
  • Introduced Weeds - So common in parks that they are easy to ignore, but they are still wild species worth recording

After Sunset
Recording species after sunset will be necessary to maximise your species count. See the list of options for recording nocturnal species in the maximising observations section above.

Known Uncommon Species
If you know of the location of any uncommon species, try to incorporate stops at these locations to pick up those species. For some species there may be one or a few locations in the Greater Adelaide region that they exist. (As always, take appropriate care not to damage the organism or its local environment).

To record all species from distant Birds to tiny invertebrates (in enough detail for a species ID), you'll need a few pieces of equipment. Your phone with camera or a compact camera will work well for most Plants and larger Animals. For Birds and some invertebrates a high-zoom bridge camera is a good option. It can reach most birds and capture reasonably small invertebrates. It is also lightweight (compared to a traditional DSLR) and there is no need to lose time changing lenses. A DSLR with telephoto lens can capture the distant wading Birds and wary Mammals & Reptiles. Switch to a macro lens to capture those skittish flying Insects. A compact camera with a macro setting or a phone with macro lens attachment can come in handy if you can get close enough to invertebrates without scaring them off, especially for those 5mm or smaller.

Diagnostic Features
To maximise your species count you'll want to ensure each observation can be identified to species level, or at least as close as possible. Depending on the taxa this may be easy with one photo, or impossible even with five photos. Knowing your target will help, but in general Plants will need a photo or two showing leaves, flowers, fruit. Invertebrates need close up photos from several angles at a minimum.

A Balanced Approach

Aiming to maximise either your observations or species count is potentially going to be more like work than fun, so a more balanced approach might be the way to go. Decide on a route to travel with several destinations covering various environments and see what you can find. Pick a forest, a wetland, an estuary, a reef. Mix it up to keep it interesting and to find many species you may have not otherwise encountered.

General Considerations

Depending on the destination you may need only a bottle of water, or a full backpack of gear. Take necessary gear appropriate to the situation, first aid kit, food/water, etc. Don't forget your batteries and SD cards. Don't lean over the cliff to photograph that rare Plant, inch too close to that resting Snake, or chase that Butterfly onto the main road. It may get you one more species on your list, but it isn't worth the risk.

Any questions before the challenge, ask in comments section below.

Posted on March 16, 2020 07:51 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 31, 2020

City Nature Challenge 2020: Greater Adelaide - Estimates and Predictions

Reframing the City Nature Challenge 2020

In light of current events the organizers of the City Nature Challenge have decided to proceed with the challenge in April, removing the competition aspect, and emphasizing the collaborative aspects of recording and sharing nature.

Examining the Challenge: Australian Cities

This year over 250 cities around the globe are participating in the City Nature Challenge. The size of each city area covered by the challenge various greatly as does the size of the local population and the range of natural areas within, so it will be difficult to directly compare cities. The Australian cities participating also vary greatly with:

  • Greater Sydney project covering approx. 4,500km2 and covering a population of 5 million
  • Geelong project covering approx. 4,500km2 and with a population of 5 million in and around its boundary
  • Greater Adelaide project covering approx. 9,000km2 and covering a population of 1.5 million
  • Redlands City project covering 537km2 and with a population of 3 million in and around its boundary

Examining the Challenge: Historic Data This being the first year any Australian City has participated, there is no information to determine how many people will participate and how many observations they will upload. However looking at a few cities that participated in 2019, some estimates can be made if we make a few assumptions. Calculations show that on average the top 1% of contributors (power users) for each city made around 23% of the observations, the next 9% of contributors (regular users) made 40% of the observations, and the remaining 90% of contributors (occasional/new users) made 37% of the observations. So no matter which group you fall into every observation counts. An estimate of the total number of observations this year is going to be especially difficult considering current events, which will dramatically alter the way in which people participate. However we can look at observations per contributor data from cities in 2019 to give us some idea. Taking only those cities with more than 100 contributors the average observations per contributor ranges from 7 all the way up to 98, with a mean of 27.5 and standard deviation of 16.6.

200228 - CNC2019 Graphs (Data for this graph includes observations uploaded from the challenge days that were uploaded after the end of the challenge. Hence it may not match official data from the challenge)

  • Although Cape Town achieved the highest number of observations, there were 7 other cities that each had a higher average observations per contributor, but each with far less overall contributors
  • La Paz had 30% more contributors than Cape Town, but on average a lower number of observations per contributor
  • San Francisco Bay Area had almost twice as many contributors as Cape Town, but the average observations per contributor was around 60% lower.
The take home message here is that to achieve great results in the City Nature Challenge a city needs BOTH large numbers of contributors and highly motivated contributors.

Examining the Challenge: Estimates and Predictions So how many observations are likely from Australian Cities? Assuming we have contributors with motivation similar to other cities (based on 2019 data), the estimates are as follows:
  • If we have 100 contributors there will be a 68% chance we will record between 1,086 and 4,405 observations
  • If we have 200 contributors there will be a 68% chance we will record between 2,171 and 8,811 observations
  • If we have 500 contributors there will be a 68% chance we will record between 5,428 and 22,027 observations
  • If we have 1000 contributors there will be a 68% chance we will record between 10,856 and 44,055 observations
  • If we have 2000 contributors there will be a 68% chance we will record between 21,713 and 88,110 observations
But how will this estimate be affected this year with so many potentially contributing observations entirely from their own properties? How many observations do you think you could make across four days entirely from your own property (excluding captive and cultivated species)?
  • If we have 100 contributors each uploading 10 observations each day we will record 4,000 observations
  • If we have 200 contributors each uploading 10 observations each day we will record 8,000 observations
  • If we have 500 contributors each uploading 10 observations each day we will record 20,000 observations
  • If we have 1,000 contributors each uploading 10 observations each day we will record 40,000 observations
  • If we have 2,000 contributors each uploading 10 observations each day we will record 80,000 observations

So there is no need to travel far and wide. The above shows if you record just a few observations from your property each day, we can still reach a great number of observations. In the next post I'll detail how you can easily make several dozen observations a day from a typical suburban backyard.

It's worth noting there are quite a few assumptions, guesstimates, approximations and estimates in the above numbers, so take them with a grain of salt.

Posted on March 31, 2020 05:26 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 09, 2020

Milestone: 1,500 Contributors in South Australia

We have reached the milestone of 1,500 users contributing observations in South Australia, nearly 500 of whom contributed observations to SA for the first time in the last 12 months.

To date, these 1,500 contributors (actually 1,509 already) have uploaded 77,551 observations covering 5,254 species.

The highest number of contributors in a given month was 159 in October 2019, which was also the month we achieved the highest number of observations and new species added. Given the fast approaching City Nature Challenge I expect all of these records to be easily broken.

Congratulations to all who have contributed. Each and every observation has value, not only in conservation and research efforts, but in the increased understanding and appreciation for nature we gain with each.

A few more stats:
  • Average observations per user: 51
  • Users with 0 to 10 observations: 1145 (76.28%)
  • Users with 11 to 100 observations: 247 (18.25%)
  • Users with 101 to 1,000 observations: 70 (4.66%)
  • Users with 1,001 to 10,000 observations 11 (0.73%)
  • Users with 10,001 to 100,000 observations: 1 (0.07%)

Posted on March 09, 2020 22:02 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 3 comments | Leave a comment

March 13, 2020

Local Observations Missing Dates - Resolved

Recently some observations in SA from new users have been uploaded with the dates missing. The result is that the observations are automatically marked as Casual, are less likely to receive an ID and do not sync with the Atlas of Living Australia. This has recently been identified as an issue with the time zone specified in the users device. This has now been resolved by iNat staff and as as a consequence it appears these observations have had their dates restored and as such are now Verifiable. This has also given SA a boost to the number of observers and observations.

Posted on March 13, 2020 02:34 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 6 comments | Leave a comment

March 02, 2020

New iNat Projects for South Australia

Here are the latest iNat Umbrella, Collection and Traditional projects created for South Australia. Let me know if I've missed any. The original list has been updated to included these.

Umbrella Projects
Project Title (Linked Projects) (Project Members) (News Posts)
Local Government Areas of South Australia (68) (1) (0)

Collection Projects - By Place
Project Title (Project Members) (News Posts)
Nature of Holdfast Bay (4) (0)
Yankalilla District, South Australia (3) (0)
Semaphore, South Australia (1) (0)
Patawalonga Creek Conservation Zone (1) (0)

Collection Projects - By Taxa & Place
Project Title (Project Members) (News Posts)
Kangaroo Island Invertebrates (1) (0)

Traditional Projects
Project Title (Project Members) (News Posts)
Marine Hitchhikers of Eastern Gulf St Vincent  (4) (0)

Posted on March 02, 2020 09:35 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 03, 2020

SA iNaturalists - February 2020 Update

This month 129 users added 3,516 observations with 83 species being observed for the first time, bringing our totals to 76,396 observations of 5,208 species.

There were 37 first time observers in South Australia bringing the total to 1489.

Top 10 observers for the month: davidsando (680), cobaltducks (512), stephen169 (389), davemmdave (306), mendacott (238), naturehoodz (165), wattlebird (115), streglystendec (88), mtank (79) and chuditch (75)

Top 10 identifiers of observations in SA for the month: thebeachcomber (527), cobaltducks (400), ellurasanctuary (305), twan3253 (289), alan_dandie (275), asimakis_patitsas (233), ethmostigmus (182), davemmdave (172), plantbrah (125) and stephen169 (99)

Observations Made in February 2020

Common Name Taxon Observations Species Most Observed This Month
Birds Aves 669 141 27 x Gymnorhina tibicen (Magpie)
Mammals Mammalia 85 15 24 x Macropus fuliginosus (Western Grey Kangaroo)
Reptiles Reptilia 51 24 9 x Tiliqua rugosa (Shingleback Lizard)
Amphibians Amphibia 7 5 2 x Limnodynastes dumerilii (Pobblebonk)
Ray-finned Fishes Actinopterygii 215 85 8 x Cheilodactylus nigripes (Magpie Perch)
Cartilaginous Fishes Elasmobranchii 5 3 2 x Aptychotrema vincentiana (Western Shovelnose Ray)
Flies Diptera 95 37 14 x Villa sp.
Dragonflies & Damselflies Odonata 35 10 11 x Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer)
Beetles Coleoptera 76 39 5 x Phoracantha semipunctata (Common Eucalyptus Longhorn Beetle)
Bees, Ants & Wasps Hymenoptera 235 51 22 x Apis mellifera (European Honey Bee)
Butterflies & Moths Lepidoptera 252 91 13 x Zizina otis (Lesser Grass Blue)
Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids Orthoptera 50 15 3 x Acrida conica (Giant Green Slantface)
Earwigs Dermaptera 1 1 1 x Forficula auricularia (European Earwig)
Antlions, Lacewings, & Allies Neuroptera 15 7 2 x Bandidus breviusculus
Stick Insects Phasmida 1 1 1 x Phasmida sp.
Barklice & Booklice Psocodea 1 1 1 x Psocodea sp.
Caddisflies Trichoptera 2 1 2 x Trichoptera sp.
Cockroaches & Termites Blattodea 8 6 2 x Ectoneura sp.
Mantises Mantodea 8 2 5 x Archimantis sobrina (Mallee Grass Mantis)
True Bugs, Hoppers & Aphids Hemiptera 50 18 10 x Choerocoris paganus (Red Jewel Bug)
Other Animals
Mollusc Mollusca 55 34 4 x Cellana tramoserica (Variegated Limpet)
Echinoderms Echinodermata 23 12 3 x Heliocidaris erythrogramma (Western Pacific Purple Sea Urchin)
Comb Jellies Ctenophora 0 0 No observations this month
Cnidarians Cnidaria 12 8 2 x Zoanthus robustus
Bryozoans Bryozoa 4 2 1 x Lanceopora smeatoni
Sponges Porifera 11 5 2 x Tethya sp.
Flatworms Platyhelminthes 0 0 No observations this month
Ribbon Worms Nemertea 0 0 No observations this month
Hemichordates Hemichordata 0 0 No observations this month
Peanut Worms Sipuncula 0 0 No observations this month
Crustacean Crustacea 32 15 4 x Guinusia chabrus (Red Rock Crab)
Sea Squirts Tunicata 27 11 5 x Phallusia obesa (Obese Ascidian)
Clitellates Clitellata 1 1 1 x Helobdella sp.
Polychaete Worms Polychaeta 6 4 2 x Serpula sp.
Springtails Entognatha 0 0 No observations this month
Sea Spiders Pycnogonida 0 0 No observations this month
Centipedes Chilopoda 2 2 1 x Cormocephalus sp.
Millipedes Diplopoda 3 2 2 x Ommatoiulus moreleti (Portuguese Millipede)
Spiders, Scorpions & Mites Arachnida 66 23 6 x Austracantha minax (Christmas Jewel Spider)
Red Algae Rhodophyta 5 2 1 x Gracilaria sp.
Green Algae Chlorophyta 10 9 1 x Codium sp.
Mosses Bryophyta 14 2 5 x Hypnum cupressiforme (Cypress-leaved Plait-Moss)
Liverworts Marchantiophyta 0 0 No observations this month
Hornworts Anthocerotophyta 0 0 No observations this month
Flowering Plants: Dicots Magnoliopsida 1056 265 74 x Melaleuca lanceolata (Moonah)
Flowering Plants: Monocots Liliopsida 228 68 14 x Calostemma purpureum (Garland Lily)
Conifers Pinopsida 13 4 3 x Callitris rhomboidea (Oyster Bay Cypress-Pine)
Ferns Polypodiopsida 9 6 4 x Pteridium esculentum (Austral Bracken)
Other Kingdoms
Bacteria Bacteria 0 0 No observations this month
Protozoans Protozoa 2 1 2 x Fuligo septica (Dog Vomit Slime Mold)
Kelp & Diatoms Chromista 8 5 3 x Ecklonia radiata (Common Kelp)
Fungi Fungi 68 22 7 x Pisolithus arhizus (Horse Dung Fungus)

All Observations in South Australia

Common Name Taxon Observations Species All Time Most Observed
Birds Aves 18,788 312 911 x Gymnorhina tibicen (Magpie)
Mammals Mammalia 2,346 59 542 x Macropus fuliginosus (Western Grey Kangaroo)
Reptiles Reptilia 1,755 115 329 x Tiliqua rugosa (Shingleback Lizard)
Amphibians Amphibia 190 14 44 x Crinia signifera (Common Eastern Froglet)
Ray-finned Fishes Actinopterygii 5,195 245 202 x Cheilodactylus nigripes (Magpie Perch)
Cartilaginous Fishes Elasmobranchii 238 20 68 x Heterodontus portusjacksoni (Port Jackson Shark)
Flies Diptera 1,320 151 53 x Aedes camptorhynchus (southern saltmarsh mosquito)
Dragonflies & Damselflies Odonata 649 33 119 x Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer)
Beetles Coleoptera 1,517 292 99 x Harmonia conformis (Large Spotted Ladybird Beetle)
Bees, Ants & Wasps Hymenoptera 2,464 176 422 x Apis mellifera (European Honey Bee)
Butterflies & Moths Lepidoptera 3,351 461 242 x Heteronympha merope (Common Brown)
Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids Orthoptera 597 80 40 x Phaulacridium vittatum (Wingless Grasshopper)
Earwigs Dermaptera 59 4 10 x Forficula auricularia (European Earwig)
Antlions, Lacewings, & Allies Neuroptera 160 20 15 x Myrmeleon sp.
Stick Insects Phasmida 34 11 13 x Ctenomorpha marginipennis (Margin-winged Stick Insect)
Barklice & Booklice Psocodea 7 2 2 x Pediculus humanus ssp. capitis (Human Head Louse)
Caddisflies Trichoptera 19 1 1 x Leptoceridae sp. (Long-horned Caddisflies)
Cockroaches & Termites Blattodea 218 29 12 x Drymaplaneta communis (Common Shining Cockroach)
Mantises Mantodea 138 10 65 x Archimantis sobrina (Mallee Grass Mantis)
True Bugs, Hoppers & Aphids Hemiptera 801 132 57 x Choerocoris paganus (Red Jewel Bug)
Other Animals
Mollusc Mollusca 2,914 338 95 x Lunella undulata (Common Warrener)
Echinoderms Echinodermata 1,063 69 135 x Tosia australis (Common Biscuit Star)
Comb Jellies Ctenophora 6 2 5 x Coeloplana scaberiae
Cnidarians Cnidaria 626 51 76 x Plesiastrea versipora (Green Coral)
Bryozoans Bryozoa 208 23 42 x Celleporaria sp.
Sponges Porifera 1,038 37 46 x Holopsamma laminaefavosa (Cream Honeycomb Sponge)
Flatworms Platyhelminthes 48 15 6 x Cycloporus sp.
Ribbon Worms Nemertea 23 5 7 x Baseodiscus delineatus
Hemichordates Hemichordata 8 2 4 x Saccoglossus otagoensis
Peanut Worms Sipuncula 4 2 1 x Phascolosoma agassizii (Pacific Peanut Worm)
Crustacean Crustacea 1,285 120 82 x Portunus armatus (Australian Blue Swimmer Crab)
Sea Squirts Tunicata 1,156 82 91 x Herdmania grandis (Mauve-mouth Ascidian)
Clitellates Clitellata 25 6 3 x Eisenia fetida (Redworm)
Polychaete Worms Polychaeta 267 40 33 x Sabella spallanzanii (Mediterranean Fanworm)
Springtails Entognatha 6 3 2 x Hypogastruridae sp.
Sea Spiders Pycnogonida 5 3 2 x Anoplodactylus evansi (Evan's Sea Spider)
Centipedes Chilopoda 105 8 26 x Cormocephalus aurantiipes (Orange-footed Centipede)
Millipedes Diplopoda 177 4 136 x Ommatoiulus moreleti (Portuguese Millipede)
Spiders, Scorpions & Mites Arachnida 1,883 187 77 x Latrodectus hasselti (Redback Spider)
Red Algae Rhodophyta 458 36 17 x Asparagopsis sp.
Green Algae Chlorophyta 308 26 34 x Caulerpa brownii (Sea Rimu)
Mosses Bryophyta 370 38 39 x Hypnum cupressiforme (Cypress-leaved Plait-Moss)
Liverworts Marchantiophyta 77 10 17 x Fossombronia sp. (Frillworts)
Hornworts Anthocerotophyta 3 1 3 x Phaeoceros sp.
Flowering Plants: Dicots Magnoliopsida 15,230 1,264 399 x Drosera whittakeri (Whittaker's Sundew)
Flowering Plants: Monocots Liliopsida 5,222 379 188 x Xanthorrhoea semiplana
Conifers Pinopsida 174 17 39 x Callitris gracilis (Slender Cypress-Pine)
Ferns Polypodiopsida 382 21 125 x Pteridium esculentum (Austral Bracken)
Other Kingdoms
Bacteria Bacteria 15 1 2 x Nostoc commune (Star Jelly)
Protozoans Protozoa 29 6 9 x Fuligo septica (Dog Vomit Slime Mold)
Kelp & Diatoms Chromista 652 44 74 x Ecklonia radiata (Common Kelp)
Fungi Fungi 1,657 184 34 x Lichenomphalia chromacea

(Data used for this post taken on the 3rd of March. It excludes any observations from February that are uploaded after this date)

Posted on March 03, 2020 12:48 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 04, 2020

Welcoming New iNaturalist Users

While the iNaturalist platform is fairly intuitive, new users can often need a couple of pointers to help them to get the most from their observations. Missing dates, incorrect locations, multiple observation records for one sighting, multiple organisms in one observation, or reliance on the AI suggested IDs. Any of these can mean the user misses out on getting an ID and loses interest in the platform.

To assist these users, consider adding a comment and explanation to their observation. The iNaturalist Frequently Used Responses page give a list of suggested comments to address these and other situations that can be adapted as required.

New users can be identified by the 'Joined' date on their profile page. To find all the new users that have recently uploaded observations in South Australia, the following link will show their observations on the Identify page. The link shows all users who have joined and added an observation in the last 7 days. The '7' in the URL can be changed to change the number of days.

Here you can see their recent observations and add comments to any of those that may have issues, or just welcome them to iNaturalist. Some of the issues may result in their observations being labelled as Casual. The above link will also show these.

With the City Nature Challenge approaching, there is likely to be an influx of new users, many of whom are not overly familiar with the platform. Consider keeping an eye out for new users and offering guidance where needed. This may help to reduce the number of observations with issues uploaded during the challenge days.

Posted on March 04, 2020 01:11 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment