11 April, 2023

Are you City Nature Challenge ready?

City Nature Challenge is an annual global wildlife-recording challenge where over 450 cities across the world will be trying to record as much wildlife as possible over four days at the end of April 2023. This year, City Nature Challenge takes place between Friday 28 April and Monday 1 May 2023. To make sure that the observations you spot are as useful as possible to conservation groups and researchers in the UK please take some time to review your iNaturalistUK settings

Confirm your email address - a must before July 1st, 2023. This applies even if you only use the app. Read more here.

Check the observation licence setting - To ensure that the UK recording community can make the best use of your records please consider changing the default licence assigned to your observations. You can read more about licences on this blog post, Licensed to Share!  You can edit licences for all observations at once or change one by one. Ideally, please change the observation licence to CC0 or CC-BY. You can assign a more restrictive licences to your photos.

Update your profile - if you have an expertise or a passion for a taxon or place why not let others know? On the website it's easy enough to update your profile and share your knowledge and interests. Introduce yourself!

Location, Location Location - read more about using pinned locations (useful if you regularly record in the same place) and geoprivacy on iNaturalist.  Where possible please use the open visibility setting by default.

Join the CNC Project near you - Take a look at the UK leaderboard to see which areas are taking part. By joining the project you will be able to easily view sightings through the app by clicking on the projects link. In addition if the project admins create any journal posts these will automatically appear in your news feed. If your city isn’t taking part yet – you could consider becoming an organiser for your city for future years! This will involved managing an inaturalist project page and encouraging people from your city to take part. Sign up to find out more about being an organiser for next year’s challenge.

Spot something you want to share? - Why not share in the comments below or on social media using #CNC23 #CityNatureChallenge #iNaturalistUK @citnatchallenge @BioBlitzUK

Posted on 11 April, 2023 09:36 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

20 March, 2023

Facebook Login may be going away

Important Update from the iNaturalist Developers:

Facebook is threatening to remove the ability to sign in to iNaturalist with a Facebook account on March 20. We're not sure if that will happen or not, but if you regularly sign in to iNaturalist with your Facebook account, please follow these steps to make sure you can sign in without Facebook (if you never sign in with Facebook you can ignore this):

  1. Go to https://www.inaturalist.org/users/edit#profile
  2. Change your password; you will be signed out after doing so
  3. Go to https://www.inaturalist.org/loginand sign in with the password you just entered
  4. Always sign in with your username and password in the future

If you have any problems, please email help@inaturalist.org (we will not reply to direct messages on iNat).

Facebook has increasingly stringent security requirements for applications that access data from their platform, which includes any application that supports signing in with a Facebook account. Most of these requirements are good ideas, but they can be difficult to implement, and only 2-3 people on our team are able to do so. Just assessing their requests and replying to them can take days. We are hoping to meet their requirements by the deadline, but you should take the steps above to ensure you are able to sign in to your iNat account no matter what. We are also not committed to supporting Facebook Login in the future, so it's doubly worth making sure you have a working password.

These are the attributes from Facebook that we store and why we store them:

  • user ID (to keep track of whether you've signed in with Facebook before)
  • name (to create your initial username)
  • email address (to contact you and let you recover a forgotten password)
  • profile image (to create your initial iNat profile image)

The Facebook user ID and email address are as private and secure as any other private data on iNat, and depending on your Facebook preferences, we may never have accessed anything other than your user ID.

You can learn more about Facebook’s data security requirements for developers at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/development/maintaining-data-access/data-protection-assessment.

Posted on 20 March, 2023 11:17 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

02 February, 2023

Introduce yourself!

Did you know you can let other users know more about you and your interests and expertise in the profile settings?

The iNaturalist Network is more than just a wildlife recording platform it is also a community of experts and enthusiasts many of whom want to help others learn more about their natural environment. It is likely you are one of them! By making a few small changes on your profile you could increase your connection with the UK and global community.

What's in a name?

Generally it has long been considered good practice in biological recording for recorder names to be part of the biological record, so that it is clear who has taken responsibility for recording and identifying the record, and also so that credit can be given to the recorder. However, some people have good reasons not to want their real name to be shared online, and such decisions must be respected.

On iNaturalist users are required to give a username and can optionally also provide a “Display Name”.

If you don't already, you may want to add your real name in the "Display Name”, but only if you are comfortable with doing so.

How to check / update username and display name:

Within the App: Select ‘Edit Profile’. The user name is that next to the head and shoulders icon. The display name is that next to the face icon.

On the website go to Account Settings > Profile. Under 'Display Name' it states “This is the name that will be displayed on your profile as well as for copyright attribution”

So my user name is giselle_s . My display name is Giselle Sterry.

You can also edit your profile in this section. If you are part of a recording scheme or have a particular expertise add it here. You can also include links to relevant websites or projects.

Do you have a favorite taxa?
Share this information by going to your dashboard and searching for the 'Subscribe to a Taxon' link. You can also subscribe to a place so you can be notified of sightings made by others in your local patch or perhaps your next holiday destination!

Review your email address

Is the email address you are using a work or temporary one (eg student account)? If you move jobs / leave college you may not be able to access your account if you are required to confirm your email address in future and no longer have access to it.

If you want to learn more about the iNaturalistUK community go to the People page.

Posted on 02 February, 2023 10:55 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

03 January, 2023

iNaturalistUK - Year in Review 2022

Every year in December, iNaturalist produces annual usage stats - the Year in Review. Since December 2021 these have also been available for iNaturalistUK.

View the stats

iNaturalist Global 2022 Year in Review

iNaturalistUK 2022 Year in Review

To view your personal Year in Review follow the link shown from the iNaturalist or iNaturalistUK Year in Review page or https://uk.inaturalist.org/stats/2022/you

To view stats from other years use the URL https://uk.inaturalist.org/stats/[YEAR]/[USERNAME]

iNaturalist Global 2021 Year in Review

iNaturalistUK 2021 Year in Review

To view any previous year for iNaturalist use the URL https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/[YEAR] e.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2019

Some headline stats for the year

The figures for the last two years show that the number of users, observations and species recorded has continued to grow. In 2022 over 12,600 species were recorded which compares to 11,930 in 2021. 

One of the most favourited observations from the UK was the Common Slowworm spotted in June – it was picked for iNaturalist’s global Observation of the Day. See the posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram 

In March, NBN Award winner, George Grieff’s observation of Don’s Thread-Moss observed near Bristol was iNaturalist’s global Observation of the Day. The posts can be seen on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Highlights from across the globe include the striking Tropical Pill Woodlouse and the wonderful Usambara Eyelash Viper.

Posted on 03 January, 2023 15:05 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

15 December, 2022

Confirmation of Email Address

Email addresses for all iNaturalist accounts must now be confirmed - please see this blog post for more information.

Before you confirm your email you may want to take the following action to ensure that you will receive the confirmation email.

Within the App go to Edit Profile to check your email address. You can edit it within the app.

On the website go to

Account Settings > Profile

Check the email address field

  • is there anything in there? If not add your email address
  • is the email address correct? No stray commas or spaces?

If you have made a change click the 'Save Settings' box.

Now go to Notifications

Turn email notifications to ON - you can always change these later. If you have unsubscribed from ALL emails you will not receive the confirmation email.

It is probably not necessary but wait at least 24 hours between changing the settings and confirming your email to see if you do get sent any notifications from no-reply@inaturalist.org. You may need to check your spam folder or add the email address to a safe senders list.

If, when you confirm your email, you don't receive the confirmation email you will need to contact help@inaturalist.org ideally using the email address you want the confirmation sent to.

Don't forget - if you also have a generic login e.g. for your local recording group you will need to confirm that email as well.

There is also a thread relating to this topic in the iNatForum.

Posted on 15 December, 2022 14:45 by giselle_s giselle_s

30 November, 2022

Winter Activities on iNaturalistUK

Ideas to get you through the winter!

As the nights draw in there may be less opportunity for some of us to go out recording. This can be a great opportunity to review the sightings you have made throughout the past year and plan for the year ahead.

Here are some ideas

Improve your knowledge of how iNaturalistUK works

The iNaturalist Tutorials section is full of useful advice such as how to Use the Search URL's or photographing tips for optimum ID's to helpful tips for beginners. The tutorials are created by iNaturalist staff as well as the community. So if you have any useful tips / advice to help others please add them to this resource. These are in addition to the general Help guides on iNaturalistUK.

Update your observation licences

To ensure that the UK recording community can make the best use of your records you may want to change the licence you have assigned to your observations. You can read more about licences on this blog post, Licensed to Share!  You can edit licences for all observations at once or change one by one.

Take the time to review your observations

Have you been recording for a while and built up your species knowledge? Why not go back and look at your earlier observations that you weren't able to identify at first review. Can you  identify them now. If some are not yet at research grade can you add an identification? Are some tagged as private or obscured? Could you now change these to open? Read more about geoprivacy.

Help identify those unknowns

Even if you are not a species expert help is still needed to categorise those observations that are appearing as unknown. This can be as simple as adding a genus eg plants or birds. If you can confirm an ID that is even better! The All Unknowns in the UK project is a good place to start or take a look at this tutorial - 'Useful Tasks for Non Experts'.

Access free online courses

There are lots of great online resources to help you learn more about species recording in the UK. These include

Entolive - The entoLIVE webinar series is an upcoming programme of virtual talks exploring the science of insects and other invertebrates. All events are free to attend and are suitable for adults of all abilities – a passion for invertebrates is all that’s required!

Species ID Courses - SEWBReC have collated a huge playlist of species ID courses presented by a range of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Field Studies Council, Buglife, Plantlife as well as their own short guides.

iNaturalistUK User Group

Take a look at the presentations from the iNaturalist User Group. View the videos presentations as well as the powerpoint slides. Topics include setting up projects on iNaturalistUK to learning how to record bats.


These are just few suggestions so please do comment below if you have any other tips and ideas.

Posted on 30 November, 2022 12:46 by giselle_s giselle_s | 1 comment | Leave a comment

16 August, 2022

Churches Count on Nature 2022

Blog Contributor - Liam Taylor, Data Manager at Caring for God's Acre

The Beautiful Burial Ground (BBG) Project team have been sharing knowledge about the built, natural and social heritage of burial grounds since 2018. The project will finish in late 2022. The activities on the biodiversity side have involved encouraging wildlife recording in burial grounds, submitting records, and making those records accessible to the general public, recorders and those managing these special places. The project has developed a Beautiful Burial Grounds Portal within the NBN Atlas (National Biodiversity Network Atlas) which is pioneering the use of the NBN Atlas for a specific project.

With fabulous partners and recorders the project has delivered over 150 training activities for over 2000 volunteers. There have been many sessions specific for people with disability needs such as those with mobility, vision or hearing impairments. Now more people can enjoy identifying wildlife and submitting records to the national database, the NBN Atlas, which everyone can access. The BBG Project have also encouraged groups to run their own recording activities – for example during the last three years of Love Your Burial Ground week over 800 events were organized – ranging from small bug hunts with local school in churchyards to BioBlitz’s in large cemeteries.

As part of Churches Count on Nature 2022, we encouraged a portion of the recording community to engage with our project on iNaturalistUK. iNaturalist can help with species identification, the process is relatively user-friendly and you can get all the work done out in the field rather than typing up at home afterwards.

The initiative has been a tremendous success with almost 3,000 records made, of 834 Species, by 91 different people contributing so far. The project on iNaturalistUK is permanent and the BBG Project welcome records all year round.

You need to join the 'Beautiful Burial Grounds' project before submitting records and all of this can be done within the iNaturalist app. The BBG Project team created a short video to demonstrate the steps required for anyone new to the platform.

Since the start of the BBG project we have been making use of iRecord. iRecord is an excellent initiative which we continue to use in conjunction with iNaturalist. iRecord suits our need for submitting longer lists of records. The ultimate destination for records submitting on both of these platforms is the NBN Atlas, and can be viewed on our Burial Grounds Portal. Further information and links to our different recording options can be found here.

Below is a map of the Churches Count on Nature records submitted via the project on iNaturalistUK.

With thanks to all our partners who made our project possible. To name but a few - Church of England, Church in Wales, NBN Trust, iNaturalistUK, iRecord, and the Heritage Lottery.


Posted on 16 August, 2022 09:25 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

14 February, 2022

Location, Location, Location!



In the UK, we want as many records as possible that are added to iNaturalistUK to become part of the wider data flow, benefiting our national recording schemes and being able to be used to in research and education. In effect, making data work for nature.

To enable this we want the data to be as useful as possible. This includes avoiding obscuring locations unless absolutely necessary, as this can prevent them being linked to grid references of suitable precision for recording scheme use.

Currently BRC are only pulling into iRecord unobscured records making them available to national schemes and societies.  Read more about data flow in the UK.

By default when uploading a sighting the location is unobscured. We recognise that users, for many reasons, chose to obscure sightings. This blog sets out an alternative option which may allow more records to be widely used. It also shows you how to batch edit observations and how you can Trust others with your obscured sightings.

Understanding Geoprivacy

This is covered in detail within the iNaturalistUK privacy help section and this blog post.

There are two separate types of restricted geographic information: geoprivacy and taxon geoprivacy. For geoprivacy, the individual observer decides when information is restricted and when restricted information is shared. For example, a user might choose to add geoprivacy to an observation made in their garden for personal privacy reasons and the iNaturalist platform will never share this information without explicit permission from the observer, which can take the form of affiliating with one of iNaturalist’s international network sites e.g. iNaturalistUK, trusting a project, or trusting other members of the community.

Alternatively, taxon geoprivacy is a process through which the iNaturalist platform automatically restricts geographic information associated with observations of taxa threatened by location disclosure and may share this information with the conservation community. For example, observations of certain orchids are automatically obscured because these species are sought after by poachers. For both geoprivacy and taxon geoprivacy the mechanics of how information is restricted is identical.

It’s not possible to change the default geoprivacy to obscured or private. It needs to be done on an observation-by-observation basis, via batch editing on upload in the web uploader, or via batch editing on the Edit Observations screen on the website.

Alternative to Obscuring

Pinned Location

Do you regularly record in one place? Did you know you can create a pinned location? By creating pins for sites you visit regularly such as a local park or reserve this can help save you from entering the same information each time.

On the website when you upload an observation look for the ‘Pin’ symbol under the map when you select a location. You can give the site a name that is useful for you. Click on the white dots at the edge of the circle to change its size. Click and drag from the centre to reposition on the map.




Even if you use a pinned location to provide a quick link to the location you can still zoom in and mark the exact location.

You can also access pinned locations on the App. Simply select your observation once loaded, click in location field, then click on the three dots. Useful if your GPS thinks you are somewhere else!

Using a pinned location is also useful for when recording at home. The centre point for the pinned location can be away from your address. Please note that ‘Trusted’ partners such as iNaturalistUK will still be able to see the actual location.

For more information see Help Pages Section 9 What is geoprivacy? Paragraph 3 When restricted information is shared

Rename a location

Within the App you can also change the name of the location. This may be useful if the default name is too broad. For example ‘Nottingham’ may be the default text but you want to rename it to the local area e.g. Colwick. Simply click on the place name field so the location map appears then click the 3 dots and select ‘Edit Locality Notes’. Ideally chose a name used on a map so that it can be identified by those not familiar with the area. You can also include a local name as well.

How to Batch Edit Observations

Step 1: Go to “Edit Observations” under the profile image on the top right-hand side of the dashboard on iNaturalistUK.


Step 2: Select the “Search” option next to Add Observations and Batch Edit and select ‘Obscured’ from the geoprivacy dropdown box. Press the blue “Search” button.

Step 3: Select “Batch Edit” option next to Add Observations select relevant observations you want to change. You can select ‘All’ or ‘Today’ as quick links. If you have a lot of observations to change you may need to do these in batches. Use other options in the search box to do this e.g. by month or quality grade.

Step 4: Click the highlighted yellow box “Edit Selected” and a new page opens. Expand the menu ‘Batch Operations’ and ‘More Fields’. Select ‘open’ from the Geoprivacy dropdown and then click the ‘Apply geoprivacy’ blue button.


Step 5: You can check the changes by opening up an observations to check the geoprivacy. You can also remove from the batch if needed.

Step 6: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save All” to apply these changes.


For users who do want to obscure their sightings they may still want to share their records with others that they trust.

Collection Projects and Trust

As of February, 2021 it’s been possible for collection project admins to turn on Trust for their project via the project’s edit page. This gives members of the project the option to allow the project’s admins access to the true coordinates of observations in the project that have a taxon geoprivacy setting of obscured and private. When joining a project look for the Trust section and only select what you are comfortable with.

Trusting an individual

It is possible to trust other individual iNaturalist users with your hidden co-ordinates. This may be useful for members of a recording group or for a particular period of time e.g. as part of a BioBlitz.
On the website go to Account Settings > Relationships. You can also see who has trusted you.

You can also check the geoprivacy of your observations. From the website open any obscured or private observation and then the Details menu.

Further Information

Sometimes you may see references to making sure data is as Open as possible. This is often used in relation to licences that are applied to the records. Read more in the Licenced to Share! blog.

If you want more information do take a look at the iNatForum or in the Help guides.

Posted on 14 February, 2022 15:13 by giselle_s giselle_s

04 November, 2021

News Round Up - Some articles you may have missed

We've brought together some articles that we think will be of interest to iNaturalistUK users.

iNaturalist Updates

New Vision Model Training Started

iNaturalist have started training on a new model, which will be its first model update since July 2021.

iNaturalist Mobile App Development News

An update about recent development decisions made for the iNaturalist mobile app.

Using Data

‘Precision’ citizen science

Two projects led by UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) are providing information for wildlife recorders to help them choose where to record – based on where records are most valuable. Both projects invite your feedback and involvement.

Using citizen science for early detection of tree pests and diseases

New research, published recently in the journal “Biological Invasions” by NBN Trustee – David Slawson – and his colleagues Nidhi Gupta and Andy Moffat, shows that tree health surveillance capacity can be increased by engaging and training citizens.

Want to Learn More?

Want to Study Wildlife?

Small bursaries available for taxonomic courses

New MSc programme in citizen science at UCL

This new MSc, the first of its kind in the world, provides students with theoretical and practical experience in creating and managing citizen science projects across a range of disciplines from astronomy to zoology.

Posted on 04 November, 2021 07:51 by giselle_s giselle_s

12 October, 2021

Licensed to Share!


What are licences and how do they work?

When you join iNaturalist you are presented with a “Yes, license my photos and observations so that they can be used by scientists” checkbox. Checking this adds a default Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC) to your content.

A licence is an agreement you make with someone who wants to use your property. By law in most places, content like photos are a kind of intellectual property and you have the right to control how your photos are copied in certain situations. Creative Commons (CC) licences are a bit different: they are licences you apply that allow anyone to use your intellectual property without having to negotiate with you individually and without having to pay you, as long as the terms of the licence are respected, e.g. that they give you credit. This provides content authors with some legal controls while allowing content users to utilize and remix that content without fear of a lawsuit.

iNaturalist offers users a number of licence options including ‘No licence (all rights reserved)’.

What licence should be used for UK observations?

In line with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s (GBIF) approach to data licensing (see this article from 2014) the NBN Atlas and iRecord require that all iNaturalist data shared to them are on one of three licences:

The NBN Atlas is the UK node for GBIF and with the agreement of its data providers it regularly shares records from UK-based datasets with GBIF. Please note that the NBN Atlas does not accept Share-alike (SA) or No-derivatives (ND) licences. You can read more about data licences on the NBN Atlas Help Page.

It is possible to license observations separately to your sounds or photos. So you may, for example, want to license your observation as CCO and photos as CC-BY-NC.

Why does it matter?

If your observation is not licensed with one of these three licences it can’t be pooled together with other UK data sets allowing us to build up a full picture of the UK’s biodiversity. It will also not be passed to GBIF by iNaturalist as part of their regular exports.

The ideal is that all observations are licensed as CC0 or CC-BY. However, we recognise that this may not be appropriate for all users for all observations.

How to check which licence is attached to your observations

Log into iNaturalistUK: Account Settings > Content and Display > Licensing

On the iNaturalist Android App: Settings > Default Licenses
iOS users will need to make the change on the website.

How to edit individual observation licences

To edit photos on an individual observation

Within iNaturalistUK:

  • Select an observation > Edit
  • Click ‘View Original’ under your photo
  • Click on Edit Licence next to ‘Attribution’

On the iNaturalist App

  • Click on observation and click the edit icon
  • Within Edit Observation click on the image
  • Click the three dots
  • Select Edit Photo License

To edit the licence of an individual observation including sounds

Within iNaturalistUK:

  • Go to observation
  • Click on the drop down arrow next to 'Edit' and select Edit License. You can also edit the licence that applies to all your other observations through this route.

On the iNaturalist App

  • Click on observation and click the edit icon
  • Within Edit Observation click on the three dots
  • Select Edit Observation License

Further Reading

iNaturalistUK and its place in biological recording data flow

Licensing milestone for data access in GBIF.org

iNaturalist Licensed Observation Images in the Amazon Open Data Sponsorship Program

iNaturalist Blog – photo licences

You can also find more help and guidance within the iNatForum


Posted on 12 October, 2021 10:41 by giselle_s giselle_s