Accidentally batch deleted a bunch of observations

I’m a moron and accidentally batch deleted a bunch of my lichen observations instead of removing them from a project. Pretty much everything from Jan 1, 2021-now is gone.

Is there any way to recover them? I’m very very sad. :disappointed:


Did you save the original images elsewhere? If so, you can still reupload them.

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Staff may be able to restore these for you. Please email


I have most of them but there are probably close to 200 :persevere:

Thanks for the info, I’ll email them now. :black_heart:

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just in case, it may be worth trying to download your observations from GBIF (before it gets wiped out, too), if you don’t already have some other personal backup of all the observation details.

not all of your observations may have made it over to GBIF, but it’s better than nothing, if staff aren’t able to fully recover your observations.


@thrasherbird, please come back and tell us if you are able to recover them. Hoping for the best!


Hey, but that means all is not lost!

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We were able to restore the observations, but I do want to add some extra info.

  • we refresh the iNat data on our Staging (aka internal testing) server every Saturday, US time. Basically, that means we import all the observations, IDs, etc from the public site to use on Staging for the next week. If the deleted observations are on Staging, it’s fairly easy for us to restore them. Since @thrasherbird deleted the observations on Sunday (US time) the deleted observations were still on Staging. If the observations had been deleted on, say, Friday, they would have been gone by the time we were alerted to it.

  • If the observations are not still on Staging, restoring them is very difficult and time consuming and we generally won’t do it (if it’s even possible) unless the deletions were iNaturalist’s fault.


wow, I guess that was the perfect time for me to do something stupid. :sweat_smile:

Thanks again for your help, I greatly appreciate it!


Welcome Thrasherbird! You’re not a moron. Only that accidents happen that makes us feel like morons. :)


At least I realized midway what I had done, and quickly closed the page! If not, all of my lichen observations would have been deleted. It’s funny, cuz it only took me about 5 seconds to realize what was happening and it still deleted over a year of observations :sweat_smile:

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