Add pop-up to ask observer if captive/cultivated (for certain species in that area)

I can only say that Pablo’s proposal is good and that it could turn out to be extremely useful for the community.
Users must take their responsibility for what they post.

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Like some of the types of prompts on other sites/apps, including some of the messages that appear on this Discourse forum, it could ideally pop up when it’s expected to be useful and not for users who, like @charlie, already know what they’re doing.

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This is a wonderful idea. There is a huge problem specifically with cultivated plants (especially trees) becoming research grade, and then going on to various sites such as GBIF. I notice that many of these observations come from new users, especially from students doing a project for a biology class and abandoning iNat afterwards. Apparently they are taught to upload to iNat but not about the data quality assessment.
The current system only flags observations that are very rare for a certain area. This means that uncommon species that are native to an area are not flagged and appear much more common than they should be if they are widely cultivated. For example, Eastern White Pines and Honey Locusts are uncommon in the Chicago area and exist in isolated native and naturalized pockets. However, they appear to be very common because they are both popular cultivated trees.
Having a popup would not really hurt anyone, but faulty data being entered into scientific databases can.

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Welcome to the forum, @vnevirkov!

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I would not be for a pop-up that always appears (like @charlie I think it would slow things down too much and be aggravating for experienced users) but would be for a few pop-ups that appear for new users, maybe for the first few observations.

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I am rethinking this. I still like the idea of a pop-up, because is more explicit; but maybe a signal like it already exists for “Introduced” and “Conservation Status”, that says “Widely cultivated/captive in your area: please consider to mark this observation as cultivated/captive if you think that this might be a non wild specimen” and probably a link to make it easier (although is just down there in the same page). One of the problems that I see with the “Data Quality Assessment” box is that is a bit hidden down there, so any kind of link to encourage to its use I think would be usefull.

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That might be a really good idea. Also the pop-up that I am proposing should not be one that unables the rest of the activity until you click it, I think more like a pop-up that you can easely ignore if you already know about it; but for first time users maybe I would suggest the first kind.

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If I am fairly sure something is cultivated I’ll flag and comment (then remove the flag if the user confirms it is wild). If I’m 100% sure I’ll flag and may or may not comment, if I’m not sure then I’ll just comment.

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I agree, as part of the new onboarding perhaps, or at least work consistant with how that is eventually implemented.

I agree with earthknight in the sense of a need to differentiate once-captive-now-wild species that are becoming exotic. There are so many species that have been introduced to ecosystems directly or indirectly that a tool like this should help us to gather data about the spreading speed or distance, or the interactions that is having with other organisms.

As some people have pointed out, sometimes it is hard to differentiate a wild specimen versus one that is being cultivated/captive, especially if the observation occurs in a semi-natural area like parks and empty plots of land and we are tracking young specimens that might or might not been growth on purpose.

Welcome to the forum, @amusedberry!

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I agree. This would be especially useful for plants. There should be something like the DQA where users can vote on whether a certain species is native (remnant plants, for example) as opposed to introduced in a particular location, even if that species may be native to the wider region of the observation. This would also help differentiate between habitat restorations and remnants, for example. This would only be applicable to wild descendants of cultivated organisms, and could be used in conjunction with a non-obtrusive (ignorable) popup asking whether the organism cultivated.

I feel I have to clarify that the issue of introduced vs native organisms has very little to do with the one raised by Pablo.
Often plants are also cultivated in the same area where they are native and alien species are already marked .

Concerning cultivated plants, sometimes users answer that they did not notice the box to be checked. More often they just go on posting unflagged cultivated plants as it was the norm here. The pop-up too could intended as a way to make users think if the organism they are goig to post is wild or not. This could also allow other users to understand if there is someone here who has an imprecise idea of what wild and cultivated/captive mean.

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Yes, let’s please keep this topic focused on the request at hand, which is adding some sort of pop-up or message to help explain that observations should be marked as captive/cultivated/planted/not wild when appropriate.

For discussions about native/non-native/introduced/invasive/autochthonous/native-to-the-site/remnant/etc, please search for the forum for existing topics to continue. Same for discussions about captive/cultivated that aren’t related to this specific feature request. Thank you!

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Just an example well fitting with this issue:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?user_id=avarimoscardi&place_id=any&verifiable=any
219 observations, mostly of cultivated plants, in 28 minutes. One observation every 7 seconds!

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I think this is a good idea.

However I have a related question: why not just allow three options, one for wild, one for capitive/cultivated, and one for unspecified and uncertain, and then have the field default to uncertain?

This way there is zero bad data.

The status quo of assuming wild by default seems to be the problem. Many plant species have their records totally dominated by landscaping plants and it would take DAYS of work to manually correct these. Why design the site in a way that requires users to do extra work to fix a problem?

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As mentioned above and in the other topic, this topic is specifically about informing users about marking the existing captive/cultivated box.

Tangential discussions about changes to the existing categories or ways the data are displayed throughout the site will be moved.

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I’m speaking for myself, but I don’t think the other discussion is completely irrelevant to this topic. If I get prompted to identify an organism as captive/cultivated and I’m not sure which one is it, I will struggle about chosing either of them, because there are exotic (and local) species that have gone wild inside controlled environments (gardens, parks, streets) and there are “usually” cultivated organisms that have been abandoned and now grow wild.

That’s why I feel that prompting users for a “wild or captive” question might not help, because there are a lot of situations were the answer is a shade of gray instead of black or white. As @cazort mentioned, maybe an “uncertain” option will be helpful to improve quality of data.

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not sure which discussion you’re saying is irrelevant (the one blue_celery started is extremely relevant) but here’s this if you want to talk about a third option: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-a-third-option-for-captive-cultivated-question-unknown-or-grey-area/7361

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Yeah the issue is that those questions have already been discussed at length and also are subject of continuing discussion, in other threads. So it’s better to continue the conversation there. Otherwise this will get totally Derailed and there will be two threads about the same thing.

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