Adopting abandoned projects

I’ve come across a few traditional projects that would work better if redefined as collection projects (think something like “Biodiversity of [province]”). I’m not completely sure how they work, but some traditional projects, especially older ones, add new observations automatically, while in others you have to do it manually. Also, once an observation is added, it stays in the project even if the values defined for said project are later changed. For example, the project “Crassulaceae of Mexico” includes observations that were initially tagged as Crassulaceae but have since been corrected (example), and the project “Biodiversity of Quintana Roo” includes observations as far north as Connecticut (example).
I find this especially problematic when the project has been abandoned by its creators. For example, the creator and only manager of the “Nevado de Colima NP” project, which incorporates less than 15% of all observations that have been done there, hasn’t been active in almost 8 years. Is there a way to adopt projects like this one, like e.g. on Reddit you can claim subreddits whose moderators have been inactive for a certain amount of time?

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One thing you could do is Direct-Message the owner of the project and volunteer politely to take it over, as you’re “interested in updating it.” If the owner’s like me, she may have initiated dozens of projects and may actually have forgotten some or lost interest in them, in which case she can just name you as a curator and then designate you as the admin. (Be sure to tell her your iNat name if it’s not the same as your forum name.)

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I don’t think there’s any mechanism for taking over abandoned projects, but you can always start a similar one that is set up properly.

For example, Parasitic Plants of the World is an inactive project, set up in 2018, that only includes 167 species: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/parasitic-plants-of-the-world

So a new version was set up in 2020, as a collection project, and currently has 2011 species. Much better!
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/parasitic-plants-of-the-world-ab9ab70f-696e-41de-8d32-981e0f0fabf4

I know it seems rather untidy to have duplicated projects like that, but I don’t think iNat is going to support transferring a project to someone else without the creator’s active consent, so it’s likely the best solution.

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Yeah, we consider projects to be “owned” by the project admin so you’ll have to contact them directly. Or, make a new one.

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