And the winner is: La Paz in Bolivia!

I’m pretty sure kestrel and the other global CNC organizers know this issue very well.


People posted zoo flamingos in Albuquerque this year


This is an interesting topic.
In my region, there sure were a lot of casual observations things of that sort, and nearly 37% of obs are need ID, but I feel like we did pretty well as far as uploading captive organisms. Also, I feel like there are a lot of obs that are Needs ID simply because they are hard to identify, not just because people are uploading lots of unknowns. Sure, if I uploaded every single plant or animal I saw (not even including captive ones), I could probably triple my observation count, which is totally fine, but I wanted to go for diversity. 54% of my observation are still Needs ID from the CNC because I don’t know what they are and not enough others can ID to make them research grade…

I notice the top observers of my region are “playing fair” and I guess we didn’t get 127,000 but I think 20,000 isn’t too bad considering. I also think we should get more people involved in the CNC.


As I was starting this thread, I am glad that there is a vivid participation so far!


It occurred to me that if CNCs didn’t allow Casual observations, that wouldn’t get rid of the problems of observers photographing captive or cultivated organisms (because the observers probably don’t understand the difference between wild and not wild) or of uploading observations as Unknowns.

The problem of uploading as Unknowns can probably only be solved by iNat forcing every observation to have an initial ID upon uploading.

The problem of observations of not-wild organisms can probably only be solved by local organizers training the observers, I think. For school/college classes, that means training the teachers. Then the CNC could only count wild organisms, but even that assumes all observations would be scanned to eliminate not-wild organisms by the end of the six-day ID period - and that will be very hard to accomplish.

I suppose a very different alternative would be for the iNat community to simply ignore CNC-related observations. In such a scenario, we wouldn’t work to add IDs to Unknowns. We wouldn’t mark observations as Not Wild. We wouldn’t work to take an observation IDed as “Bird” to “Mallard” and then to Research Grade. Perhaps we wouldn’t participate ourselves. All that seems unlikely.

So maybe we just complain about the issues every year, and then sigh and start working on the CNC observations one by one. Like we always do.


I think it would help by clarifying what it’s all about, and it would add an incentive to only observe wild things: at the moment the ‘guidance’ is too easy to ignore. Yes if the volume remained as high we wouldn’t get through the captives (although it would potentially incentivise people to make things captive if it made a difference), but also the volume probably wouldn’t remain as high.

It is a little irksome, but not something I feel like going on strike about! (Then again, I am not a plantist, so perhaps I don’t feel it so much).

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I have a suggestion für the next CNC:
1.) Eleminate the category “unknown”. Instead people should at least choose from “animal, plant, fungus or other”.
2.) It should not be allowewed that more than one person ist taking pictures from the same object. so school student have to split off in the areas…

3.) An observation is only valid and counting if the participant looks at it in the next 14 days.

Then the always difficult question “Wild or not wild” can be handled easier.

Congratulations, La Paz! Your organizers did a fantastic job engaging the community; and the community did an amazing job engaging with the outdoors and noticing their environment. Well done, indeed!


I would be very wary of enforcing that. Newbies will scan the CV list and … pick one, which is likely to be wrong. Give me honest Unknowns, and I am happily following advice to mark as Casual where it is commonorgarden exotic.

Today at Kirstenbosch I tracked down two photos for iNat IDs ;~)) Learnt another species, could confirm the ‘four corners

@petzenbeer my list would start with - you may not enter the next CNC, until you have cleared all your Unknowns from the last one. Start now …

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Oh! Actually, that would be a good one: A local CNC cannot enter the next year until all of their Unknowns from previous years have been cleared. That would be easy for the global staff to enforce and it would lift that part of the burden off the usual identifiers on iNat.


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