Animals for casual grade

Ok so I’m interested to know, why is it that animals (usually antelope) seen inside a game reserve, game farm or even private farm/estate is not considered as casual grade observations whereas just about any plant that is not a known invader is considered casual grade even if it is clearly a seedling sprouting in the wild? I mean surely with regards to research there is move value in an exotic plant self seeding and sprouting in an area than there is in animals that were put on a farm by humans and that has that exact data available (most places have lists on the animals found on the property, usually with qty info too, in fact some large reserves have teams dedicated to such research) so how much research value would your observation actually add? If anything it is actually corrupting data because animals rarely found as free roaming are now being observed as research grade when seen on farms that they were added to by the owner so their distribution maps are displaying false data with regards to these animals in the wild… I don’t understand why this isn’t regarded as casual grade opposed to research grade?

Those are wild. Why do you think they’re not?

If they can’t leave it, they’re captive, if they can and they breed without help, they’re wild.


A farm, fenced off ‘game reserve’, private estate, etc is essentially a captive breeding center, even if the animals are left to go about their own business inside it. The quality of research done with the animals is irrelevant, a lot of excellent research is done with captive lineages of mice and fruit flies too.

Now, if those animals escape, that’s a different story, such as how axis and fallow deer that escaped into Point Reyes (Northern California) in the late 190s became locally naturalized and would be considered ‘wild’, despite originally coming from captive stock. The difference is that they were no longer captive and had established wild breeding populations.

Plants that are self-seeding and left unmanaged are considered wild. The issue there is that often exotic plants live longer than people realize and what looks like a 'wild’stand of them is actually the remains of a cultivated patch from an old house, garden, farm, orchard, etc. This distinction can get a bit messy with many plants that are self-seeding in these situations still marked as ‘not wild’.


It is not this clear cut. Many large mammals in African National Parks are essentially “captive” in as much that they can’t leave because the surrounding lands are now inhabited with a much larger human population than in the past. They often have surrounding fences to a greater or lesser degree. But, in some cases, the animals have always been there - they have not been introduced but are now restricted in their movements out of the protected areas. Does that make them “captive” - they are seldom recorded as such.
What about when mammals are re-introduced to areas where they were previously wild? They can be self-sustaining, with no human intervention but some are now in very restricted areas. Take the case of the (Southern) White Rhino, apart from a couple of reserves in KwaZulu Natal, all other populations have been re-introduced to either small or large reserves. Does this make them all captive? In some smaller reserves they would seem to be captive but what about those in the huge national parks like Kruger and Hwange?


While I agree the “left unmanaged” requirement does to some degree apply, I think it takes quite a lot of management for that to happen. Like, if it’s just watered every once in a while? That’s probably still wild.

1 Like

This was discussed in long threads from years ago, so I don’t see a reason to talk about it again, check th topic about fences.

Well I have often been told to change my observation status to captive/cultivated for plants that are growing in the wild yet not native to the region… An example of that would be my observation on Aloe dichotoma, where I explained that a few were planted decades ago on a farm property, property now owned by the mines here (for the past 50years), those aloes are huge (3 - 4m) now and their age is apparent, the entire area is now scattered with aloes of different sizes (excluding the initial ones) from seedlings to medium size ones (up to 2m), my observation was of a small plant, only about 2-3 years old, not even half a meter tall yet, clearly it has seeded and sprouted and grown without any human intervention (these mine properties are literally vacant lands, unfenced and uninhabited by anyone and only a small surface area is used by the mines for the shaft and outbuildings but they their operation is underground so the surface remains untouched), I observed that specific sized plant for the reason that it might be a few generations from the initially planted ones but I was told that my observation was casual grade and even after I explained that those plants were not planted, only the initial 5 or so were planted and they are huge now, a few ppl still flagged it as not wild… That is why I am confused because to my understanding anything that is self sustaining and was not planted by humans is considered ‘wild’ since that is the definition of wild… I have now had a few observations of seedlings that have been changed to casual grade for the same reason

1 Like

Those should be wil, tag more people for that observation to override voting.


If you leave a copypasta note when you upload the obs, then identifiers will work with you.

Remember you can reverse a single Not Wild vote, with your own Yes it IS.

Identifiers can be wrong, too. Sounds like the young plants you describe count as wild, though the big adults may not. (I love finding this just-starting-to-escape plants. Which ones will succeed?)


Yes there is definitely a lot of good research done with captive animals, I agree, what I was trying to say is that an observation on an animal that is stock owned has less value than of a wild animal (in regards to research grade vs casual grade, I would see an observation of a stock owned animal similar to that of a zoo owned animal)… I agree fully with your version of self seeding plants vs remains of an old cultivated patch, I see it often here, fortunately the ones that need to be marked ‘not wild’ are usually the larger older trees of the species since most of those places here were abandoned 50-60 years ago, I usually refrain from adding as observations

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.