Automatically mark audio observations as "alive"

I find it extremely unlikely that someone would ever post an observation of a dead organism with audio evidence. It would be convenient if an observation created from the phone’s audio input would automatically be marked as “alive”.

Well. The organism could sing, then get immediately eaten by something else, like a hawk.


From what the iNat staff has described, the “Dead” annotation also for when something is dying, or dies shortly afterwards, as @abersbird pointed out.

See these posts: (" Dead - meaning that evidence shows the organism is dead or shows signs of imminent death.") (“within minutes or an hour or two at most”) - this was in response to a request for clarification of what time period qualified as “imminent” in the previous post.

That could absolutely apply to an audio recording.

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That’s funny but true. :-)

I feel like they shouldn’t be automatically marked alive because of the slim chance that the organism died immediately after the recording was taken.

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I think it should be marked as alive under those circumstances. I don’t think the intention is that any animal that dies soon after an observation is marked as dead, just those where the animal is dying. So if I took a photo of a pigeon and then saw it killed by a peregrine I works mark it as alive, but if I saw a young bird being attacked by a magpie which someone frightened off but the bird is clearly fatally wounded I would mark as dead, even though the bird in my second example might live longer than the pigeon (I’m assuming a peregrine strike would be instant death). I think that dead should be applied only if the animal’s death is clearly inevitable very soon at the time the observation was made.

I suppose someone might record the sound of a dying animal which should probably count as dead.


“From what the iNat staff has described, the “Dead” annotation also for when something is dying, or dies shortly afterwards, as @abersbird pointed out.” - Star3

See @Star3’s post on the subject. It has some useful information on this subject of dying right after observation and iNat’s verdict.

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You can quote by replying and then selecting with your mouse what you are quoting and it will give you the option to quote and it will automatically say who was quoted and if you click on it, it takes you to the direct quote. :-)

Thanks! I forgot about that function.

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But what if it’s an audio recording where you didn’t see the animal (crickets hidden in grass, frog songs can carry pretty far, etc)?

E.g., If you hear (and record) frantic baby bird cries, but don’t see nest or see or hear the magpie, how do you know if those cries are caused by a fatal attack vs a non-fatal one where the magpie retreated before infliciting much damage? How do you know in this scenario where you don’t see anything that there was even an attack at all, and not something else causing their cries?

If anything is going to be marked automatically on that field, the safe bet would be to mark it “cannot be determined”.

Personally, I’m having trouble imagining any use case would be strong enough to result in an automatic annotation for all observations. It’s already an occasional issue when the iNat algorithm automatically marks some species as captive/cultivated, but the automatic DQA “vote” can at least be overturned by the community; annotations (currently) can’t be.

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This thread immediately made me think of this:

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Oh wow, that is funny! What are the odds of that? Cooool! :-)

We’ve decided we are not going to move forward with this request so I’ll close the topic.