Automatically remove photos that were shared from Merlin to iNaturalist

A common source of copyright infringements are images from the Merlin app. When you observe something in Merlin and then share it with iNaturalist (as suggested - “Share this ID”), the photo comes through, but it’s just an example photo from Macaulay Library / The Cornell Lab.

Can the iNaturalist apps somehow detect this and remove the image automatically?

I’ve contacted the Merlin folks to ask them to stop doing this or change the way they do it, and we’re looking into blocking photos shared from Merlin.


I was completely unaware of this feature and it seems like an obvious bug for an otherwise excellent idea in Merlin. If there was a way to directly share my own observation from Merlin to iNat that would save me uploading my photos multiple times.

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OK, the latest public Android version - 1.18.11 (417) - now blocks IDs shared from Merlin:


FWIW, the Merlin folks just got back to me and said,

We are adding a feature to allow users to save their observations directly in Merlin, so I anticipate this will greatly reduce any desire to send these images to iNaturalist in the future.

Not sure if they’re planning on removing or altering the sharing feature though.

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