Biggest peeve among naturalist

Well now I know! :) Thanks


I‘d rather stop ID‘ing at all than explain for 500th time that it is (and why it is) Xanthoria parietina and not Candelaria concolor which AI has suggested. Actually, my biggest peeve is the naturalists who do not learn, repeat over and over same mistakes, rely totally on AI but strive to species level ID. And this kind, @ melodi_96 , is almost equally divided in all age groups with slightly larger ratio in Millenial part.


I do a lot of IDs, and yeah, I’d probably stop doing them if I had to explain every time. Especially since so many of them are inactive accounts, or people who never even look at their notifications. If someone is ever interested enough to ask, I’m happy to explain, but it usually just feels like wasted effort.


I cannot pull up a mushroom any more than a wildflower. It was too ingrained in me by both of my parents to leave nature as is for others to enjoy. The fact that it won’t kill the whole organism isn’t the point with me–it’s that the next person walking down the trail won’t be able to see it. I try to take a photo of the underside, but if I can’t, I don’t take a photo and I don’t make an observation. I used to at least take a photo of the top anyway and make an observation, but now I don’t bother. And I feel sad when I see page after page after page of pulled-up mushrooms on this site. I’m not trying to judge anyone else, just trying to explain my perspective on it, in case anyone thinks the only explanations are ignorance or laziness.


It doesn’t feel fine if it’s fresh and beautiful, it’s like destroying a painting.


Also I thought about another one - calling birds and mammals leucistic while there’s no such genetical condition for the groups. And also denying that they’re albino only because they don’t have pink eyes.


I’m the same. But I realized that a dental inspection mirror might come in handy so I just ordered one. Under $5 and small.


Almost all the camera-carrying naturalists I tend to encounter in nature seem to have no interest in posting photographs to iNaturalist. Many have never even heard of iNaturalist. I’m biased, perhaps, but I truly don’t understand why they pass up the opportunity to share their knowledge with others. Or why they pass up the opportunity to learn more. At the very least I feel naturalists should use it to document their trips, like a journal.


That would work–I do know where the restrooms are. :) Thanks!


Thanks: much appreciated!


Oh, we should trade friend codes!

Hmm, I can’t think of many real-world peeves for naturalists like trespassing, mainly because I don’t actually know/encounter many (despite having worked for an employer with an environmental focus).

In iNaturalist…maybe…people who comment that an observation with multiple pictures should be split, but still submit a unique taxon ID for the first pic. That’s how you get pictures of unrelated things in the galleries, and It’s almost guaranteed that others are going to come along and agree with that ID and send those unrelated pics to research grade…which makes it that much harder to move it back to a coarse ID, especially for when the observer never returns to clean it up.

Oh, and people who insist on IDing something other that what the observer indicated the observation was for, because the evidence wasn’t edited (crop, zoom, circled, etc) or of a quality (blurry, other sounds in recording, etc) to their liking, and/or telling the observer that they must edit it so before it can be IDed.


hmm. i feel like i’m a moderate not an avid lumper and the splitters have run rampant. But of course I am going to feel that way. It would be hard to argue that splitters haven’t dominated the academic scene lately, and while I understand there are arguments for this, the downsides and consequences are rarely addressed. Choosing to split something as a species rather than a subspecies can have direct, identifiable negative impacts not just to the science, but to the organisms themselves, as it makes monitoring and inventory very difficult. There are always tradeoffs, for everything, but in this case, i feel the balance has tipped way, way too far towards species level splitting.

It has absolutely no bearing on the struggles, effort, or results of people working to define the minute but important variations in biodiversity. What it does have bearing on is what ‘species’ and ‘subspecies’ mean and how we can best use those and other criteria to understand and ultimately appreciate and conserve the diverse life on our planet. We (and those who write grants and do floras) need to just appreciate the fact that very detailed genetics and systemology work that don’t result in ‘discovering a new species’ is valuable in and of itself, so people don’t see the need to make every tiny variant in fuzz size a whole new species. Please don’t forget that those of us who do applied ecology often have decades of inventory information and when you split things, there is no technically correct way to retain that data, among many other issues. It also becomes an outreach and education issue where you either lie to the person or else launch into a pointless description that something is early blue cohosh rather than ‘regular’ blue cohosh because the flower opened 10 minutes earlier or whatever, so you can’t tell what species it is when it doesn’t have flowers blooming.

I will try to refrain from derailing the whole thread into this as you can go read my past posts if you really want. But i will stay this: those who study plants within the academic species and describe biodiversity, etc, are some of the most staunch and important defenders of conservating this biodiversity too. This is really important work. But that being the case, please also remember to listen to those doing applied conservation and field ecology work on the ground, and when we say that something is causing a problem with significant impacts on the ability to conserve biodiversity, it’s worth at least considering that, right?


I wish English had that word, this isa ll too prevalent in the US right now (and probably all other areas humans live as well)


Feel free to tag me in for help on those, pretty much any kingdom I’ll give it a shot (hat tip to @lincolndurey for the idea heh).

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No–no one knows there’s a generation between boomers and millenials unless you belong to it (raises hand). Gen-X is the Rodney Dangerfields of generations-- no respect, but then we also get to dodge generational wars, so there’s some comfort. :wink: As for old folks, since I’m late to the game and am an expert in a different field entirely, I don’t know as much as I wish, which makes me tolerant of everyone else, I guess.


don’t forget us ‘xennials’ which basically only includes people born in 1979?


13 posts were split to a new topic: Albinism and leucism

True–it’s rather like being a pamphlet stuck on a shelf between encyclopedias. :grinning:


Please don’t stop saying things! When I say your “style”, I mean that you have an interesting perspective. I know that there is a translation problem, You have already taught me that the meaning of Russian words is more complicated than I had realised.


I can certainly understand how you feel* but I try to treat those situations as an opportunity to encourage interest in local wildlife and maybe share some information about whatever it is that’s drawn my/their interest.

.* I live in South Korea, where 96% of the population is Korean and an additional 2% is Chinese of various backgrounds so, as an obvious foreigner, I tend to stand out no matter what I’m doing. It has led to some interesting exchanges though, such as:

  • Being approached by a man as I was photographing a bagworm moth larva and having him ask what I was doing. We talked about bagworm larvae for a bit - with me doing my best to explain things in Korean - and then he got his wife from a nearby bench and started excitedly pointing out the larva to her and sharing what he had learned about them.

  • Taking photos of a robber fly inside a metro station and having a group of seven or eight people gather behind me to see what was going on. I heard a comment from one person that it was the largest wasp he had ever seen so I took that opportunity to point out a couple of the physical differences between wasps/bees and flies, with the robber fly serving as a model for my explanation.

  • Having an older woman tap my arm while I was photographing a hummingbird hawk moth to warn me that it was a dragonfly and I needed to be careful because they’re known for drinking blood. Not exactly accurate, but her concern was touching.

And then there was the time when I was on the opposite side of the exchange, having come across a father and son using the flashlight app on their phones to search along a set of steps leading down to stepping stones across a stream. I thought they had lost something but it turns out they had spotted a Chinese mitten crab and were watching it walk next to the steps. Definitely glad I didn’t scare them off with my approach!