Can captive animal observations be separate from wild animal ones?

I want to help train the Seek AI to better identify animals, so I’m thinking of taking observations of animals in zoos, as I’d know what they are for sure. I don’t want these to be counted towards my observations though, I want to only have wild organisms that I’ve found listed there.

Is there a way to have separate observation lists? That way I’d be able to know which captive animals I’ve already recorded but it wouldn’t affect the observation list that reflects what I’ve found while exploring.

To my knowledge, there isn’t a way to do what you’re asking. Unfortunately, you sometimes have to “mess up” your observation record for certain projects. One time, I had to take pictures of a bunch of agricultural weeds for a school project, and it reduced my ratio of species:observations, which I cared about at the time. I’ve learned to just not care so much about stats.

Perhaps though I’ve misunderstood your question. iNaturalist does allow for you to filter your observation search results by captive/wild, so you can still easily access a list of things you’ve found while exploring.

Also, I am not sure how much taking photos of animals in zoos would help the Computer Vision. I think the CV can already identify most macrofauna that you would see at a zoo. It does struggle a lot with small, drab organisms–spiders, springtails, and pseudoscorpions, for instance. If you spend a few months learning how to find and identify some of those small drab things, you can absolutely help the algorithm add new species to its repertoire.


careful! You don’t want the spider fanciers after you.


Welcome to the forum!

I agree with @natev - I don’t think that the CV model generally needs more pictures of animals common in zoos. Most of these species are likely already in the CV model.
Additionally, the Seek AI is a compressed/limited version of the CV model (essentially so that it can fit on a phone and run when not connected to the internet), so some species may not be included in the Seek CV no matter how many pics are available. Less commonly observed species aren’t going to be included here.

For any species, you can look at its taxon page on the website to see if it is in the full (not Seek) CV model, like for a Tiger:
On the About tab on the right hand side, you can see it is already included.

If you are interested in helping upload pictures of rarer organisms, you can check the website and look for less commonly observed species and add those.


Thank you all so much for the responses!
I’ll definitely take a look at the less observed animal list, it’d be interesting to see how many of the animals in my area show up there.
I’ll also have to look at the filters a bit more, the zoos in my area have a lot of native species / small ectotherms, so I think those might be a bit useful - I’ll have to check the list though!


I think it’s alright- they are one of the spider fanciers

I agree. Most large animals in zoos or anywhere captive really are already well represented in the CV. The ones that aren’t are either very rare or very elusive, whereas lots of underrepresented taxa are not, such as many springtail species, non-spider arachnids, millipedes, many gastropods, etc. Those could use some help.

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