Canada - iNaturalist World Tour

Today we’re featuring Canada.

Any objections to the Provinces/Territories or the Level 2 divisions iNat is using from GADM?

Also here’s a link to the common names being used in Canada. No ones really complained about common name issues in Canada so I assume thats working ok from a curation standpoint?


A really minor one, but on the Level 2 breakdown, Lake Huron is spelled incorrectly which cascades down through a bunch of places, especially with regards to obscured records text replacement.

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Again, a small complaint. Ecologically, Manitoba Division 1, and some other northern regions, are similar to Kenora and Rainy River. Technically we are part of western Canada, but ecologically we are in the middle of a switch from Boreal forest to prairie. It’s probably not relevant, as Level 2 designations are formal legal designations, but It’s something to take into account.

The level 2 division for Toronto doesn’t include everything. See

Akimiski Island (the big island in the west side of Hudson Bay) belongs to Nunavut, it is not part of Ontario as shown in the map. Likewise, the islands that appear as Quebec in James and Hudson Bay such as Mansel Island etc also belong to Nunavut (all islands in James and Hudson Bay are part of Nunavut, regardless of how close to either the Ontario or Quebec shorelines they are).

Looks great. But I noticed that part of Newfoundland and Labrador is cut off - St. John’s the capital and where a good percentage (~39%) of the population (and my sister who is active on iNat) live (20th Largest metropolitan area in Canada)

I think that is just a function of the projection of the map getting warped at the edges because Canada is so wide. When you actually query the database using the Newfoundland & Labrador place and look at in in map view, you can see that the whole Avalon Peninsula is within the borders it uses :

To answer this, while I can’t properly claim to speak for all 36 million of us, I don’t perceive there is any issue with common names going on in Canada that needs to be looked at. There are a fair number of active Canadian curators on the site, and I think we’ve probably set most of the names per Canadian usage.

Yep, and there is my sister as the top observer there. However, I don’t think she would have shown up as one of those present on the map. Those observation numbers are huge.

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The placename for Québec City on the maps shows up as Qumbec. Also Montréal shows up as Montraal. Looks like the é is messing things up.

On iNat, the boundary of The Yukon Territory includes a small patch of ocean several hundred kms off the north coast, in the Beaufort Sea. There’s no island there and no observations, so I’m not sure why it exists.

@bobmcd - the figure is updated to show the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Hi Folks:

Regarding common names being used in iNat for Canada…a couple of suggestions on butterflies, please:

  1. Thymelicus lineola - European Skipper is usually used - the system default is Essex Skipper, which is the UK common name. See: Hall, et al. Butterflies of Ontario (2014): 388. Also:

  2. Celastrina lucia - usual usage now is Northern Azure - system default is Lucia Azure. See: Hall, et. al.: 209.

  3. Carterocephalus palaemon - there’s a note in the common names list that Arctic Skipper is usually used, but the system default is Chequered Skipper. See:

Essex Skipper, Lucia Azure and Chequered Skipper usually appear in the emailed updates I receive from iNat.

Appreciate your consideration on these - thank you!

I think anyone can add vernacular names, and/or create links to places so they are default from that place. Please don’t change the default globally though, if only because it is frustrating to have the vernaculars keep changing all the time.

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