Cannot Edit or Delete Observation Field from Observation

Did the option to remove observation fields from observations disappear? Until today I could remove (or edit?) observation fields. I only really did this if I put something in wrong. Now I can’t fix it.

Also, is there a pattern to when it shows who added an observation field or not? It seems to show who adds it unless you add it to your own observation? But sometimes there’s fields I don’t think I added that don’t show who did. And I would think you’d want to know if you added them anyway.


Had a look and noticed that you can no longer do it when viewing the observation but you can when you go in to edit the obs. [This is via the web browser interface - don’t know about apps.]

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Ah interesting. Most of the fields I add are on other users’ observations when I’m adding them to a traditional project, so I can’t remove/edit them if I make a mistake but they can I suppose.


There was a change yesterday to observation field permissions (from this request). I’m not totally sure what the developers intended, but I think you’re supposed to be able to edit fields if you have permission to add fields, so if you’re describing a situation where you added the field and now you want to edit it, I think that’s a bug.


Since the change yesterday was fixing a bug where field edits were not respecting observer preferences, it’s possible that an edit added before the bug was fixed is now no longer editable except by the observer.

If he could previously add an observation field, then the observer presumably doesn’t currently have it set to no adding/editing observation fields.

I considered this too, and I tried adding a field to a new observation posted after the fix, and there’s the same issue.


I administer the Found Feathers project, which uses an observation field called “Feather Placement.” The unintended consequence of removing editing rights for anyone but the original observer is that I no longer have the ability to correct incorrect or intentionally temporary values, which is an issue as the field includes an “Unknown” option that many people choose by default. It seems a bit onerous to leave comments on every single observation giving the correct placement and expecting the observer to modify the selected value, so I wonder whether it might be possible for certain trusted individuals be given the rights to edit observation field values.

Would it be possible to expand the infrastructure of the ownership of observation fields? The one experience I’ve had with changing observation field ownership required the iNat staff to get involved, and ultimately only one person was allowed ownership. I say this because using ownership of an observation field as a basis for editing rights might be the most intuitive way to allow people who are well-positioned to select the correct values to do so.

The Found Feathers project exists solely on iNaturalist, and the Feather Placement field adds a valuable set of standardized search terms. I’d love to be able to control the data that gets input into my project going forward–it seems a shame to scrap something that’s been so valuable in making the project’s database of feather observations more navigable. I don’t know how to formally make a request, though–let me know if there’s a more productive venue to express these issues.


I’m having the same issue. I just added a field to this observation:, but now I can’t edit it.

Also, I can’t edit fields that I added to my own observations (I’ve checked several of them).


I am also now having the same issue. It is very bothersome.

I uploaded several observations this afternoon, adding a Field (one I created over a year ago and use regularly) called Tanekaha Ridge. I assigned a value I knew might be incorrect, planning to edit if after upload according to which of my Collection Projects those observations appeared in.

I did need to edit it for four observations. However there is no option to Edit or Delete in the dropdown menu for the field. Only the second group of choices appear (View all with this field /value/ field details ).

I was able to edit the Value only by opening the Edit page.
Screenshot attached.

I went to my Account Settings to check the setting I have chosen, but can’t see that setting at all, sorry. I thought I had made a selection re Field editability at some time, but am not sure

Edit: sorry Steve this was intended to be a reply to the thread, not to you.

I just made a test upload and the result was the same: Edit not an option when viewing Field in my observation

@tiwane has this bug been confirmed?

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Yes, we’re working on it.

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I noticed the same problem: I mistakenly added “Invasive” to an observation before I realized that no location had been associated with it. The value might turn out to be correct, but I don’t want to give newbies the notion that we can characterize a plant as invasive before we know the location. I clicked on the value to pull up the Edit interaction, but it isn’t available any more.

My slow brain and fat fingers have often caused an error I have had to correct. But invasiveness of plants is also subject to interpretation. Often there is a prolonged discussion before people agree on whether a plant is invasive in a given area. In the meantime, some will assign a value of “Yes”; others, “No”; still others, “Maybe”; and those who want no part of the debate, “Unknown.” At some point, there will be a resolution, and three of those groups of observations will need to be updated. In May, I could do that. Today, I can’t.

Please restore our ability to edit the values entered for properties in the Observation Field.

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Tiwane says they are working on it…so we can relax:)

I see your comment was just after tiwane’s so you probably hadn’t seen… i dont want people to think we are a clamouring entitled mob…even if you and I do massacre invasive plants:)

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No, I hadn’t. It must have appeared while I was composing. And editing for brevity. And re-editing for more brevity. ;-)

For the record, this observation shows another reason this will be a welcome restoration: as I was selecting the value, the screen refreshed, and “Native” moved under the cursor just as I clicked what had been “Non-native” a fraction of a second earlier.

Happens to me all the time…for exactly the same reasons:)
Its what we get for being fond of the neatly turned and succinct phrase, while also being fond of sharing information, lots of it…at least, thats me.
I am way off topic here, but I guess its ok since there is nothing else to do on this thread except wait for tiwane to come back with news.

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Yikes, thats a really good example.You had to do a lot of writing to correct the data as best you could.

OK, you should now be able to edit and delete observation fields you have added, sorry about that.