Change Aotearoa bird names from English to Maori

I don’t know about you but I think it very important for the names of Aotearoa birds to have Maori names instead of English names.
I am not sure who can do anything about it but if you can would you please change at least some thanks.

The couple I looked at do have Māori names.
E.g. Morepork/Ruru …
Oyster Catcher with five Māori names …

I’m sure most Māori names are included.
What’s missing is the ability to display them as the default.


How come

Website should be fully translated to the language to have it set as default, in other cases change account setting to “place” helps, not sure what language setting place to NZ will result in.

See associated feature request:


That’s a good question.

Species on iNaturalist can have multiple names, and in the case of New Zealand birds, we list Māori and English names at, as @cooperj points out. Other examples are the kereru page, where iNat NZ lists the names as “Kererū AKA New Zealand Wood Pigeon (English), Kūkupa (Maori)”, and the bellbird page which lists Bellbird AKA Korimako (Maori), Makomako (Maori)".

I think what you’re asking is whether the Māori name should always be listed as the first, default, name when people use iNat NZ. So far we have not done that, but instead selected as the default name the name that is currently most commonly used in NZ. That makes the site most readily understandable for most people.

So we now use kererū instead of New Zealand Wood Pigeon, but still use bellbird instead of korimako, and we still use tui instead of kōkō (tui was a name written down by an English naturalist when he misheard what was said when he asked a Māori what the kōkō was called, and now everyone uses tui). As you’ll see with kererū and bellbird, it also gets complicated as different iwi use different names (kererū is kūkupa in Northland, and bellbird is both korimako and makomako).

The Ornithological Society of NZ (Birds NZ) maintains a list of the one official common name for each NZ bird, and there have also been requests for iNat NZ to follow that. That makes some sense, but, the names in most common usage change. For example, Birds NZ lists New Zealand Wood Pigeon instead of kererū, while kererū is now more commonly used as the common name for this bird.

So, we’re trying to tread the middle ground and keep the default common name as the name currently in most common usage, while always listing the other names at the top of a species’ taxon page. The trend over the last couple of decades has been for Māori names to gradually replace English names for NZ species, and I expect that trend will continue, and we’re happy to follow it.

More generally, we would very much like to make a complete Māori translation of iNaturalist NZ–Mātaki Taio, but that’s a bigger job and we’ll need the right people and funding to make that happen.


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