Creating collection project with invalid date input fails unexpectedly, can produce in-limbo project

Step 1: Creating a project to collect observations made before the year 2000.

Step 2: Set end date to 12/31/1999, and start date empty. It was not possible

Step 3: Set the start date to the minimum possible, 30/07/1892 (130 years ago).

Step 4: I have created two projects that cannot be modified. :(

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

I can’t edit this:

Are you still seeing an error? If you go to, what happens?

I can’t edit it

If I follow the link yes, but from the project page, no. That’s weird

From page redirects here:

I deleted the project, but with this I can’t do anything:

seems like the triggering problem if you try to create projected noted in Step 2 of the original post is that “12/31/1999” is an invalid date format. (1999-12-31" would be the expected format.)

it seems like there’s no validation on the screen itself to make sure the date is valid (which is probably a bug that should be fixed), and it fails when the server tries to process the date. so the project gets partially created (the project slug gets registered), but it has no rules. so it seems to get stuck in a limbo state, where you can sort of view the partially-created project from, but you might not be able to edit it from

it’s possible to just add another project with the same Project Name (ex. “Before 2000”), but it’ll get an extra encoded string at the end of the project slug (ex., instead of, since the original slug is already reserved.

so the original project in limbo needs to be deleted first. if the edit page is not working from, then it’s possible to delete the project using a call to the API. in Windows, one way to accomplish that would be:

  1. while signed into iNaturalist, open in your web browser.
  2. that should display something like {"api_token":"J.W.T"}, where J.W.T will be some encoded string. copy the J.W.T value.
  3. open your Windows start menu, and run “cmd” to open the command line editor.
  4. at the command prompt, run curl -X DELETE "" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Accept: application/json" -H "Authorization: %JWT%", making sure you replace %JWT% with the value you copied from step #2 above.

one more thought: it might be useful to update the title of the thread to reflect the fundamental issue, as opposed to the case where the issue was encountered.

Thank you very much, @pisum. That worked. I have been able to create the project.
Now I’m wondering, What would be the suitable title for this thread?

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As a curiosity, the oldest verifiable observation at the moment is from more than 250 years ago:
However, there are some casual observations wrongly determined with earlier dates.

great. you’re welcome.

maybe something like “Creating collection project with invalid date input fails unexpectedly, can produce in-limbo project”.