Delete observations that don't get support?

I’ve a number of observations that have been up on iNaturalist for more than one year & still haven’t been supported/verified. Almost all of these are either plants or insects. I’m wondering if I should just delete these observations.

Why? Maybe someone will show up tomorrow. I have observations that got their ID months later.


I’ve had observations ID’ed years after I posted. If it is a quality photograph, I’d suggest leaving them be.


Are they at least identified by you as plants or insects respectively? If they are sitting there with no identification on them at all, that may explain why they aren’t getting attention. Many users filter the observations they wish to identify by broad categories. *Edited to say - I doubt that you not identifying broad categories is the issue.


Sometimes it just takes the right person with the right knowledge to get to it (eventually). I’ve been working on a couple of species and I’m confirming things that are as much as 6 years old.

I guess I would just take a second look at them and try to determine if they are low-quality. Sometimes I put on a blurry picture of something because it’s the best I managed to get. Occasionally the community pulls through for me in spite of the low quality, but if they don’t, I generally remove it. However if they are good pictures, I’d say leave them in. You could even reach out to someone for an opinion if you wanted. I’ve generally gotten good results with that.


If your photo is of a reasonable quality, illustrating diagnostic traits in clear focus, try tagging some of the top identifiers for that group and you’ll likely get an ID or two. If the photos are a blurry mess, don’t expect much. This is especially true of insects. I’m an entomologist. Feel free to tag me.


Some people set their filter to oldest first. Might just have to become a little older before it hits the front or the back of the list and gets seen more.


Yes, I almost always try to ID the insect, plant, bird, etc when I first post it.


Yeah, there are a few especially the birds, that are low quality - generally it was the only photo that I got of that individual.


Thanks for that tip! Will give it a try


I’ve looked through your photos. Most are good quality, well worth keeping in iNaturalist. Plants and insects can take forever to get identified, and many of the ones you posted are members of challenging groups that not just everybody here will be able to identify. Please keep posting and don’t worry about getting your identifications confirmed.


Thanks - I’m also trying to “improve” the sharpness of some of the older bird photos and re-submitting them (& deleting the original submission). Your comment on insect ID is helpful.


Never delete anything you willingly uploaded, because just why? Your records are legit without any confirmation, it’s like sayig to people not to submit observations without photos because they will stay casual, that’s not what matters.
And why resubmit? Just change the pic in the observation, delete the old one.


Wait - can observations be submitted without photos???


Yep! I’ve done this for animals I wasn’t able to get a picture of.


Note that they will be casual grade


On some of your oldest “needs ID” plants, you have a beautiful landscape shots for which you ID’d a plant, but the plant in question is much too far away for key features to be visible. Those are probably not going to make research grade. Does that mean you should delete them? It’s kind of a personal and philosophical question. I know this isn’t a helpful answer, but basically… you do what you want!


I post a lot of lichens that will probably never be verified because at this point my enthusiasm for lichens far outweighs my knowledge. Hoping someday I’ll be able to go back to them and see more (though with lichens seeing isn’t enough), but maybe some will never even get to genus. It’s part of my learning process and I hope that inat has plenty of place for that.


I have worked on observations that dated back many years. One never knows when some future identifier might come along and identify an old observation. If past is prologue, then herbaria teach that new eyes look again at “observations” even centuries later.


Don’t delete them.

Lately, I have been going through Salticidae observations that haven’t been touched for sometimes, years. They can all turn Research Grade in a matter of minutes, if I tag a partner or the original observer agrees.

My observations sometimes lie dormant for months, if not years. Some taxon groups are just waiting for some love - and it will come!