Do you need to do something different if you are uploading other peoples observations?

If a friend sends me a photo of an animal they took and they don’t have iNaturalist do I have to do something different?

Yes, you have to very clearly indicate that it is not your photo but your friends. The main issue is that copy right of that image will now belong to you. There is not yet a solution for this.

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If it were to happen regularly you should probably set up an account for them. Otherwise at the very least comment in the notes that it’s not your picture but used with permission. Be aware that the observation page will still attribute the copyright to you, so make sure they’re ok with that.

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The species of course also appears on your life list, that’s why I wouldn’t want to do it. You could delete it once you found out what it is.

If you just want to find out what it is, you could also use the Computer Vision Demo page and not upload to iNat, so no need to delete anything later. Of course, that means you’re relying on CV only without suggestions from the community.


If you haven’t seen that organism, you shouldn’t upload it under your account, tell your friend it’s easy to register on iNat.

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“You’ll need to make an iNaturalist account and please only post your own personal observations

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Technically, you should only post your own photos. However, many of us will occasionally post a photo from a friend, with a heading something like, “Photo by Barbara Wilson, posted with permission.”

This assumes that you aren’t concerned about your life list on iNaturalist and that copyright issues won’t come up in the future.

If you find yourself wanting to post a friend’s photos more than once or twice a year, help that friend set up an account (or set it up for him/her) and help the friend figure out how to use it, or run it for him/her.


I see it is not allowed but I found this page with Observation fields and I should add these two observation fields:

  • Original observer If you’re not the person who originally made this observation, you can add their name in this field.
  • Photographer If you didn’t take the photo, you can add the name of the photographer in this field.

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