When you go out to observe, how much of WHERE you plan to go is based on your knowledge of an area’s reported species diversity vs a ‘this might be interesting’ type of thought?
It should be a place with no observations or as minimal as possible. If travelling, then the same, but choosing between lower and greater possible biodiversity it’s for sure nicer if it’s the latter.)
Almost always “this might be interesting”. Most of my province’s wildlife info seems to be geared towards coastal habitats, and I’m always in the hardwood trees. Of the forest species the province seems to care about they’re about 95% within the southern reaches of the province, in a conifer dominated national park out of range for me. So I’ve probably learned less than 1% of the species I know before going to a place. About 99% after.
I prefer to go to an area that I think will be species-rich. I don’t care really how much diversity has been reported there already. In fact it can be fun if it is an area where very little has been reported, and yet I know for sure I can do better than that.
Before I ever went to Randall’s Island, I could see they had hardly any common weeds in the project listings for the island, so I knew that once I crossed the footbridge over the Harlem River and got onto the grassy areas there, I would immediately find a lot of things to add to their project.
I iNat very unselectively most of the time, but when I am interested in conducting research for a particular taxon I scope out microhabitats specifically suited for that taxon.
I go to the same region every day. I’m happy to photograph anything that seems ‘other than normal’. If I was to choose a place to go, it would be a place with different species than I usually see. I’m in prairie/river area, so anything other than that I would try to go to.
Our weekly Fynbos Ramble usually has a target species. But we always find something new. Slowly working back thru my photos to get everything I have already seen on my iNat Lifelist.
I try to stay local, the closer to home the destination is, the more likely I am to hike/observe. Usually a 20-30 minute driving radius from home is ideal unless I’m doing so with friends, where it’s their choice of destination.
I usually do a mixture of discovery and seeking. Not all of my daily excursions can be planned, so I just go out and see what’s there, just to be outside. More often than not, I do find something surprising or out of the ordinary, even in a place I’ve hiked a thousand times. But when I do plan excursions, I do like to go where I’m more likely to see the greatest diversity. I’ve never used iNat to purposefully go to a place with only a few observations, but that sounds fun to me too.
I don’t go out much exactly for inatting, inatting comes to me, like I don’t go out find insect, I go, and see a wonderful insect, and think let’s photograph it. Sometimes insect flies(Most times), sometimes not.
“Nature comes where I go, unless I am in vaccum”
I love to mix the familiar (returning to the same places where I “know” particular rocks and trees and spots where I remember observing this or that) and the novel (exploring new places where I am more likely to see new-to-me diversity, often attracted by the observations of others on iNat).
When I go out into the bush to see what flowers I can find, I only photograph flowers that I can recall not having encountered before and should I photograph one that I know I have, it will only be under circumstances where I have reason to believe that plant falls outside of what I know to be its natural range, or if any part of the flower or plant exhibits unique phenotypic differences from the ‘type’ specimen and may be a unique form owing to allopatric isolation or the likes
I go to a variety of parks and greenbelts in my area. When I visit a park or natural area near me, I check in on the plants I’ve seen to see how they’re doing. Sometimes I record everything, other times just a selection; but there’s almost always something new or in some way different (like a new behavior or life stage). When I go to a new park, I photo everything I see that seems interesting, even if I’ve seen it in other places, to help record the biodiversity of my area. We have several very different habitats here and it’s interesting to see what things are common everywhere and which have a limited distribution. I also photo the invasive species of each new park, for the public record. Anecdote: I visited one park near me and recorded an invasive Lantana. The park messaged me to ask exactly where it was, so they could remove it. That made me so happy.
I don’t always pick a destination for its iNatting potential, but I iNat everywhere I go. I scuba dive and the destinations I enjoy best are places with a lot of biodiversity.
Have also had the rewarding experience via iNat. Which encourages me to keep reporting … another invasive here, thanks.
Almost all of my explorations have been from randomly pointing my car in a direction and going. I find that I don’t get disappointed if I don’t have a goal in the first place. :)
Maybe that explains your user name!
I love doing random too. It’s a little trickier these days, but the random path (so suitably appropriated as a “bug walk” in mathematical circles) is the most inspirational path because you are almost sure to be at least doubling unexpected adventure opportunities.
Mind you, it’s good to remember that not all discovery in adventures are happy ones…
This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.