Download observations with plant-pollinator interactions?

I’m a grad student working on a project on plant-pollinator interactions, and I’m having trouble downloading the exact observation data I need. I need the following fields for all research-grade observations in the US in 2019:

  • Observation location
  • Observation date
  • Pollinator species
  • Nectar plant species
  • Nectar plant status (native, naturalized exotic, native cultivar, or exotic cultivar)

Is it even possible to get all these fields? I know there are some projects that specifically ask for the nectar plant field, but the ones I’ve found are state-specific, and I’m hoping to aggregate data from all of the US if possible. I’m moderately tech savvy, but know literally nothing about coding and the like, so if it involves any of that, I’d appreciate a nudge in the right direction!

Thanks in advance for any pointers!

Are you an inat user yourself? When you download data and want observation fields thr list presented to you is comprised of the ones you personally have most recently used. So you need to use on either your own or do it on someone else’s records the fields you want, then they are in the list on the download screen.

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Can you be more specific about the data you need? While some people record inter-species interactions using Observation Fields, each observation is focused on one organism at a time and this metadata is not usually recorded. You can add those fields yourself if you wish, but that may require a significant time investment.
Also, there are 11 million observations of Angiospermae in the USA, and 13.6 million of Animalia. You may want to consider narrowing the scope of your project (by taxa or by region) unless you have the ability to process such large numbers of records, and that’s just iNat and not all the other resources available. In addition to that, while you can use the iNaturalist API to request existing data, I’m pretty sure there are limits on speed and volume.


The easiest way to find records that have the observation field filled in is to find 1 record with it, then on the observation field title, just click on it and a menu will come up with options which include find all observations using this field.

That will then generate a list of all the records with it populated. How to download it is a little opaque, but click the filters button and there is a download link there.

That takes you to a screen where you can set up the download. Down near the bottom is where you specify which if any observation fields you want. As I noted above, there is no way to choose here which of the thousands there are to download. The list presented to you is comprised of the fields you most recently have added data to. On the screenprint below those must be the most recent 34 observation fields I have personally used to add data, no idea if it is always 34 though.

Technically it is pretty easy to do, no code to generate a download etc, all clicking of buttons. The biggest challenge you will face is there is there are many variations of observation fields, they are not standardized at all.

You can review and search all the fields that exist here :

For example there are 2 pages of different fields alone with the name ‘pollinator’ in them :✓&q=pollinator&commit=Search

Clicking any of the links also is a short cut to finding all the records, you can just open the first link and use the trick I described above.


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