Easy way to mark multiple-species observations

It doesn’t need any more IDs now. @lotteryd might know a few other users you can @ tag in cases like this rather than post on the forum. This user was last active pretty recently, so more IDs will make it more difficult to “restore” if they do remove the second photo.

edit: thanks :)


Thanks – actually a list of people up for moving multispecies IDs would be super useful.


Well, if you bring to Life and write something about multiple species being in the photos (my text is just “variable species per photo”), people who watch via urls like
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?order_by=updated_at&lrank=stateofmatter&per_page=100 are likely to pick up on it in due course without having to call them in.

Re “due course”, if it’s a recent obs I like to wait around a week since the first alert to the observer about it being problematic, before adding the second Life and/or Can’t Improve labels. That gives the person some chance to fix it up before it gets filed in Casual. Unfortunately if they do tidy the photos and don’t say anything about it, there’s no easy way to notice the update and go pull it out of Casual state (and the user may not know how to unCasual it themselves)…

If it’s an older obs and the user seems not to be active, I will add the second mark pretty directly once I see it.


I’m mainly concerned with bringing in IDs to get it to a coarse rank, so I’m not sure that URL fits my use case. For example, the observation I previously posted was identified to subspecies by a number of users and my ID alone didn’t make it budge. :/

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Oh sorry, I didn’t see the original obs and misunderstood! If you are on the iNat Discord ( https://discord.gg/uskv2yx ) there is a section #work-party where you can call for help on specific obs. See what was doable just yesterday on this one thanks to the team there https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5387518


Well the problem of not addressing the issue is: “Multiple species observations”, (as well as “lomography masterpieces” - blurry shots of … something), will clog the system in the long term. These two types of observations, will accumulate in the higher taxonomic ranks. It will therefore become more and more difficult to search trough all “need ID” observations of, lets say Diptera of Wisconsin (let alone insects of the US), in order to catch old good, but never fully identified observations. This means we need a way to get these two types of observations out of the way into “casual”.

On the other hand i was planing to improve my observations, by including at least one shot of the habitat or of the host plant etc… And i think it would be great if more people could do this. … i do however not want these improved observations to go “casual” for being “multiple species observations”. And obviously habitat or host plant pictures are not necessarily useful within the taxon’s photo gallery either.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to go the other way: make people choose a “primary evidence” for their observation (either photo or sound recording). The “primary evidence” photo of an observation goes into the taxon’s photo gallery only, and the organism on the “primary evidence” (whether photo or sound recording) is to be identified … additional photos or sound recordings can be of help (e.g. details, habitats), but might be ignored if they seem unrelated (e.g. multiple species).
Following a transition period, “primary evidence” could be automatically set to the first photo of old observations, where users did not choose one manually. This would make “multiple species observations” orphaned by their users useful. And would enable a cleanup of higher ranks without restricting the users rights.

Once a blurry or multi-spp observation has been languishing at a low level taxa (like Plantae or Aves or Life) for a suitable period of time, perhaps a year, just mark them “as good as ID can get” and they will go casual.

Regarding “context or habitat photos”, as long as your subject is “in the shot” they are fine. If you have concerns, load the image and then put an image tag in your description using the address of the uploaded image, and then delete the image.


Excluding all multiple species observations from all taxon pages would be a simple and efficient solution. Don’t attempt to do to much with observations that are not compliant with iNaturalist principles.

If you ever need to break a multi-vote RG obs due to it being multi-species, tag me.


Oh right I thought I offered up earlier in the thread, but maybe not- feel free to tag me in too!


Can I suggest that those being tagged in for such purposes, to treat it as a “2nd opinion” scenario. In other words, don’t just do what the tagger asks you to do, but look at the observations and judge for yourself what the right action is. It might seem like common sense, but surprising often I see people agreeing/responding blindly.

I know I’m tagging the right people when they occasionally respond with “sorry, can’t be sure on that one”


Good advice- I hope people are used to my “best I can do at my level” as I am happy to add weight but at a coarser level than they might be hoping for. ;)


Y’all can tag me as well.
I ID to most specific common taxon whether Life or Diptera or whatever, and vote “cannot be improved” once RG is gone.