Editing boundaries for an open space

I need to be able to update boundaries for national wildlife refuges as new land is acquired or removed as well as add new boundaries for newly established refuges. I know I need 50 observations to add a place, but once I achieve that is it possible to edit an open space within the iNaturalist UI? Is there a way to submit multiple kml files to upload multiple refuge boundaries? I did not create the original places so I’m not sure what level of status I need in order to manage these.


One needs to be a curator in order to edit an existing non-standard place they did not create. You can flag the places you think need to be updated and include a link to a KML, but keep in mind that editing boundaries, espeically for large places or places which include a lot of observations, is very hard on the site and can’t always be done.


One place is defined by one KML file but a single KML file can encode one polygon or multiple polygons.

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I need to update the boundaries for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System. As we acquire new land or changes to our land ownership occur the boundaries change. Users are submitting observations that aren’t being tracked by our project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/usfws-national-wildlife-refuge-system) because the boundaries aren’t up to date. Is there an easier way I can keep these updated?

Of course, just create a new place with additional territories and add it to your project.

I suppose that would work, but I’ve seen duplicates for other places and think it seems a little weird to have multiple places for what is actually the same place, maybe the boundaries are just a little different. It’s a tad confusing to me and seems messy, but maybe it’s not a big issue on iNat.

But it’s not a duplicate if there’s no boundaries for those parts? And well it doesn’t really matter, I know a region with 5 different places around it with different names and used for different projects by different people with different views, getting additional placs is ok, for regions it’s often needed to create a separate “waters of X” place as it’s not part of official boundaries, but waters are essentially belong to it. So, there’s no need to worry about that.

i don’t think it’s a great idea to create a bunch of slightly different variants of the same place, if you can avoid it.

ideally, there would be a way to transfer ownership of a place, or to specify others to that can manage a particular place. (you can make a feature request post in the forum for this kind of new functionality, if you like, but these kinds of things have not been prioritized highly historically.)

short of that, you could probably apply to be a system curator, and i think that should allow you to change boundaries, as needed.

i think there’s also a backdoor way to change boundaries by merging places, but i think that can get messy. so i don’t recommend that approach in your case.

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