Genus photo is of a captive individual

It seems unusual that a genus photo is of a captive creature? IDK what you call the photo that represents the species on iNat? There a 132 observations of the genus in a natural setting.
Should I report this? If so, how?
Also, how are representative photos chosen, please?

As long as it is a representative photo of the organism, I don’t see how this is a problem. Captiveness is important for distribution maps, but not so much for describing the genus, imho.


The “primary taxon image” can be chosen, and changed, by anybody. Just scroll down the page a little, look to the right, click “Curation” and select “Edit Photos”. Have fun :)


First photo should be a good one, showing what this taxon is about, no matter if it’s in captivity or not, unless it’s in abusive circumstances, etc.


Agreed. I don’t think a taxon photo of a captive individual should be reported or anything. There’s no rule against this, and in some cases a photo of a captive individual may be the best one.

The taxon photos can be set manually, but the primary concern for the taxon photos is if they represent the taxon well, not whether they are captive or wild individuals.

If there’s a great photo of a wild individual, that’s excellent, and switching to that photo may be a good choice. But I wouldn’t swap in a lower quality, less representative photo of a wild individual for a better photo of a captive one based solely on the wild/captive status.


The taxon photo (genus photo is appropriate in your case) is chosen based on its portrayal of the creature in focus. Usually it’s a full-body view showing some of the most important details for identification. Whether the individual photographed was captive or wild doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a good representative for the taxon. I believe any user can choose a default taxon photo, so you could change it if you really wanted to, just be sure to pick one that represents the genus well. I’m just curious, which genus in particular are you referring to?


Oh my, heady possibilities! :-)

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Thank you, very clearly explained.
I noticed it because I’m identifying birds seen at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh (for my own life list).
I also have not figured out how to search for captive observations by location. (I get the captive part, but when I try to filter by “National Aviary,” nothing comes up in the search box, even though it was an option for location when I uploaded. Perplexed.
Thanks for your interest.

I’d be very unlikely to change any photo, not viewing myself as qualified to say what best represents any taxon. I’m a happy generalist, seeking a broad understanding of my own region, with no specialist qualifications.


you just described 95%+ iNat members!

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