How did you discover iNaturalist?

I come across iNaturalist when looking up flora and fauna of holiday and weekend drive destinations. There were pages and pages of photos but I had no idea how were they collected.
I got the same advice from my daughter and the local native orchid society to use an app.
After some investigation I found that I can load camera photos through the iNaturalist browser interface so I joined. That was December 2021. I started identifying other people’s observations a year later.


Never heard of iSpot might have to check that out soon.

Actually, I just did a quick search and I’m not seeing anything, you?

Awesome! Amazing to hear that iNat is (or at least was) the most popular citizen science website!

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As I understand it, iSpot no longer exists as a separate entity. For instance, see this screenshot from many years ago:

Further down in that same observation are 4 observation fields:

Habitat (s Afr):

iSpot Certainty:

iSpot ID:
Senecio (Groundsel)

iSpot reference (2014-2017):

Observations with these notes and codes were migrated from iSpot, presumably when it merged with iNaturalist.

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A colleague told me about it around 2010… but it was still a bit messy so I gave up. And lost the credentials, too. (Are unused accounts deleted after a while? I hope so)
Then back at it in 2019, upon realizing that over the years it had somehow become the best ‘Identifyotron’ out there.

Oh I kind of always wondered where those confidence and reputation came from

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My twin is a botanist and occasionally uses it to find bamboo populations for which she wants to complete site visits. She told me about it when I found some sort of unusual ladybird beetles in my garden plot, and I started using it then.


just today, scrolling through blogs about moths and the author mentioned this website


Someone in Reddit compared it to real life Pokémon hunting and I was sold.

Recently became disabled and my garden is my mental health refuge. iNat became a welcome addiction while I learn how to live slower and more in the moment.


There are still a few people determined to stay on iSpot. And those (mostly old!) results come up on Google search - which is disconcerting.

Most of South Africa moved across.
But there is an Asterix and Obelix corner :rofl:

Random example since I was looking for that old name - gilva

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something with which I’m deeply familiar.
maybe check out:

iNatting / nature hikes while injured / handicapped


Many thanks for the suggest! And sorry you’re in a similar boat. I swear iNat is the light in my life right now and I’m thankful my husband is amused with my new addiction.


Hear, hear. :smile:

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It’s been years since. My physical health is fine these days. I drop things a little more than I used to, but that’s all. There’s still the fatigue from chronic stress, but that’s just being a trans person in a fascist country for you.

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I first found Seek looking for a free plant identification app. Before long I had racked up several hundred plants and insects in Seek’s species list. It was probably about 6 months before I actually posted anything to iNaturalist and another year before I started identifying things.


Came across it when looking up facts for the species Lestes congener, and was one of the first sites that came up. When I found out that it was a community science website and app, where you can upload photos AND get information on the species, I was immediately intrigued. Photography and learning about wildlife is something I’m passionate about, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve been on iNat ever since October of 2023 and so far it has been an enlightening experience.


Introduced to it by a professor in a college class. Was during the pandemic and we used for lighttrapping at home for COVID safe research/fieldwork. The more I use it the more I’ve gotten in to it.


It was an extra credit assignment for my undergraduate phycology lab course at UCSD, where we need to fill a bingo sheet with 25 algae species. I immediately fell in love with iNaturalist and kept on using it ever since.


I found it from AVNJ’s youtube channel. Previously I’d been using sporcle quizzes and old aquarium encyclopedias to further my fish knowledge, so this was a lovely upgrade. I’ve learned so much, and it has given me a way to directly contact experts on fish of all types!! So grateful to all of them for taking the time to answer my questions :)

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