How has your nature knowledge advanced since using iNat?

:heart_eyes: Steven :bangbang:

Have you seen the iNaturalist video about mothing that was released today?

You might enjoy it and find it relatable. It might even give you some ideas for new mothing adventures! :butterfly: :earth_africa: :heart:

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I’ve gotten really good at ID’ing local fauna, flora is still a challenge

I’ve gotten even better at ID’ing insects to family if not genus

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Excellent point, and I agree. That’s why I used “everything” in quotes- because we are not really finding every relevant thing, or only relevant things, or only accurate things, just everything that the algorithms are directing us toward, in the manner you suggest. So being skilled at searching is often not enough. Alas.

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Opened entirely new areas. Also it kept me interested in connecting with nature. I’m an introvert with no interest in going out, but at least now, when I go out and connect with nature, I have something else to do, like gamifying my experience when I go out. :D

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Rambling a bit more to answer the question further, since iNat has helped me develop my nature knowledge in a lot of ways, really. I mentioned iNaturalist’s Life List before, but want to mention again that it’s really a great tool for learning about species and their taxonomical relationships, I also sometimes will look at other folks lists, esp if they live nearby to see what else people are finding and add things as new target species to go out looking for, but also just to marvel at the things other people find.

Others had mentioned projects with ids and references, I’ve used those too, for me I’ve looked at them for moths a lot, the location based projects that collect some group of species are super handy for learning about what’s out there.

I’ve learned to keep an eye out and research to find promising habitat and learn about habitats I’m visiting, looking up what local observations look like, and if I’m looking for something, finding areas to explore where there’s observations. I don’t always do this, but when I remember it’s great. (eBird is good here too, tbh).

At one point I was switching jobs so I took a month off to visit Costa Rica, third trip to CR. I went there planning to get as many iNat observations as I could, esp. insects and birds, but also I started branching into plants then. I read The New Neotropical Companion in prep, for the big iNaturalist trip, which I highly recommend, it’s a great overview of the habitats, flora, wildlife, etc. with a lot of current science and lots of discussion of biomes, ecology, etc. I learned a ton of things that I then saw once I hit the ground and it helped me find species, for example the book mentioned that Pieridae butterflies go after horse and cow urine, and when I was on the ground I spotted some stables I found a bunch of new Pierid species for me. It’s perfect for iNat users visiting the Neotropics, really.

And a last thing, I’ve gotten more interested in biogeography as a result of iNat use, and also have learned a lot pf practical things about biogeography by using iNat. Now I want to visit the Wallace Line so I can get observations on both sides.

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