For example, yesterday I found a tick on me. I didn’t discover it until I was in my home. Would I record the location in my home or would I record it in the woods where I just walked? Since it likely did not crawl on me from inside my home.
I think it’s your choice.
Technically, you could argue that your home is valid because an observation is a record of an interaction between a human and nature, and you interacted with it at that location, plus you can be sure it was at that location at that point in time.
But if you’re reasonably certain it didn’t get on you at any point between leaving the woods and returning home (e.g., from a landscape plant or anything in your yard, if you have one) or had been in your home already by hitching on a trip from another time or location, then I think marking it as being from the woods is also fine.
Personally I believe that it should be marked where you got it in the woods (if your sure that’s where you got it). The reason being is because it helps people know that they are there and also it helps people doing tick research and census.
Me and my pup had deer ticks on us yesterday. I marked them where we got them.
What I’ve done in such cases is to mark the tick where I found it (e.g., at home) and then increase the radius of the “accuracy” circle to encompass where I had walked, because I don’t know exactly where it climbed on board. If you drove some distance for your walk maybe better to mark where you parked with a radius encompassing the trail.
As @deboas suggests better make a big circle that includes everywhere you walked.
Keep in mind that anyone using data on ticks from iNat is likely to be aware of “hitch-hiker” effect, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As long as how you do it has a logic to it that works for you. Myself I would make the location where I first observed it, noting in the description that it was likely picked up at X location.
There are observations of Brown Anoles and similar small tropical herps all over North America as a result of hitching a ride in flower arrangements from Florida and other areas. Making a circle that includes Florida (or we may not even know where) for an observation in Ontario doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, is this a different situation?
I would say exactly the same!
I would say, if you moved house and the anole hitched a ride in your pot plant, then yes, it’s the same situation. The anole is in the new location because you (even inadvertently) brought it there. But if you ordered a flower arrangement from Florida and it was delivered with an anole in it, I would mark the location where you found it (in Ontario, in your example), and explain what happened in the notes. These are all somewhat grey areas, but as @kiwifergus said, anyone using the data (e.g. to produce a niche model for anoles) should be aware of these limitations.
I’d mark it wherever I first noticed the organism, but note in the description where it probably came from. Movement and migration of species, including invasive species, is one of the more important aspects of documenting biodiversity, to my way of thinking. And the organism got there on its own, without deliberate human intervention.
If I found a nursery tree loaded with, say, citrus psyllids, it would hardly matter where the shipment came from - what matters is where they ended up, because they now have potential to be a serious pest in that place.
If you move it there then either location is wrong or anole is captive, as captive is described totally by people referring where the organism will be, you’ve done it unintentional, but still. So yeah, make a big circle if you stopped a lot or a circle around place where you where and think what time it was when you started traveling.
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