iNaturalist and Wikipedia

Having edited Wikipedia for a few years now, I can help out any new users from iNaturalist that wish to edit on Wikipedia. You can leave a message at my talk page on English Wikipedia.


Based on what I’ve heard, the mods over at Wikipedia can make it a bit difficult when making pages for new species. From what I’ve seen on iNat so far, it seems like this isn’t a problem, is it?

They shouldn’t–by longstanding consensus, individual species are presumed to meet the general notability guileline by virtue of their initial scientific description and subsequent secondary sources mentioning the species.


The only issue for taxa should be that there should be some documentation of of statements. That also prevents, or helps prevent, issues where there were edit wars between taxonomists who wouldn’t cite their materials. Unless it’s an admin who doesn’t actually read their own guidelines, there shouldn’t be an issue with creating taxon pages that way.

That said, I’ve encountered a couple hiccups on getting blatantly misidentified photos moved on the related Wikmedia. Generally this has been fairly smooth as well, but there’s a long-standing appeal to have some debris-bearing larva no longer have file names indicating them to be Chrysoperla carnea. Those may just need to have new renaming requests entered or may just need a second voice…

Hi jonathan142, are those misidentified images still present on WikiMedia Commons? There are three larval images that I see, but they appear to be correctly labeled.

Should anyone have questions about Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons etc) that don’t belong in this thread or you don’t feel comfortable posting here, I am sure all of the following (myself included) would be happy to help if you DM us:

We’re active in both communities and always happy to lend a hand navigating policies and best practices on wiki.


On Wikidata is the a preferred or proper way on a taxa page to indicate the article in which a species is described?

On the page for the article itself, I assume the has subject qualifier could be used, but how about for the reverse?


The work where a taxon was described can be entered as its own Wikidata item and then any relevant statements in the Wikidata record for the taxon can be ascribed to that as a source.

It looks like Property P5326 (publication in which this taxon name was established) gives you a specific way to make that link.

You would probably also want to use that work as the source for the taxon name property (P225).


Hi Jonathan, thanks for sending me the link of the two files in question with incorrect/mis-identified names. I resubmitted the request template and they have both been renamed now based on the information that you provided on the talk page.

A post was split to a new topic: Creating places and linking to Wikidata

I wish we can consistently link back to iNat from wikipedia. I know the “Taxon identifiers” (taxonbar) has an automated link to the iNat taxon ID, e.g. 4631 for Magnificent_frigatebird. But few readers can find that easily. So I have been adding iNat to the “External links”, where there are often (but not always) links to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, IUCN, etc. I use this markup: {{inaturalist taxon|4631}}.

Hmm, most editors will delete those since it’s already in the taxonbar (that’s what the taxonbar is for, to make a bunch of external links to helpful websites more compact).

Doesn’t the taxonbar read dynamically from Wikidata ? I’m not sure if you can manually update the contents (to be clear not meant to say you cant, saying I don’t know), but if you add the identifier iNaturalist taxon ID, which is P3151 then the taxonbar will automatically pick that up, as I just tested with a species which had a taxonbar but the Wikidata element was not there.

The links in the taxonbar do come automatically from Wikidata, but you can also manually edit the taxonbar:

The template Peter’s referring is separate from the taxonbar and it creates a little standardized link with text:

{{inaturalist taxon|4631}}


Citizen science observations for Magnificent frigatebird at iNaturalist


Please read the conversation on the closed flag as background and advise as to what my process should be. A brief summary:

  • I spot a problem with an About page and flag the taxon to try to make it visible because I don’t have time to do a Wikipedia edit that meets my exacting standards.
  • A curator closes the the flag without action because they don’t have time to do a Wikipedia edit that meets their exacting standard.
  • The resolved flag remains on the books, but the likelihood that it gets actually resolved is now near nil.

How can we improve on this clearly broken process? I’d like it to go into someone’s queue. I need some low-effort way of doing that, and feel others do, too.

A post was split to a new topic: Hylesia nigricans in Mexico?

It’s not the role of an iNaturalist curator to do other tasks on other websites, so even though I am an active Wikipedia editor I kind of take issue with this. Wikipedia is freely editable by anyone, not just curators - maybe it would be better to bring it up on the article’s Talk page or relevant WikiProject, or to add it to your to do list for future consideration when you have more time to make the edits.


Putting what I put in the flag in the Talk page seems reasonable on the face of it, but I fear that will have such low visibility to the iNat community that nobody will find it again and deal with it. And if the iNat community doesn’t later find it and follow up on it, it seems less likely anyone else will.

Putting it in my own to-do list is a guaranteed way to lose it forever. ;)

I resolve issues brought up on Wikipedia Talk pages all the time. :+1:


Hmm … OK, so how about:

Ways to help improve iNaturalist taxon pages through Wikipedia

  • A good way to quickly note an issue you’ve spotted with a Wikipedia taxon page (if you’re not going to update the page directly, which is preferable when you can) is to add a note to its Talk page.