Inspiration for projects on a bigger scale

I am now working at a 60-hectare botanic garden here in a university in Malaysia. I am familiar with using iNat. Now I’d like to explore and perhaps, get inspired by successful stories from using iNat. What more can I do than just present data on biodiversity surveys through citizen science projects?

I recall some success stories of discovering/rediscovering new species and some even presented the data on a political level (i think). So yeah, I just would love to hear more stories of these to be inspired and a wee bit motivated to host programmes and share knowledge of this botanic garden to students and folks around.

Cheers!

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Insect, gastropod, and fungal diversity is understudied around the world, but particularly in tropical regions, so there’s a pretty high chance you’d be able to find a number of undescribed species in a garden that size.

The difficulty is then finding someone able to formally describe them, but if you’re associated with a university, you’ll have a better chance with that.

For some inspiration:
iNat’s mycological superstar, @alan_rockefeller is constantly discovering new species of fungi, here’s a little piece NPR did about it:
https://www.ualrpublicradio.org/2022-09-22/with-so-many-undiscovered-mushrooms-citizen-scientists-find-new-species-all-the-time

A couple of young inatters discovered a new scorpion species from an inat post: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-california-teens-discovered-two-new-scorpion-species-180980827/

You can also take a look at the 5000+ observations of currently undescribed plant gall inducing organisms we’ve documented on iNat so far: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?lrank=genus&place_id=any&subview=table&verifiable=any&field:Gallformers%20Code=

And this project, which collects some of the currently undescribed taxa: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/undescribed-species-on-inaturalist-umbrella?tab=observations

And of course, there are thousands of species that have been described, but are currently “lost” - possibly extinct, but more likely just overlooked and poorly documented.

If you can get some of the researchers at your university involved in surveying the biodiversity there, you’re bound to find some good stuff!

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These are fantastic! Thank you so much.

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