Is iNaturalist the worlds largest community of naturalists?


Is iNaturalist the worlds largest community of naturalists ?

Currently it has approximately 1.739 million observers , (ebird has 0.698 million)

Would GBIF qualify as a community ?

is there any other forum / community that id dedicated to nature observations.

Context - am creating a project and wanted to help new users join and wanted to use this line
"Share with the worlds largest community of naturalists"

so wanted to fact check as I can’t see this info anywhere



Second tag line

“learn from the best, share with the rest”


Seems like a reasonable title, yes. I don’t think GBIF is a larger community. Unless you’d say that a library is a community of all the authors featured in it.



If you use that line then you need to insert an apostrophe in world’s.


thank you yes will make that correction :-)

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Welcome to the Forum! And good advice.

@boobook48 , welcome to the forum :-)

While making an identification, I used Bugguide - it seems to have a lot of observations. Does anyone know how big it is?

Found this 45k is kinda low in comparison knowing how often it’s used, but probably the need of “good” photos drives many people away


Thanks for that. I actually don’t know my way around that site except to id moths. And, yeah, I’ve heard it’s not the most welcoming place.


Ebird may have a higher number of users, I’m not sure, though it’s certainly less broad


they have .069 million (exact 698,196) users compared to 1.7 million (exact number 1,740,344) on inaturalist.

Considering that ebird is focused on one group - albeit a popular group , it is an awesome number.

They also have, consistently, been doing a multitude of events in many many places. Workshops, seasonal “Big something or great something events”, and country specific “units”


In India these are the two biggest online platforms
First is the India Biodiversity Portal - 16600 users (inaturalist India has 16,914 users)

The second is multiple websites under the broad banner of Bioatlas of India

However this is a closed network - users are not visible to each other and there is no way for a user to interact with other users or edit their submissions, or even see their own submissions in one shot. Only thing is that the information is available publically.

Apart from these there are multiple list serve type / google group places but many are not “open” information sources.

There are many other platforms/communities that share some similarities with iNaturalist, especially if you consider some Reddit or Facebook groups dedicated to naturalist-y topics. Many years ago I started a list, but it has been a few years now since I’ve made any effort to update it. If anyone wants to update it, you should have the edit power. and iSpot are the two most like iNat in their global, all-taxa scope.


I am in this FB group. 16K members
Indigenous flowering plants of Southern Africa

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While the 1.7 million number is technically accurate, it is a little selective in my mind. It represents every person who has ever used the site in roughly 10 years, with a significant number of those folks having used it once and then never returned.

A more true measure is likely the active users, which hover around 300k a month.

You can find this and other metrics of actual active site usage here


Thank you

300K is still a lot of users, And Am guessing rhe same “number ratio” may be true for other sites as well.

I could not find similar data for ebird.


Yes, it is true, it is by far the largest and the best, professional portal of this type.

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