Is posting multiple observations of the same thing allowed?

So, there are a lot of observations on iNat, but lots of them are the same thing.

I subscribed to Red Imported Fire Ants, and when I get notified of new posts, mos-I mean, some of them are good. Others are just separate observations of the same actual observation.

And this can be annoying for an identifier, but the thing I’m wondering is, if you think about it, they’re called observations. And if you take a picture of a plant during separate observation sessions (or whatever they’re called, I am NOT an expert), I don’t care. Thing is, if you take photos of 1 observation and post the photos onto iNaturalist as separate observations…is that allowed?

I am relatively new to iNat, so I do not know if this is true or not.

In general a single observation should be for a single taxon at a unique time and date. I see the 3 links you have the photo is exactly the same and the time is exactly the same. In that case I would consider that not allowed, as the other 2 are essentially duplicates of the first. I personally think the extra 2 observations should be deleted, but only the user who uploads the observation has the power to do that. You can give a comment noting the observation duplication and wait to see how the user responds.


Flag 2 of them or mark as no evidence of organism, plus add a comment. And please don’t post links to profiles/observations.
Observation includes all pics of organism made in one day.

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In my experience (I deal with a lot of students) this happens because either the person is not aware that they can combine photos under one observation or they are using the iNat or Seek app which can have some duplication problems.

Usually this is rectified by just pointing it out to the user and gently nudging them to combine the photos or delete the extra observations.


@cmeckerman @robotpie @Marina_Gorbunova @mamestraconfigurata Thanks!

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I believe an observation should be of the same individual. It can be different views of that individual, but combined into one observation. I find this difficult with small flocks of birds who flit around. If I am unsure I leave a note, like with this recent observation - Myrtle Warbler (Subspecies Setophaga coronata coronata) from Riverview, Winnipeg, MB, Canada on April 28, 2021 at 10:49 AM by Ian Toal. I cannot guarantee these are all the same bird - there were 5 or so in a loose flock. ·

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But if the photos are all identical, there is nothing to be gained by combining them into one observation. Three identical photos provide no more information than one photo.

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Yes, so the creator should delete all but 1

Ye, that’s what I meant

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He said “creator” not “curator”.


Ah, that’s me reading at 2 a.m., sorry.


Ha-ha :laughing:

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