Killed prey as evidence of presence etc


So here’s my observation that illustrates the issue (WARNING: graphic images).

What’s the best practice/protocol for posting something like this as evidence/sign of a mountain lion? Or does this fall outside iNat’s observation criteria and the best option is to just have it as mule deer and then add some details/observation fields making the mountain lion connection?

Thanks for the help/advice, Colin


It is reasonable if you have enough to show that proves it’s one predator and not something else, when you can find tracks or fur, or specific signs on the carcass from claws or teeth it’s of course easier for others to agree with your id.


Agreed. This observation of a shrike’s prey comes to mind as an example.


I understand a significant minority of people filter on “not dead” to avoid gore. Since your observation is the mountain lion, it’s not dead. This would be my main concern – not sure iNat has a great solution yet.


It could be marked “Cannot Be Determined”, and people would ideally filter explicitly by “Alive”, but certainly many people will do what you described. And anyway, we can’t mark it “Cannot Be Determined” because someone else already voted it “Dead”.


I personally would copy that photo and mask the top half of one copy. (i.e., place a black rectangle over it to hide the gore) Use the masked version as photo #1 and the normal photo as #2. That’s how I’d deal with not wanting to gross someone out. Posting this twice, for both the predator and the prey, seems fine with me.


No, please don’t add any pictures to the observation that have no depiction of evidence of organism. It’s much easier to crop one shot to cut out the blood if you have a big concern for anybody who sees that, or just choose the least gory image as the first.


Posting the same pics for two observations, one for predator, one for prey, is fine. It may help to add a note in the description or comment to specify that you are identifying as a predator.

And yes, an observation for the predator would be best annotated as “Cannot be Determined”

Please do not include text warnings as pictures in observations for dead organisms. This isn’t technically allowed under iNat’s terms (all photos must include organism) and could be a problem for CV training. Cropping or taking a far away pic is the best solution here as others have noted.


Thanks for all the thoughts. It looks like there are some legitimate differences of opinion on some of this (including the discussion on the observation page), so I’m going let the community sort this one out :)

If the tracks in obs 138907514 are the same as the tracks in obs138980287, then maybe the kill photo should be posted with the tracks, otherwise it will look like 2 different puma obs.

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