Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), on iNaturalist, some statistics

Here are the countries listed according to the area per observer for Lepidoptera. That means, the countries at the top of the list would need our attention the most! (mid October 2019). Values are given in square kilometers per observer on iNaturalist. I apologise for the German notation of numbers: 1.234,99 means 1,234.99. Countries and areas taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_area. I am not sure how useful the low values are, because there are mostly tiny countries at the end of the list…

Niger (no records at all on iNat)
Somalia 637.657
Libya 439.885
Mauritania 343.567
Afghanistan 326.115
Sudan 265.926
Yemen 263.984
Chad 183.429
Greenland (Denmark) 154.720
Saudi Arabia 134.356
Mali 124.019
Turkmenistan 122.025
Eritrea 117.600
South Sudan 107.388
Central African Republic 88.998
Uzbekistan 74.567
Western Sahara 66.500
Mongolia 65.171
Congo 65.135
North Korea 60.270
Kazakhstan 53.429
Angola 49.868
Iran 44.546
Algeria 44.106
Pakistan 35.276
Iraq 33.717
Guinea 30.732
Liberia 27.842
Burkina Faso 27.422
Ethiopia 26.293
Egypt 23.868
Syria 23.148
Republic of the Congo 22.800
Nigeria 21.994
Ivory Coast 18.968
Tunisia 16.361
Oman 14.738
Zambia 14.473
Gabon 14.088
Russia 13.453
China 13.348
Papua New Guinea 13.224
Botswana 13.221
Myanmar 12.529
Cameroon 12.512
Falkland Islands (United Kingdom) 12.173
Mozambique 11.617
Djibouti 11.600
Kyrgyzstan 9.998
Namibia 9.490
Burundi 9.278
Tajikistan 8.944
Venezuela 7.969
Zimbabwe 7.515
Guinea-Bissau 7.225
Togo 7.098
Senegal 6.557
Sierra Leone 5.978
Paraguay 5.895
Guyana 5.810
Morocco 5.513
Bangladesh 5.466
Azerbaijan* 5.094
Ghana 4.677
Tanzania 4.458
Suriname 4.311
Moldova 4.231
Belarus 3.992
Argentina 3.927
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom) 3.903
Brazil 3.728
Malawi 3.703
Equatorial Guinea 3.506
United States Minor Outlying Islands 3.480
Laos 3.335
Kenya 3.120
Ukraine 2.874
Madagascar 2.836
Australia 2.821
Lesotho 2.760
Benin 2.669
Jordan 2.628
Uruguay 2.554
Indonesia 2.504
Uganda 2.323
Finland 2.239
Chile 2.237
East Timor 2.131
Peru 2.021
Solomon Islands 1.926
Turkey* 1.916
Comoros 1.862
Iceland 1.835
India 1.704
Bolivia 1.698
Kuwait 1.620
Qatar 1.448
Latvia 1.396
Haiti 1.388
Cambodia 1.293
Rwanda 1.197
Serbia 1.174
United Arab Emirates 1.161
Vietnam 1.158
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.003
Romania 977
Poland 959
Nepal 950
Norway 936
Estonia 925
Cuba 923
Bulgaria 910
Thailand 895
Sweden 829
Armenia 826
Kiribati 811
Nicaragua 805
Vanuatu 762
Georgia 758
South Africa 752
Philippines 748
New Caledonia (France) 714
North Macedonia 714
The Gambia 706
Faroe Islands (Denmark) 697
Eswatini 668
Canada 660
Albania 542
Hungary 529
Samoa 474
Kosovo 436
Cape Verde 403
South Korea 398
Sri Lanka 386
Lebanon 373
Colombia 370
Guatemala 365
Lithuania 353
Brunei 339
Japan 337
Fiji 332
Slovakia 325
Bhutan 310
Northern Cyprus 305
Spain* 240
Federated States of Micronesia 234
Malaysia 223
Greece 219
French Polynesia (France) 208
Dominican Republic 199
Åland Islands (Finland) 198
El Salvador 197
Montenegro 195
Ireland 193
Mexico 188
The Bahamas 179
Germany 176
Cyprus 168
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom) 154
Honduras 149
Wallis and Futuna (France) 142
Croatia 140
Mauritius 136
Jamaica 131
New Zealand 124
Ecuador 121
Portugal 116
Austria 115
Israel 113
Belize 103
France* 94
Tonga 93
Czech Republic 93
Slovenia 93
Panama 90
United States 81
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 78
São Tomé and Príncipe 74
Italy 73
Bahrain 71
U.S. Virgin Islands (United States) 69
Seychelles 65
Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom) 63
Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France) 61
Marshall Islands 60
British Indian Ocean Territory (United Kingdom) 60
Palau 57
Switzerland 50
Bonaire (Netherlands) 49
Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) 47
Curaçao (Netherlands) 40
Netherlands* 40
Dominica 36
Isle of Man (United Kingdom) 36
Trinidad and Tobago 34
Maldives 33
American Samoa (United States) 33
United Kingdom* 30
Antigua and Barbuda 29
Niue (New Zealand) 29
Costa Rica 28
Christmas Island (Australia) 27
Denmark* 26
Montserrat (United Kingdom) 26
Andorra 23
Northern Mariana Islands (United States) 23
Puerto Rico (United States) 22
Saint Barthélemy (France) 21
Belgium 20
Saint Lucia 19
Saint Martin (France) 18
Saint Kitts and Nevis 17
Grenada 17
Barbados 14
Taiwan 14
Cook Islands (New Zealand) 14
Anguilla (United Kingdom) 13
Liechtenstein 11
Malta 10
Aruba (Netherlands) 9,5
Luxembourg 9,2
Cayman Islands (United Kingdom) 9,1
Bermuda (United Kingdom) 9,0
Norfolk Island (Australia) 9,0
British Virgin Islands (United Kingdom) 8,4
Akrotiri and Dhekelia (United Kingdom) 7,7
Sint Eustatius (Netherlands) 7,0
San Marino 6,8
Jersey (United Kingdom) 4,6
Guam (United States) 4,5
Sint Maarten (Netherlands) 4,3
Guernsey (United Kingdom) 4,1
Hong Kong (China) 1,2
Singapore 1,1
Monaco 0,7
Gibraltar (United Kingdom) 0,5
Vatican City 0,4
Macau (China) 0,4

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Seems astounding that Niger doesn’t have a single butterfly observation! It’s a pretty big country too

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Here is a list of Chinese provinces (plus Taiwan) according to area per observer. Same as above. The values for Tibet and Inner Mongolia are completely wrong, because I cannot get the exact outline of Tibet, just a rectangle, and that includes parts of India, Nepal etc. Area of provinces taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_China

以下是根据每个观察者的区域列出的中国省份(加上台湾)的列表。 同上 西藏的价值是完全错误的,因为我无法获得确切的西藏轮廓,只是一个矩形,包括印度,尼泊尔和其他地方的部分地区。

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (no records at all on iNat)
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 166.040
Qinghai Province 120.200
Gansu Province 64.900
Heilongjiang Province 56.750
Shanxi Province 31.260
Liaoning Province 20.843
Henan Province 18.556
Jilin Province 15.617
Sichuan Province 10.104
Shaanxi Province 8.939
Hunan Province 8.750
Shandong Province 8.544
Hubei Province 7.746
Guizhou Province 7.652
Jiangxi Province 7.261
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 6.536
Hebei Province 6.055
Anhui Province 5.821
Chongqing Municipality 5.487
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 4.291
Yunnan Province 3.487
Fujian Province 2.888
Tibet Autonomous Region 2.642
Jiangsu Province 1.739
Hainan Province 1.700
Tianjin Municipality 1.615
Zhejiang Province 1.478
Guangdong Province 1.132
Beijing Municipality 255
Shanghai Municipality 80
Taiwan Province 14
Macau Special Administrative Region 1,8
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 0,5

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Here is a list of Russian federal subjects according to area per observer. Same as above. Area of subjects taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_subjects_of_Russia

Вот список субъектов Российской Федерации по районам на одного наблюдателя. То же, что и выше. Область предметов, взятых из https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_subjects_of_Russia

Jewish Autonomous Oblast (no records)
Ingushetia, Republic of (no records)
Sakha (Yakutia) Republic 387.900
Khabarovsk Krai 262.867
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug 245.900
Magadan Oblast 230.700
Nenets Autonomous Okrug 176.700
Tyumen Oblast 143.520
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug 125.050
Krasnoyarsk Krai 111.414
Zabaykalsky Krai 86.300
Arkhangelsk Oblast 58.740
Tuva Republic 56.833
Komi Republic 51.988
Amur Oblast 40.411
Kalmykia, Republic of 38.050
Kamchatka Krai 36.331
Tomsk Oblast 35.211
Irkutsk Oblast 26.479
Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Yugra 26.155
Saratov Oblast 25.050
Oryol Oblast 24.700
Orenburg Oblast 20.667
Omsk Oblast 19.957
Buryatia, Republic of 19.517
Vologda Oblast 18.213
Kirov Oblast 15.100
Murmansk Oblast 13.173
Khakassia, Republic of 12.380
Udmurt Republic 10.525
Dagestan, Republic of 10.060
Sakhalin Oblast 9.678
Perm Krai 8.453
North Ossetia-Alania, Republic of 8.000
Kurgan Oblast 7.889
Karelia, Republic of 7.836
Ulyanovsk Oblast 7.460
Stavropol Krai 7.389
Kemerovo Oblast 7.346
Penza Oblast 7.200
Volgograd Oblast 6.700
Mordovia, Republic of 6.550
Novosibirsk Oblast 5.748
Primorsky Krai 5.721
Kostroma Oblast 5.464
Rostov Oblast 5.305
Chelyabinsk Oblast 5.171
Chechen Republic 5.100
Sverdlovsk Oblast 4.870
Smolensk Oblast 4.527
Pskov Oblast 4.254
Astrakhan Oblast 4.009
Novgorod Oblast 3.950
Tambov Oblast 3.811
Altai Republic 3.307
Lipetsk Oblast 3.013
Ivanovo Oblast 2.725
Altai Krai 2.642
Tver Oblast 2.474
Voronezh Oblast 2.382
Samara Oblast 2.330
Belgorod Oblast 2.085
Kursk Oblast 1.987
Bryansk Oblast 1.939
Yaroslavl Oblast 1.916
Bashkortostan, Republic of 1.818
Ryazan Oblast 1.722
Kaluga Oblast 1.661
Leningrad Oblast 1.594
Karachay-Cherkess Republic 1.567
Tatarstan, Republic of 1.511
Tula Oblast 1.428
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast 1.148
Kabardino-Balkar Republic 1.042
Vladimir Oblast 879
Krasnodar Krai 864
Kaliningrad Oblast 839
Adygea, Republic of 760
Chuvash Republic 631
Mari El Republic 516
Crimea, Republic of[d] 482
Moscow Oblast 122
Sevastopol 38
Saint Petersburg 22
Moscow 19

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… just for comparison: USA. Areas taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States (without smaller territories)

Alaska 3.149
North Dakota 803
Montana 497
South Dakota 461
Nevada 403
Wyoming 382
Idaho 288
Nebraska 282
New Mexico 243
Kansas 216
Mississippi 186
Iowa 167
Utah 157
Oklahoma 131
Oregon 123
Arizona 111
Arkansas 107
Louisiana 100
Colorado 99
Wisconsin 81
Minnesota 79
Washington 79
New York 79
Michigan 78
Alabama 75
Missouri 74
Kentucky 68
West Virginia 59
Georgia 52
South Carolina 50
Maine 49
Hawaii 47
Texas 43
Indiana 40
Illinois 39
Tennessee 35
North Carolina 24
Pennsylvania 23
Ohio 22
Florida 22
Virginia 20
California 20
New Hampshire 17
Vermont 13
Delaware 12
Rhode Island 10
Connecticut 9
Maryland 8
New Jersey 8
Massachusetts 8

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Average area per observer of Lepidoptera
(just in case you are wondering where you should travel for “new discoveries”)

Here are the above values shown on the world map. Red indicates >100,000 square km per observer. Pink indicates 20,000-100,000 square km per observer and yellow indicates 10,000-20,000 square km per observer.

here are Russia and China in more detail (Tibet and Inner Mongolia guessed)
вот Россия и Китай более подробно (угадал Тибет и Внутренняя Монголия)
这里更详细地介绍了俄罗斯和中国(猜测是西藏和内蒙古)

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The countries with over 200 square kilometers per observer are also countries where I can’t really imagine wandering around taking butterfly photos just now. But kudus to anyone who does.

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Did you just divide the area of a country by number of observers? It would be interesting if that was the effective ‘observational range’ of the observer, but I don’t know how you could calculate it

I doubt it’s the effective “observational range” of the observers, but it is an indication of which countries have a lack of iNaturalist contributors.

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yes. yust dived one by the other. it doesn’t say anything about the distribution of the observations within the country / state / province.

… yes, of course there is a reason. Most surprisingly, tourist destinations for Europeans, like Tunisia and Egypt are on the list. There must be moths there! - And in other regions, perhaps the local population could be more involved, like China or the Asian parts of Russia. - Hundred years ago, Lepidoptera collectors paid locals in central Asia to collect for them, for example in the mountains of Caucasus, Tien Shan, Pamir, Altay, but they did it to receive the dead animals, and for the hope of describing new species! - How the world changed!

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Very interesting that you were able to get down to the provincial levels in China. It feels like I’m the only observer on my island, but we do get lots of tourists, so that affects the numbers of observers. Not that anyone wants to do the work, but I bet if you could see like “100 observations or more in the province” the “URGENT” status for all the grey would explode. Not nearly enough residents are observing on a regular basis, just a lot who are passing through.

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