List of observations I follow

It is possible to follow individual observations, and thus get notifications when ids or comments were added to that observation. Just like with observations I added a comment or gave an id.

Now I wanted to see the list of the observations which I follow. Unfortunately, I did not find it (if it exists at all). I found a list of observations where I added an id, however - so that could be a future work around for me (though providing coarse ids like “Magnoliopsida” for an observation with a finer id may seem confusing to some users).

Is such a list hard to implement, or does it perhaps already exist in some hidden place?

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Moved this to #general as it’s more of a question than a request. On your dashboard, clicking on the gear icon next to Subscriptions will take you to all the content you have subscribed to:

Click on Observations and you’ll be taken to which lists all observations you follow. However, going through it is pretty gnarly.


If you put in a comment on an observation, you’ll be notified when someone adds something. If you don’t have an ID or any information to add, just put “Following” or “I’d like to know” or something like that.

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@janetwright you don’t need to interact with an observation to follow it; click the “Follow” button on the top right:


@janetwright as a complement to what @sessilefielder just wrote, you will find all the currently “followed” observations by clicking “Favorites” from the menu on the top right, next to your icon, on any of your iNaturalist web pages (or on the top bar of the Profile web page).

I will add to @sessilefielder : the same button also allows you to unfollow an observation if you are already following it. Just that the option, “This observation” will have the word “unfollow” next to it.

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I don’t think we’re all talking about the same thing. The Favorites category is observations that I have “faved” because I liked them for some reason. But the initial question was about observations where I would like to follow what is said about them – the IDs and comments. I wasn’t aware of the “Follow” button before @sessilefielder pointed it out. Is that the same as or different from “faving” an observation? If it’s the same, why are both there?

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They’re different features - if you ID or comment on an observation, you’re automatically now “following” it and will get notifications of new comments and certain types of IDs depending on your account settings. You can also choose to follow an observation you haven’t yet interacted with (with that button). Like you say, faving is for when you liked something about the observation. Observations with a lot of favorites are surfaced higher in certain places throughout the website (taxon page photo browser, stats page on collection projects, you can sort by # of faves). Some people use the favorites feature as a way to bookmark observations, but it wasn’t designed for that.

some relevant discussions:


Thank you very much for the links (even though the requests do not seem to have led to any change).

Then shortly, “Follow” will allow you to get these notifications by default (which can be reduced by choosing options in the account settings).

And “Follow” will be active when you provided an ID, or a comment, or you faved, or you clicked “Follow”.

But the Favorites/star category I mentioned probably only corresponds to faved observations. If so, I was wrong equating Favorites with “Follow” in general.

Therefore to answer your initial question @bernhard_hiller I think you can only fave observations if you wish to have them in a list (the Favorites/star category).

Alternatively as mentioned above, you would need to insert comments in observations, but then you will also need to retrieve the list of the observations containing your comments.
The way I know is this URL command : (and if you wish to restrict the list to a specific text query… )

I hope this is correct !

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