Make captive/cultivated not automatically "no ID needed"

At this time, marking an observation “not wild” automatically removes it from the “needs ID” queue by making it “casual”. It has been suggested a number of times that those observations could be interesting to researchers, but they are also certainly interesting for the people submitting them. I suggest to make a separate category for captive organisms that does not rank the observation as “no id needed.”

I would agree a solution to this would be helpful. Currently, it must be confusing for new users, many of whom seem to be joining just to figure out what a particular houseplant or ornamental is, to have someone like me come along marking their obs as captive (welcoming them and explaining why with links of course too!) only to have their ob end up in ID no man’s land. Truth be told, I don’t know where to find other peoples’ casual obs to ID them without a taxon subscription myself ! If such users got more IDs and had more of the interactions that draw folks in perhaps that would increase overall site engagement to the benefit of the community.


Yes, I’d like to see this too. All I really need is a toggle switch on the Identify page that switches “wild only” on and off. I don’t mind if it’s “on” by default. The current filter options don’t do a good job of showing me which captive/cultivated observations still need IDs.

I’d also rather see captive/cultivated observations labelled “research grade”, perhaps as a separate “research grade-not wild” category. And I don’t mind if those are again set to off by default in observation searches.


I think this can be dealt with by better messaging and onboarding. I also think theres’ a fundamental issue in that to many people, any non-human organism is “nature” but that’s a larger issue.

To me this seems like the best solution for those who are interested in non-wild organisms. I personally have no interest in looking at observations of non-wild organisms and I think iNat’s focus should be on wild organisms but I understand the use of non-wild data and the confusion this difference may cause for newer users.

I think the bigger problem is the term “Research Grade” and the implications is has. We’ve discussed various different schema but I’m not sure any of them are improvements…Anyway that should a discussion in a more broader, non-feature request topic.


Because I don’t think iNat will make non-wild organisms appear in the Identify page by default, I’ve made an issue for adding a “Wild only” button (or something to that effect) and will close this request. This way, anyone interested in identifying non-wild organisms can easily hit that toggle.

Changing data quality labels and definitions is, I think a broader topic.


Just an update, we’ve changed Identify filters so that if you click on “Captive” “Needs ID” becomes unchecked and “Casual” is automatically checked.


So this should make it simpler for those who want to ID captive organisms specifically.


Those filters don’t seem to be “sticky”, though. :(
You have to select them each time.
It’d be nice if they could be a personal setting.

[edit: oops, I was just checking new/unread posts. I see that’s been addresses here and elsewhere. Never mind]

You can bookmark your standard Identify parameters, eg


Yes. Please make captive cultivated vs. wild a different category from needs ID vs. ID’d, and make those categories not interact.


I don’t feel this feature request was really solved because there’s still no way to pull up a set of captive plants which would be “needs ID” if they weren’t captive. The captive checkbox shows you them all, regardless of how many IDs they already have.


It seems to me unfair and wrong that well-made, with date and place, observations of cultivated plants (and domestic / captured animals) fall into the same category as “defective” observations with no marked locations or dates. Moreover, the latter dilute the observations of “cultural” species, making it difficult to use them as such.

So I propose to divide the “gray” observations into two different categories: cultured / captured (making them a “blue zone”, for example) and “unfinished” (leaving them in a gray zone). It seems to me that it is easy to do this automatically for the entire available massif of observations.


A specific instance of this being an issue for me was moving to a new home. The property has a wide variety of cultivated plants which I would like to ID as I’m unfamiliar with them.

Just because it was obviously cultivated at some point doesn’t mean the current observer knows what it is :p

Perhaps a selectable check-box (e.g. ‘Needs ID’) when/after uploading a cultivated observation can indicate the observer needs assistance with identification. This might also increase the identification of pest species or assumed cultivations that are in fact wild.


One more reason: A highly knowledgeable friend is posting lovely photo of plants from his extensive travels, many of them unusual, some from gardens. They’re a great resource, but they’re less available and less likely to have the ID confirmed because they’re “casual,” lumped in with observations that lack locations, dates, or sometimes photos.


A couple of thoughts for your situation…

Try using the Computer Vision suggestions to ID such cultivated plants. I do that. But, then once I know; I do not usually bother to upload and share the observation.

PictureThis is an app you can pay for that is specifically intended for IDing horticultural and garden plants. This was recommended to me by a docent at a botanical garden. I am told it is quite good. But, I don’t want to spend the money, so I am usually happy enough with iNat’s Computer Vision suggestions.


iNat has the advantage, that my exotic, or invasive alien is YOUR cherished wildflower

It would be good if iNat would give people a way to choose cultivated plants that need ID. And in tandem the option for others to NOT SEE those.


Ironically, iNat used to work that way… ie you had a flag you set called “Needs ID”, regardless of the captive/cultivated status. At some stage they decided to make Needs ID automatic for wild observations, which I totally understand the need for, but their implementation of that has inadvertantly meant we can no longer have Needs ID for cultivated… a frustrating change to the system…


I found this site by looking for an ID to cultivated plants. Of course i didnt know this place was for wild nature researches mostly and i marked the observations cultivated. You know what, i didnt get ID for most of them (still i have no ID for most) and it wasnt encouraging. Later on i saw if i dont mark cultivated, they get ID fast, then i was marking but it isnt a good thing (now i know :) ). So i went to another sites to get an answers.

I stayed here later on just because of the beauty of the organisms (wild or cultivated), interests of the way of people to them and to learn the common names of species (many reason etc.). I see so many people come and go with same reason of mine. Some get attached by chance some not. I believe if cultivated plants get IDed more in short time, newbees will be addicted more by organisms and nature.

Why did i tell this? Cultivated/captured organisms might not do much for researches but it can be good to get attention of people to organisms and to website. More attention can lead people to find more wild organisms while they stay around. When they stay around more, they can learn more without noticing and be addicted on nature. So, in short time it can look waste of time/effort etc, but in long run it can help researches and nature more and more.

Think like a kids asking simple questions at first (like what is this), when answers/attentions directed to right point, they can help more. That’s a win/win. But if only wild things will happily be accepted and rest will be on side only, then it should be written as a banner/motto kind on top around iNat saying like “where you will be amazed/enjoy of wild nature” or “welcome to researches of wild nature” etc. where people immediately can spot and know if they are on wrong place or not.

Frankly, i hope casuals can have “ID needs”, but cant say much from the view of researcher/IDer (:eye::deer:) :)


I’ve recently become interested in pest species like aphids and galls. Many of these need an ID of the host to get a good ID for the pest, but if you post a cultivated plant nobody will see it or ID it. I know they can find it if they want, but they just won’t. Quickly someone marks it as cultivated and it’s quietly ignored indefinitely.

I think the Casual tag should be applied at the same step as the RQ tag, when it has a confirmed ID (or it is marked Cannot Be Improved), before that just list the observations with everything else that needs ID. I know that will mean a lot of zoo animals get listed for ID, but most of those can get two IDs in minutes then go away from the general search.

In my opinion this would help a lot with building interest in iNat and keeping users. I see first time users regularly that post a few garden plants, that never get an ID because they are Casual and they never come back. Maybe they would have lost interest after a day or two anyway, but hiding their posts from the general user makes people feel ignored and certainly discourages people from coming back. Making new users feel included is important to retaining those new users, it’s one of the reasons I like to add IDs to neglected parts of the world.

TLDR; Lots of a hard to ID wild species are associated with cultivated species. Motivating the iNat user base to ID those cultivated species will have a direct impact on positively IDing their wild associations.