Notifications for Data Quality Changes

Apologies if this has been addressed already, but I haven’t been able to find discussion of it yet. Is there a way to get notifications when someone changes the data quality of one of my observations (i.e. marks it as “not wild”, or “Community Taxon cannot be improved”)?

I ask because a lot of my observations are of preserved specimens marked with the location and date of original capture, and some well-meaning but misinformed users frequently go through and mark bunches of them as “not wild” to kick them back to Casual grade. Presumably they see that the photo is of the specimen after it’s dead, and they assume that means the observation doesn’t meet the standard for “wild”. What’s frustrating is that I don’t get notified when someone does this, so I’ve gone for months wondering why my observations aren’t getting attention, only to find that they were downgraded to Casual without my knowledge. It happens enough that I’ve started trying to find a way to get notified so I can vote it back to “wild”, but so far no luck. Is this a feature that exists somewhere? Thanks!


I don’t think this type of notification exists, but I would suggest giving a preemptive thumbs up to your observation in the DQA which will keep it in Needs ID (at least vs. one downvote) and also lets IDers know that it is truly wild.


I don’t think there are notifications for this.

Some things you can consider (if you haven’t already):

I try to always comment when I add a DQA vote that will impact Casual vs Verifiable status, but I think I’m in the minority from what I can tell. I would vote for a feature request to have DQA votes notify observers. I can’t remember if one exists already.


In 2019 iNat staff said they were about to start a major overhaul of the notifications system. The forum had a thread about notifications people would like to see, including notifications about data quality changes, among other things. The thread also asked us not to make feature requests regarding notifications, just to add our ideas to the thread. However the programmers must have found themselves unable to meet this goal, because no changes were made to the notification system and @tiwane fairly recently told me the project isn’t being worked on. So in light of that, perhaps we should go back to making feature requests—probably they will go nowhere, but it might help prove a point. I think we all can agree a more robust notification system would greatly enhance the site’s usability, especially for those of us with a lot of observations or identifications.


Why can I only give one “like” to this? A better notification system would really make the site much more productive for both experienced and novice users.


Now if only I were able to donate a few million dollars to iNaturalist and insist it be used on notification reprogramming!

edit: Actually if staff could name a number I bet we could crowd fund it.


Reminds me of the guy who donated to fund development of Mastodon on the condition that each posting was called a “toot”.

But seriously, I can see some appetite for crowd-funded functionality improvements. Not totally sure it would pay for enough developer time, but…

While we lack management tools for notifications. And in this case lack a notification.

Make yourself a copypasta to add as a Note to each preserved obs. Make life easier for good? intentioned identifiers who engage with your obs. We find work arounds while we ‘wait’.


This would indeed be a very nice feature, but as far as I know there’s no way to do it currently.

My work-around has just been to set up an identify URL for my own casual observations,bookmark it, and check through it every month or two.
This one should do it for your observations:

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I hope this feature is added sometime in the future. It is really frustrating when someone marks an observation of mine as ‘not wild’ without even commenting!

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Why did they?

I do if it is obviously captive or cultivated. Unless the observer has spelt out - feral cat, or garden volunteer NOT planted. And I don’t leave a comment, unless I am unsure - then I query ‘garden plant?’ and only annotate if the observer replies ‘Yes’

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