Observations Deleted?

Platform Windows 10:

Browser: Chrome

Description of problem:

On October 15th, 2022 I made a lot of observations near Kingston, WA, as seen here https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/139186858

I then uploaded all of them. Many of them were of Pseudacris regilla. Today, I could not find these observations. I would like to know what happened to them. If I volated a rule by uploading them, I would like to know what it was. I’ve seen some other similar issues such as this https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/lost-my-1st-observation-in-inat/37573 and this https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/confirmed-observations-vanished-from-my-profile/4815/2 but the solutions seem unique to each user affected.

EDIT: My bad. The animal in St. Edwards was an Ensatina, and that observation is still there. So it looks like its just the observations from Kingston that are missing.

I also observed a rough skinned newt on March 20th, 2022 and uploaded it. This observation is also missing.

how do you know that you uploaded these observations on these dates?

i imagine they have the photos stored somewhere and included in the metadata is the dates in which the photos were taken.

having photos doesn’t mean they were necessarily uploaded.

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So you uploaded all of them on the same day you made the observations? Like, you photographed a bunch of spiders and then immediately went home and uploaded them all to iNat?

Do you happen to recall when the last time you saw the observations on iNat was? Like, did you just see them yesterday and now today they’re gone? Or did you upload them back in 2022 and then move on and essentially the next time you thought about them was recently when you noticed they were gone?

I noticed the observation you linked to was uploaded via the iNaturalist Android app. Do you ever delete observations using the iNaturalist app? I’ve had problems while using the delete feature in the app before (I think I’m deleting one observation and the app deletes some other observation) and have since learned to err on the side of caution and restrict any deleting activities to the website interface.

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To clarify, I didn’t upload them on the 15th. The 15th was the date they were taken. I most likely uploaded them on the 17th because at the time I was still uploading them en masse. I haven’t looked at these observations between uploading them and wanting to use them in an educational presentation today. Thankfully I had the photos saved elsewhere, so my presentation went off without a hitch, but seeing the observations gone is worrying.

I’ve used the app to delete duplicate and blank observations before, so what @regnierda said may account for the deletions. Is there a way to see what observations “I” deleted?

you can use the iNat API via /v1/observations/deleted to see observation ids deleted since a particular date. however, since the observations don’t exist any more, observation ids probaby won’t be much help, unless you have some sort of backup of the deleted observation data.

ideally, you would have a copy of observation data for at least one of the observations you think were deleted. otherwise, it’s a lot of work for someone else to try to try to confirm and and find out when an obsservaion could have been deleted in the last year and a half. (and in that latter case, you should probably just reload your photos and call it a day.)

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Looking at the history of observations you have deleted, I’m not seeing a lot created around the same time as the one you linked to (e.g. with IDs around 139186858). I see the one you linked to was created via the Android app. Is it possible you created them in the app and didn’t upload them? I’m also not seeing any bulk deletion of observations by you except 9 observations deleted a year ago, but those were all created since 2023. So from what I can see, there are no observations uploaded to the website around that time that have since been deleted.

As @pisum said you can get a list of the IDs of observations you deleted, but that is all. We also maintain the date of deletion and for some observations the date they were created, but we do not maintain additional information for deleted observations.