Observations not adding to collection project

Seasons Greetings everyone!

I’m having an issue with a collection project I started to collect observations within the watershed of a local creek system. I created a new place using a polygon that follows the boundaries of the watershed in question (“Sligo Creek Watershed”). Then used the new place to set up the collection project:


While the project has collected several thousand observations, I discovered some recent ones of mine that have not been added, despite falling well within the geographic boundaries of the project. For example:


There also doesn’t seem to be any way to add the missing observations manually. Can someone explain why other observations (including some of mine from the same times and locations) were added but not these? What am I doing wrong?!

Thanks in advance


Any record which is obscured where any part of the obscuring boundary box falls outside the geography defined for a project will not be collected into the project.

This is intentional behaviour as a security measure to ensure people can not design projects with small geographies to try and ‘cheat’ their way to defeating the obscuring.


Thanks. But does that apply to either of the observations I mentioned? If so, I did not intentionally obscure them. Can the “obscuring” be removed? Apologies if this is a naive question!

No, the species are automatically obscured because of their conservation status. Hermit Thrush are classified as vulnerable and Merlin as Critically endangered in the state. It can not be removed from an observation, nor can the records be manually added to the project.

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Aha! Thanks for the explanation.

I understand the rationale for this, but the outcome is a bit nonsensical in this particular context. Hermit Thrush, for example, may be vulnerable as a breeding species in the state of Maryland (which is why I assume it has the “VU” designation), but it is not the breeding season, and it is a common passage migrant and winter visitor. But I guess that’s a different debate!

Thanks again for the patient explanation!

For better or worse the conservation status of birds is almost always tied to their breeding status in the geography. I could walk across the local canal where I live here in winter and not get my feet wet on the backs of ducks that are classed as threatened here in Ontario.



Unfortunately, the net result is that common species are excluded from the project, making it a whole lot less useful and interesting to local observers.

C’est la vie.

If you see a taxon that shouldn’t be obscured, go to the taxon page and click Curation, then Flag for curation, and a curator can take a look. I removed the obscuration from hermit thrush.


Weird… this one: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36827783 does not seem to be obscured to me, but it’s still not in the project.

It might be needed to edit and save the observation again (even without changing anything) to get it reindexed as part of the project. I had that happen to one of my observations (which was older than the project).

Thank you! :pray: I noticed the Hermit Thrush suddenly popped up in the project! :+1: :grin:

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