Preferences in adding local conservation status

I’ve noticed when looking at rare plant data in my area that it’s common for species to have a state-level conservation status for nearby states, but not for mine, even though that information is available. I’m considering a personal effort to systematically add that status information for my state.

It looks like actually adding the conservation status can only be done by curators, is that correct? I’ve flagged one example for curation to see how that works. Thankfully I also saw this information in an earlier thread about submitting a larger batch of information.

The remaining questions I have are:

  • If there’s more than one potential authority, is one preferred over the other? (E.g. state agency list vs NatureServe? Include both in separate entries? Does it matter if they disagree or are concordant?)
  • Would I be duplicating effort or stepping on someones toes? Is this something normal, non-expert users can/should do?

I would also accept other advice/information I haven’t thought of on the best way to go about this.


Yep, just curators, site admins, and staff can edit the conservation statuses directly. (Though there are some special rules for Canada.)

I’m not sure there’s any hard rule to preference but generally there are some sort of legal/protective or at least greater recognition of state/province/national conservation statuses than NatureServe in the US. I’d personally prioritize an effort to add the state governmental statuses first, but that utility may vary depending the group of organisms or location.

And as far as selecting whether open or obscured taxon geoprivacy is appropriate for each species, there are some guidelines here.

You’ll be able to see whether someone has already entered the status on that tab on each taxon page. I can’t think of any way you’d be stepping on anyone’s toes!

Absolutely. Like almost everything about iNaturalist you don’t need to be a professional or even an expert to help contribute to the collective database of knowledge in various ways. If you think editing taxa on iNaturalist like adding conservation statuses, or other things, might be something that interests you and that you would like to do regularly, you should consider creating additional flags for issues you encounter (to learn more about how the system generally works), and then consider applying to become a curator yourself:


I got started and I have more questions :sweat_smile: If there’s a curator or user who’s familiar with using the conservation status template, I’d be happy to have someone to work with.

When is it appropriate to use “New status” vs “Status update, Add”. If I’m submitting a status for a new authority for a place that has a status for a different authority, is that an “add”? What about if there’s an existing status for another place, but not my place?

This is my working document, currently working in the New status template, but will move to updates if appropriate. Not cleaned up and has some personal working notes that wouldn’t be submitted.

These would both be new statuses in my mind, though an example or two might be helpful to confirm.

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