I propose to replace every button / menu item / etc. that can result in the creation of a new observation with two buttons / menu items / etc.: one for wild observations, and one for other observations. When the second is selected the observation will automatically be marked “captive/cultivated”.
For example, on the Android app, there is a single green plus-sign button on the lower right side of the screen. Users press this to add new observations to iNat. This should be replaced with two buttons. One could say, “new wild observation” the other could say, “new captive/cultivated observation”. This way, users would be forced to think about the wildness of every organism they observe.
The buttons could be different colors, say green for wild and yellow for non-wild to make it easier for experienced users to select the right button at a glance. “Tool tips” for each button, that is, text that appears when the button is hovered-over, could clarify things further. These tips could include text like “when in doubt, choose wild” or “please remember that iNaturalist is primarily for documenting the occurrence of wild organisms”. Crucially, these tool tips would require no additional button-presses.
The sheer number of cultivated/captive observations that are uploaded as though they were wild is getting a little overwhelming. Hordes of freshman biology students march out dutifully onto campus grounds and assiduously document the same few landscape plantings over and over. Confused new homeowners upload everything in their inherited gardens. Botanical gardens. Lavishly landscaped public parks. Zoos.
This seems to be discouraging many users. E.g.: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/disappointing-consistent-failure-users-not-marking-observations-as-cultivated/8791
I think that the best way to stem this tide is to force every user, every time, to confront the question of an organism’s wildness by offering two distinct routes to upload. This approach avoids adding an additional step to uploading an observation, so it shouldn’t affect power-users’ workflow much, or at all. I don’t want iNat’s data to be overwhelmed by a tsunami of cultivated plants.