I searched topics when deciding to post this. I would like to pick back up on the last comment of a closed topic…
That will be an issue any time you are near the transition zone between two biomes, and probably not a situation that iNat can be taught to recognize.
Most of my observations are from the north side of Alachua County, Florida. This is an area that has an overlap of species from Central Florida and North Florida, which are two very different biomes for many species due to the climate differences.
I haven’t been on iNat very long, but I’m already starting to see a pattern of identifications by observers well south or north of here jumping to identify a species per what they have seen in their area, even though there may be clear differences in appearance possibly due to differences in environmental conditions. I will use Erynnis baptisiae as an example. It is well documented that this species is expanding its territory, and appears differently in different locations. Unfortunately, any Erynnis observed in my area seems to get an automatic identification of Erynnis horatius even when there is an obvious difference in size and markings from what is ‘typical’.
How does iNat approach quality control for this sort of situation? I know that there is competition in any sort of human endeavor, but when a species falls through the cracks of our understanding of how it is changing due to habitat inavailability, climate, etc. because of folks jumping the gun and placing it in the incorrect taxon, or never getting it to RG because of identifiers outside of the observed area seeing it through a narrow lens, it seems like a topic that warrants attention.
How are these final ‘Research Grade’ identifications screened?