Questions Regarding Casual Observations

I have a few questions about casual observations. Is it useful to post them (i.e. do they contribute to the CV?). I’ve been holding off on posting any, because I feel that the they will take away from actual research grade observations. Also, what’s the correct thing to do regarding escaped pets? I’ve heard many differing opinions on this, and I feel iNat is split on it. Should they be marked as captive (and be marked casual as a result)? I feel like they can still be useful to researchers and so list them as wild.I apologize if any of these have been asked, and feel free to point me to any similar topics. Thanks for any responses!

You can check numerous older topics on the points of uploading casual observations, it’s completely up to you to do that, sometimes they’re useful to know the host for wild species or the origin of escaped specimens, and of course if you lack date, but know the location, it’s a nice greyed out observation, same with photoless ones, but if you consider what to spend your time on observing, wild specimens will always win.

Escaped animals are of course wild by iNat definitions.

To question about cv:


I think people are relatively split on posting captive things knowingly. And I think it is partially because people use iNaturalist for different reasons and take different things from it. I prefer to upload wild things but do captive things when I feel like doing that. Earlier I uploaded closeups of a captive tomato plant because I’m particularly intrigued by some of the details on them. It was just for me. Maybe somebody else will find it cool, maybe not. It was for me, though.

Some stuff is just for fun. Some people get really wound up about observations of humans or of not-living things, because the site isn’t technically for them, but it can be just for fun. Like this observation:, or like this one:

I’ve had human observations flagged as spam or people get cranky about it, which I get, but again, it can be just for fun. Sometimes I just feel like doing stuff for fun but sometimes people just don’t do that. Up to you.


Yes, if the former pets are now free to choose their own location, they can be marked wild. If they are still in a location where they were recently released by a human or something (like someone just dumped a goldfish in a tiny backyard pond or something), marking captive is probably better.


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