Record a 'negative' observation

I am running a project looking at different species and numbers of butterflies in a 'transect" walk. " A transect is a straight line that cuts through a natural landscape so that standardized observations and measurements can be made".

This is all well and good using iNat when there are indeed some butterflies to observe. HOWEVER, it is just as important to note that NO butterflies were observed on a certain day along the same transect.

Question: is there anyway we can upload a dummy entry to indicate there were no observations?


Could you upload one plant observation that day and add in the observation notes that no butterflies were seen?


take a look at …


Yes, you can create an observation with no media (photos or audio), and no suggested ID. Without media, it will make it Casual (it won’t show up in most searches) but you can still record the location and date. You can write whatever you want in the Notes section.


Wow, I literally never even knew these existed. I’m surprised at how solemnly used they are…

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oh my goodness me! thank you so much. I will take some time to read and digest, but this may be EXACTLY what i am looking for!!!

Thank you - I was thinking along similar lines…will just need to put a process around it. But TRIPS might be the answer for us. See earlier reply.

this is the kind of thinking I was going down, so yes, there are ways of cheating the system so to speak. thank you.

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If you are doing butterfly monitoring, you might consider using, which is much like It allows zeros, keeps counts, and of course effort.