Research Grade Domestic Animal

I didn’t find another topic which explained this. If there is one, please point me to it. Ok, lately I’ve been seeing lots of Research Grade observations of domestic animals such as cats, dogs, etc. I had been flagging them as captive/cultivated but now I am not sure. Shouldn’t just selecting Domestic Cat make it casual? What am I missing here?


Domestic cats and other domesticated animals often escape and live on their own, breeding, and creating wild populations. So they have to be to marked as captive, when appropriate, in order for the observation to be casual.


Thank you! Makes more sense now.


In many situations they do get automatically marked as captive by iNaturalist:

The system will vote that the observation is not wild/naturalized if there are at least 10 other observations of a genus or lower in the smallest county-, state-, or country-equivalent place that contains this observation and 80% or more of those observations have been marked as not wild/naturalized.

But some will slip through, and not everyone knows they should mark their pets as “not wild”. :)


I typically only mark it captive if indoors. I’ve seen wild rottwieiler populations before, so I probably don’t tick the box as often as most people there.


You should uncheck those you marked, and leave a comment asking the author if it was a pet, it’s really a frustrating thing to find out someone marked your cats captive while they weren’t and as you don’t have any notifications it can be hidden from you forever.


I didn’t think about that. Thank you!

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I have actually been thinking about this, because it seems that the distinction between “domesticated” and “wild” is not really a binary. There are some animals that are clearly domesticated, some that are clearly wild, but there are a lot of animals that share features of both.

If a cat lives in an empty lot, hunts for some of its food, but also gets some food from a person that leaves food out for it, is it a feral cat, or a loosely attached domestic cat?

I think that for cats, many people would consider that a pet, because we are used to thinking of cats as pets. But think of other animals that also might get part of their food from humans: pigeons, squirrels, hummingbirds, corvids, mallard ducks…there are many wild animals that people intentionally feed. And then there are things like butterfly gardens, where people plant flowers to attract butterflies. People also construct shelters for many animals, such as birdhouses and bathouses.

I think most people would consider a bird that lives in a bird house and eats from a bird feeder to be still wild, but we might consider a feral dog that lives in a dog house and eats food left out for it to be still mostly a pet. (And when I lived in Chile, most of the feral dogs did have both houses and food/water). So is there a single criteria for what is a “wild” animal and what is not?


Human decides how and where animal moves for domestic animal, if the dog is fed and then you know it would be in 2 blocks from the house and then return in the evening it’s a pet dog, if it’s a feral cat and you feed it but it moves around how it wants and can never return, then it’s a wild cat.


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