Sensitive datas & open geolocation

Hi, i wanted to talk a bit about geoprivacy and sensitive datas
In France (at least, but i guess for others coutries too), exact locations of vulnerable species are kept hidden, except for environnemental managers (Natural parcs, Reserves etc.).

Inaturalist allows anyone to know the exact locations, which can become a problem in terms of protection of the species, especialy in popular spots.

I think it might be a good thing, to automatically turn the location into “hidden” if a taxon categorized VU, EN, CR is determined.

Any opinion about it ?

Hi Kelian and welcome to the forum :)

This is already exactly what happens with iNaturalist. Any taxa with a conservation status of near threatened or above have their true location randomly scrambled into a roughly 0.2 x 0.2 degree box (which ends up to be around 400km^2).

The only time this obscuration gets turned off is if the threatened species in question is threatened by processes such as climate change (i.e. nothing related to poaching, collection etc).

Taxa can also be set to get obscured upon upload even if they don’t have a conservation status, if the threat of poaching/collection is very high. Similarly, any user can manually obscure the locations of any of their observations if they feel the need to


Thank you for your welcome and your answer.

I didn’t know it was already existed for international stakes and that’s already a good point.
But in most of the case i have do deal with local stakes as :

A taxon is Least Concern in my country (according to UICN), but Critically Endangered in my region (according to UICN France)

So, their geolocation isn’t obscure because they are LC for the international but does the system works also for regional UICN list ?

In cases like this, observations of this taxon will be obscured if observed in the region where it’s CR, and won’t be where it’s LC. However, this will only work if the taxon in question is marked as CR for that region on iNat. All taxa have to have conservation statuses manually added in iNat


Ok, sounds kinda logical. Any way to help adding conservation statuses ? I see a lot of taxons without it when i look at their descriptive sheet > state, but no way to add it


You’ll need to flag the taxa in question on iNat, and then a curator can add the statuses for you


I manually obscure my observations of certain species. But if I don’t, I guess it would be visible

Depends on the species, most endangered species are automatically obscured, unless they aren’t threatened by any sort of human interaction.


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