Sensitive species in collection projects

I just encountered an issue with my collection project and I’d like to be sure that I completely understand the situation.

I am coordinating a place-based collection project for butterflies. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/cvc-butterfly-blitz.

I made an observation of a butterfly yesterday which I originally identified as a non-sensitive species, so it was was automatically included in the project (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30482552). Then it was re-identified as a sensitive (S3) species and it no longer shows up in the project. This is somewhat annoying since it is a new species for the project, but now we won’t see the increase in species number. I’m also wondering if other participants have made observations that we aren’t seeing.

I’ve been reading this post but still have some questions: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/some-observations-dont-show-up-in-projects-is-poaching-really-the-concern/1243

Do I understand correctly that any sensitive species with location obscuring will not show up in collection projects? Or is it just that the uncertainty boundaries are outside our project boundaries? (I can’t tell since it’s my observation and it doesn’t look obscured to me)

I read that I would need to create an umbrella project that combines our collection project with another project to ensure that these sensitive species are included. But, I’m not exactly sure what it would need to be combined with. Also, it seems a bit late in the game for this year to make a new project, since we already have all kinds of people who have joined the project and it’s only running till August 24th.

I read through all the information about the different project types before choosing collector project, since it seemed to best suit our needs. There was no mention of this issue - it would have been helpful if there was, as I probably would have chosen to do it differently had I known.

Thanks.

It’s neither of those in most obscured geoprivacy cases. In most of these cases, it’s the obscuration boundary (0.2 x 0.2 degree rectangle) that, if it goes past the place boundary, will make it so that the observation does not appear within that place/project. If the accuracy/uncertainty boundary is really large or near the border of the place, it will do the same, but usually the uncertainty boundary is much larger than the accuracy boundary.

There’s a longer description in the FAQ:
https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#placeindex

and it’s mentioned on the Managing Projects page (but perhaps it could be made more prominent):

Note that observations with a large accuracy circle, or with a geoprivacy of Obscured or Private, may not appear in small Places. Here’s an explanation for why that is.

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It was suggested, as you note here, that you can make a separate project (a “traditional” one) for your sensitive species and add them in manually. Then you make an umbrella project that combines both that sensitive-species project and your original collection project, and then the umbrella one contains all the observations. I haven’t tried it, but as long as the umbrella will accept both types under it, that should give you the result you want. Doing it after the fact isn’t really a problem as the folks making observations wouldn’t have proceeded any differently if they had known. But I think you have to get them to “join” the sensitve-species project to get their observations in there.
I agree it’s awkward, but I understand the reasons for it.

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This is my understanding:

For the traditional project, they don’t neccesairly have to join that part of the project, but they do have to have the account setting that allows others to add their observations to projects. For any observation that has not automatically been added to the collection project, you manually add them to the traditional project. The coordinates may not be viewable by the project administrators if the observer hasn’t joined the project though.

This umbrella over collection/traditional project approach would best work if set up that way from the start, as you would promote the umbrella project as the “front page” of the project. You can still set it up, and put in your collection project a link to the umbrella project (maybe in the project description or in a journal post) that users could go to “see all observations from the project”. A link to the traditional project could be added “for those that want to add protected species observations”.

It is a little frustrating that you don’t get notified that an observation won’t be included in the project. The only effective way you know it hasn’t, is if you have joined the (collection) project and can’t see that project in the list of projects the observation is a part of. When you bulk upload observations, it is very easy to not notice that happening!

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