The idea is that there are very few extinct in the wild animals that have been documented on iNaturalist when they still existed in the wild (examples being spix’s macaw and the Hawaiian crow) so would it be appropriate for creatures that can only be found in captivity be eligible for such if that is the only place they live in?
Well, if they’re not wild they’re not wild, data on their current distribution should already be known to those interested, so there’s no additional point to get them to RG.
The iNaturalist definition of Research Grade includes the requirement of the record being “Wild”. However, non-wild data is of inestimable value in research and is certainly research grade to researchers if it has a date, accurate locality and can be identified. For instance, “what are the most common trees in urban areas?” will involve mainly planted records for most cities in the world, especially those in grasslands, deserts and shrublands which dont have many trees, so the iNat casual observations will be the focus of such a study.
However, restoration attempts where species have been reintroduced into reserves or wild areas, would qualify for Research Grade on iNaturalist, should natural recruitment occur, although they will remain Extinct in the Wild - by IUCN definition - for at least three generations after such introductions.
Specifically to answer your question: post them as captive and they will be Casual: the records are still available to researchers - they just have to remember to include captive records in their downloads (although it does mean that they cannot download the data via GBIF, because these Casual records are not transferred to other databases).
Fait point, my idea only stems from the fact the likelihood of seeing one in the wild is nonexistent
I appreciate the long response, this is my first forum post so I’m not trying to present any requested changes, just something I’d been thinking about
Why would they be? Wild is a requirement for Research Grade, why would Extinct in the Wild species be any different?
You’re not really contributing to any research by documenting them, either. Nearly all Extinct in the Wild species are heavily managed with things like studybooks and SSPs, meaning that every individual is known about and kept track of by conservationists.
Not true: we are using iNaturalist to track these for research purposes in restoration projects in the Cape. So they do count.
If you need to track them they’re not really in captivity, are they?
This is about deliberate revegatation projects for extinct in the wild. To record when the newly returned plants are spreading from their seeds and becoming truly wild once more.
Moraea villosa on Rondebosch Common was almost extinct in the wild, now reintroduced and establishing a new population.
Yes, there are rare cases in which you may encounter “Extinct in the Wild” species in the wild. (I would argue that means they aren’t REALLY Extinct in the Wild). But that doesn’t mean all Extinct in the Wild organisms should be eligible for Research Grade. In fact it would cause much more harm than good, making it appear that the species is much more widespread and doing better than it actually is.
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