Some near-threatened species obs being obscured, others aren't

Some NT species obs are being automatically obscured and others are not. I’m guessing this is a bug… or is there another explanation?

One example of a obscured obs:

And an example of a not obscured one:


If you check the Status tab of the taxon page, you can view the taxon geoprivacy settings. In your second example it’s been set to open rather than obscured.

If you see something that you think should be obscured, but isn’t (or vice versa), then please go ahead and flag it for curation.


Oh… I’m sorry, I thought that all species in the red list were obscured. Learned something today… Thank you.


No worries! Definitely a common question!


@draposo79 - the site has no official policy or guidelines on which species are to be obscured or not. Until I believe 2018, the site centrally updated species that were on the IUCN global Red List, but they’ve stopped doing that with the exception of mammals, so any updates from IUCN after that are no longer being automatically implemented.

Effectively, with the exception of Canada, any curator can choose to obscure (or unobscure) any taxa. There are some points in the curator guide in the section related to geoprivacy which is found here :

'iNaturalist initially obscured the locations of all taxa with an IUCN equivalent status of Near Threatened or “worse”. However, in situations these species are thought to be in very little danger from exploitation or damage due to the public’s knowledge of the location of these species, curators are advised to change the taxon geoprivacy value associated with the conservation status from “obscured” to “open”

‘Obviously, this is a gray area so if you feel compelled to un-obscure a threatened species be prepared to support why you are doing this. Why is the species not likely to be exploited by the public?, why is it of value to have the exact location accessible to the public?, etc.’

The issue is these are interpreted differently by different curators, leading to inconsistent application.

There is a broader discussion about this topic here :

You can if so desire and have time on your hands (the lucky amongst us may not fall into this category right now, some like me have far too much of it). Starting at message 80 there is a proposal for standardizing this which may be of interest for you to comment on :


Closing since it’s working as intended. See other discussions linked above and use flags to raise the issue about modifying taxon geoprivacy settings for individual species.