Submitting observations without photographic or audio evidence

I wish to submit a complete account of a bioblitz.
Some of the observations are easy to identify, but tricky to photograph or record.
Fieldfare for example.
Is it possible to submit an observation without backing it up with media?

Yes, it is possible, but such observations rarely make it to research grade.

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Without media it will always stay casual, you can choose that option to upload with no file in uploader. So, it’s better to record something, fieldfares from my own experience are easy to photograph/record just with smartphone, and easy to id if at least something is visible on photo.


You can use illustrations as evidence of presence if you want.

@redgannet: see this FAQ and various existing topics about this:

Yes, iNat is community focused and emphasizes the need for evidence the community can evaluate. Without media evidence, observations can only be casual grade.

When it comes to birds, it’s best to record sounds if you can’t photograph them.

They must be field sketches of the individual organism being observed. Not illustrations made after the fact.


Dang it. I saw some Redheads a few years back but didn’t get a photo. I guess I can’t use an drawing then, huh?

Is there a bar for illustration quality, for example would more stick-figurish illustrations of observations like in this news story be sufficient?

@That_Bug_Guy Correct, illustrations not done in person/at the time of observation would not count as evidence.

@vreinkymov There isn’t a bar to upload them, but the community can decide on whether any illustrations are strong evidence by adding identifications just like with other observations. So a stick figure drawing without key characters would likely not lead to an RG observation, though it could perhaps be IDed to something more general (Bird, frog, etc.). All depends on the specific drawing.


I guess we don’t specifically say they have to be contemporaneous in the Curator Guide:

An additional note regarding drawings: drawings are ok because, like photos, they can show visual evidence of the individual organism observed. If you don’t think the drawing was of the observed organism (e.g. it’s just a drawing of the species, not of an individual), talk to the observer and ask them to clarify what their drawing depicts.

I’d personally be skeptical of something from memory, though.

The memory was vivid, but I understand your perspective. I’ll keep what you said in mind going toward. Thanks!

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