Temporary limitations on places and taxon changes April 27-May 9

Similar to the last couple of years, we’re limiting certain kinds of activities during the City Nature Challenge to minimize disruptive events. The limitations are identical to last year and this content is cross-posted from the blog.

In preparation for increased iNaturalist activity during the upcoming City Nature Challenge, iNaturalist will implement some temporary changes. From April 27 to May 9, we will temporarily restrict some types of content on iNaturalist that are more intensive. Most users will not notice these changes because they do not directly impact observations, identifications, comments, or projects. However, for anyone planning to use the features below, we want to give advance notice so you can plan and prepare accordingly.

Large places cannot be created or edited
Starting on April 27, any new or edited places must contain fewer than 10,000 observations and be smaller than roughly the size of West Virginia (~24,000 square miles or 62,361 square km). If you try to add or edit a place above these thresholds, it will give you a warning message.

All places added or edited during this time may experience extended times to reflect the edits or collect all of the observations. If you can delay adding or editing places, please do so.

“Search external providers” disabled
If you enter a taxon name that can’t be found in iNaturalist, normally you can “Search external providers”. This feature will be temporarily disabled to prevent the addition of new taxa that cannot be curated during this time period (see below).

Taxon changes & ancestry edits paused (applicable for curators only)
No taxon changes or edits to taxon ancestry (including grafting taxa) can be implemented starting April 26. If you try to do this, you’ll get a message that such changes are temporarily unavailable. You can still draft taxon changes and save them to be committed after the restriction.

These temporary limitations will be in place through May 9, which includes the observation period of the City Nature Challenge as well as the upload/identification period.

Other activities that are not restricted but should be deferred if possible:
-csv uploads: If you are uploading a csv of observations, expect considerable delays. Do not attempt the same upload more than once.
-csv data downloads: If you are trying to download a csv of observations, expect considerable delays. Do not attempt the same download more than once.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we prepare for this busy time of year.