I came across a video of a presentation that @loarie gave nine years ago as part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Conservation Science Webinar Series.
Social Networks for Biodiversity Conservation: iNatural and the Global Amphibian BioBlitz (00:54:54) Recorded July 19, 2011
The first half makes a great case for how citizen science and distributed data gathering is vital to understanding how environmental changes such as the climate crisis may impact different species.
In the second half Scott talks about iNat and the Global Amphibian BioBlitz.
It’s very interesting to see how well those early hopes have been realized and how far the project has come since then. In July 2011, there was a total of 2,210 iNat users and 24,203 observations. There are now 2m+ users and nearly 50m observations across iNat.
The Global Amphibian BioBlitz aimed to observe every one of the 8,000 described amphibian species. After six weeks, it had recorded more than 1,000 observations across 575 species. Nine years later, those counts are 648,000 observations across 4,030 species. So iNat has observation data for about half of all amphibian species, and a mean of 160 observations for each of those species.
It’s definitely worth an hour’s viewing for any regular iNat user.
(Videos of all the talks in the series are at: https://training.fws.gov/topic/online-training/webinars/conservation-science.html )