Way too many observations of wild organisms getting marked as captive

In my relatively short time here on INat, I have had many observations of wild/feral organisms getting marked as captive/cultivated.

For example, here are some wild rabbits that decided to hop into a zoo enclosure, and I captioned it as such. Even with this somebody decided to mark it as captive.

Another example, here Is a swiss cheese plant cutting, the location and time are of when it was collected, and yet again it was marked as captive.

Are there any ways to fix this? Or am I just stuck with these annoying observations?

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You can vote on observation page that they’re wild in DQA section, if there’re more votes for captive, you can tag someone to help, if you know observation can be misinterpreted even with caption, you can vote for “wild” right after uploading to prevent casual status.

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Thank you!

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Does seem to be fairly widespread. Seems like all my photos of Mussels and stray cats get auto-casualed. But you can click a box on the bottom part of the page called “Data Quality Assessment” to say that this organism is wild, and it should fix it.

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Yeah, I keep having this problem too, even when I specify in the notes section that it’s wild. Like an observation I made of a crepe myrtle plant the other day – no one planted it there, it’s a seedling from one of the actually captive plants the city/landscapers use for ornamentation. But even though I said it was growing wild, someone still marked it captive/cultivated.

Aaaaand for frak’s sake I just realized the same thing happened to another of my crepe myrtle observations. This one is growing back in the woods and I once again stated in the notes of the observation, “this is a wild plant”. And it still got marked captive/cultivated. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/127433767.

Yeah, this is really annoying, because it means that when plants start escaping captivity like these crepe myrtles are, it means no one’s actually paying attention to what could wind up being an actively invasive species.

Actually yeah and I just checked my other observation for the same species that was, again, a wild plant that got marked captive without me noticing. This is really aggravating, especially because we aren’t given any notification that the status of the observation has been changed.

It would be one thing if I were just uploading the observations of these plants and not leaving any note that they’re wild, or if I had a bad habit of uploading captive plants without marking them as such, but that’s not the case here. People are ignoring the notes on the observation and just automatically marking them as captive even when they aren’t.

I think a stopgap solution to this would be to give us notifications if someone marks one of our observations as captive/cultivated so that we at least have the chance to correct it quickly, and a better option would be to make sure people know that just because a species is usually captive/cultivated does not mean every single observation of that species is too.

I’ve also had issues with this when I make observations of feral cats – people assume that any observation of a domestic cat is automatically captive, when that’s not the case, especially with feral cats.

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People will be people. How many times do you come upon a picture of a predator and its prey, the observer wrote clear notes saying “The observation of the predator is at [URL]; this is for the prey” – and still you get two agreeing IDs of the predator? How often do you see a pollinator on a flower, the observer again wrote clear notes saying, “The pollinator is observed at [URL]; this is for the flower” – and still the first ID is of the pollinator?

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Your crepe myrtles are being marked cultivated by iNaturalist. I forget how it works exactly, but it takes a while to convince the automatic iNaturalist designation that it’s not necessarily right in that area. I think there may be a forum thread about this.

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I’d suggest making this clear in the notes, rather than just mentioning it is a cutting from a wild plant. It’s not immediately clear if the location and time are of the cutting or the original wild plant.

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What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. You can add all the Notes you want to explain your record but if a reviewer doesn’t read them or understand them, they aren’t much use. Sometimes it seems that reading comprehension is in decline, right along with proofreading skills.

Description is hardly visible in id tab, so it’s not a surprise it’s often overlooked, page is too cluttered.

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Yes, @nonbinary-naturalist if you check the DQA section, you can see that iNaturalist automatically marks some observations as captive if many of the observations of that species in that area are captive. This is what is happening with your Crape Myrtles:


You can read about this here:https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/why-are-some-taxa-automatically-captive-cultivated/15638

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Inspired by this, I checked my own “casual” observations. Yes, some that I specifically commented were wild had been marked “captive/cultivated.” Frustrating. I was able to turn them all back to wild, but for some I may need to recruit help in the future.

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The system doesn’t read the description when voting not wild, so if you have any reason to suspect that your observation might get automatically voted not wild, you should go ahead and vote wild yourself when you upload – it shouldn’t take much more time than putting “wild” in the description field.

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My Magnolia grandiflora sapling observations get auto-marked as captive, too.

Thanks for bringing this issue up again. I went back and checked my observations to find that two had been marked as captive even though they were clearly not. While one was just a discarded garden plant that somehow managed to get a foothold and survive the other was an invasive species that is slowly quickly making its way up the island.

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ohhhh, I didn’t know the site did that! good to know…

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Reminds me of the observations in Ignore the Elephant Seal project.

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This. Not only against the system but also as a strong signal to future human voters.

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