I really enjoy joining projects. I horde projects I’ve joined like a magpie hordes random trinkets. I’m always looking for more to join and I’ve already found some good ones from seeing them get mentioned here on various forum threads. So to all my fellow magpies here, what are some of your favorite projects?
I’m mostly into “bugs” and things, so most of the projects I follow are focused on arthropods. Here are a couple of cool ones:
- Arthropod Ecology in Action
- Never Home Alone: The Wild Life of Homes
- First Known Photographs of Living Specimens
- Who Eats Whom?
And I’ll plug one I started recently - For the many diverse “tiny” (say under 4mm) beetles of the world - Tiny Beetles!
Never home alone and the first known photos projects are a couple of my favorites to contribute to! I’ve seen some tiny beetles recently so I may join that tiny beetle project. :)
Similar species in the same photo (syntopy) is one of my favorite projects. As the title states, the goal is to take a picture of two or more similar species (for example from the same genus).
Who could resist slimy invertebrates ( https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/land-planarians-of-the-world ) or bold raiders of hummingbird feeders ( https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sugar-robbers ) ?
The only group we need.
Geralds of the World
Great post, if only because users ~need~ to discover projects for themselves (excluding collection projects). Yes, once you know, one can do searches for projects in an interest area. But, is it a particularly good project? Hard to say. But, what would make a good “curated” list of projects?
Ones with a good intro/overview, of course.
But what other features are appreciated
Ones with informative articles?
Ones with regular analysis and summaries of submissions?
Ones with high numbers of submissions?
One with a dedicated body of identifiers?
One whose data is useful to researchers?
The one I use the most, or one that drives me, is Galls of California. Just because … .
I love projects as well. They are a great tool to get to know biodiversity in a certain area and I joined lots of specific projects exactly for this reason.
And then there are some more general, de-localized projects. Some have been mentioned already. And I just joined the tiny-beetle-project… exactly my sweetspot :-)
Others I like just for the fact of showing me the wonders of the world:
One of the most interesting ones is the Banana natural biodiversity mapping project.
Species in Trade is a great project idea, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lot engagement.
Passengers: Parasites Taking Rides is interesting.
And Found Feathers is a nice one.
For getting things identified, I like these because somebody usually responds within a few days:
Galls of North America
Leafminers of North America
Skulls and Bones
I like Geralds of the World.
Ones not mentioned yet:
I rather like:
I’m loving this Animal Architecture project. I just added a bunch of my observations to it:
For ID addicts these countries need you
Because it is close to home, interesting to learn what I take for granted, is actually newly arrived in Cape Town. I do remember Before Hadedas!
Pretty cool stuff!
Some of my favorites are geography based umbrella/collection projects like:
National Park Service for all observations in NPS areas, it’s a great way to see all the sites I’ve been to. Travelling to National Parks and observing interesting organisms are two of my biggest hobbies, so I was over the moon when I found iNat. Hoping to head to Mammoth Cave next month and Black Canyon of the Gunnison in August, and probably get a few more sites in between.
USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System for much the same reason as the NPS project, though I just recently started getting into those.
I hope someone eventually makes a similar project for the Bureau of Land Management and Forestry service areas so I can start adding my observations in those areas to a project and have a convenient place to check out what others have seen in places I’m interested in visiting.
Some other ones I like are: Megafauna of North America
Lower Hudson Prism Invasive Species to help catalogue invasives in some parks I visit often
and some that others have mentioned like Amazing Abberants and Road iNatting
“Intersex” Ducks - for ducks that exhibit the physical traits of both male and female birds. It is, of course, impossible to know if they are truly intersex without a closer examination than most of us can or would want to perform, but it’s interesting to keep track of.
Amazing Aberrants - Anything that’s unusually colored for its species.
Birds with deformed beaks - for monitoring beak deformities, often a result of avian keratin disorder - which is currently thought to be virus-caused, so monitoring its spread and frequency is important. A sad project, but a valuable one.
Bird Tracks and Signs - Exactly what it sounds like :)
Cicada Exuviae - for all the cast-off “skins” of cicadas
Fascinating Fasciation - for documenting fasciation in plants - that condition where a stem or flower head grows unusually wide and flat instead of normally.
Feral Observations of Domesticated Animals - I created this project, mostly because I got sick of people marking feral animals as “captive” when they clearly aren’t. This is both for documenting populations of ferals, and so I can easily look for “casual” observations once in a while and ask people to unmark the things they’ve downvoted. Feel free to add any ferals you find, or to help with DQA countervotes.
Found Feathers - great for getting those random feathers identified
Galls of California - Plant galls! A very active and helpful group.
Hybrids without iNat Taxa - there’s a lot of hybrids that have never been formally described, and are thus not yet eligible for having an iNat taxon. This is for keeping track of them so that if / when the day comes that they can be identified properly, they’re easy to find.
Leafminers of North America - for those little blotches and squiggles inside leaves, if you can figure out what plant species it is on, chances are good it can be identified here.
Lichenicolous Fungi of the World - A collection project for known species of fungi that parasitize lichens.
Unidentified lichenicolous fungi - traditional project for those observations that are definitely lichenicolous fungi, but haven’t been identified yet. Disclaimer: I run both of these projects, and know very little about the subject, I just find it interesting. So you may not get too much ID help, but it’s good for keeping your observations organized anyway.
MicMOSScropy - most mosses need images of microscopic features to be identifiable. This project is for any observations of mosses that actually show the features need to make them potentially identifiable.
Non-Metazoan Plant Diseases of North America - plant diseases that are not animal-caused. Fungi, viruses, etc.
Resinicolous Fungi - species of fungus that grow on tree resin
Scatology - for all your poop identification needs!
WeirdWildWonders - for those things that make you go “What kingdom is this even in?!” Perhaps you’ll find the answer here.
I just joined and sepcifically uploaded for the Feral Observations of Domesticated Animals :-) … there is so little observations of feral cats or dogs. I will upload some examples from different places
Wow lots of good ones here! I’m already in Fascinating Fasciation, WeirdWildWonders and Amazing Aberrants, so Intersex Ducks will be a great addition to my little bundle of oddity projects. I didn’t know about Lichenicolous fungi until now so I’ll have to check that one out too!