What are your iNat goals for 2021 and did you succeed in your 2020 goals?

Branch off feed from two topics posted at the end of last year. What organism do you want to see and iNat goals.. I still remember my top targets for 2020, 18 species overall. I successfully got my Harris’s Sparrow, Columbia Spotted Frog, and Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog. Ironic, I see the 3 hardest out of my list 18. Anyway, this is my 2021 list of 18 animals I want to see.

Birds: White-headed Woodpecker, Snow Bunting and Mountain Quail
Mammals: North American River Otter, Bobcat and American Pika
Reptiles: Southern Alligator Lizard, Pygmy Short-horned Lizard and Desert Nightsnake
Amphibians: Rough-skinned Newt, Coastal Giant Salamander and Northern Red-legged Frog
Fish: Bull Trout, Coho Salmon and Chinook Salmon
Insects: Melanoplus elkhornese, Melanoplus repetinus and Notable Apote

In physical goals for iNat I hope to get:

  • Reach 2,000 species in my life list; had a surplus of 400 this year so how hard would 800 be?
  • Reach 10th spot in most species observed in Oregon; only 102 to go!
  • Reach 10th spot in most species observed in Idaho; 109 to go.
  • Photograph all of the undescribed species of Steiroxys thanks to iNat observers.
  • Photograph all of the Idaho endemic Melanoplus species to add first ever photos.

What do you plan on doing this next 365 days?


It is hard to set goals with COVID still going on. It sure derailed my 2020 plans! I did meet one 2020 goal, though, which was to visit Sequoia National Park and see the giant sequoias. As always when I go to a new nature place, I added new lifer wildflowers. I write the date and place of life-list sighting in the margin of my Peterson wildflower guide; I am always happy when I tick off the last species remaining on a page.

Does it count as an iNat goal to say that I want to avoid making any observations of SARS-CoV-2?


2021 will be my first full year on iNaturalist. I joined in January, and really got into it once the pandemic started and I bought a camera.

As for goals…one of my favorite things about iNaturalist is serendipity. Often, in the process of doing something else, I have learned about types of life that to me were just kind of “there”. To me, before joining iNaturalist, lichen was just kind of a scum that was barely alive! And now I actively appreciate the diversity and role of lichen. So who knows what new things I will learn about in 2021, probably by accident!

Covid-19 also puts a damper on any definitive plans. There are places 20 miles away that I would really like to visit…but can’t, until the pandemic is under more control.

Before iNaturalist, I liked to visit places to see ecosystems and natural features. iNaturalist just shifted that to paying a lot more attention to speciments, rather than places. But I still put a big emphasis on places. Within the past three months, I have gotten over 1500 observations, all within a 20 mile radius of my home. I am looking forward to getting even boring normal observations from places a bit further away!


i wanted to have a full year observation streak. twice i was so debilitated by monthly headaches that i did not do anything for the day. ill keep trying

with the new list feature, im starting to look over things im missing that i can observe nearby and have been getting that done


2020 threw me for a loop, not just because of quarantine but also for other personal reasons. I didn’t achieve my stated goals, but I did grow and change and learn (and survive…) so it’s all good.

I’m going to focus on learning and observing species from NJ. Let’s set some arbitrary, probably overly-optimistic goals, shall we…


  • Observe 20 new species of bird
  • Add 3 new mammals to my life list
  • Add 3 new herps to my life list
  • Add any RG fish ob
  • Observe 50 new arthropods
  • Observe 150 new plant species


  • Learn to reliably ID 75 additional plant species
  • Add another 150k IDs

iNat community:

  • run at least one successful ID-a-thon
  • run ID workshops throughout the year
  • meet ten iNat friends in person
  • convert at least two new active iNatters

And on top of all that, planning on taking a second try at starting college in the fall. I’ll only be 24 by then… smh life has a way of going in unexpected directions.


My goals are the same since 2014 - and I intend to continue it for the rest of my life :-)
Make a photo-book with 100 new and identified animal species (dead/ larva/ evidence doesn’t count).
It doesn’t sound like much, but it has kept me busy the last years.

And no, this year I didn’t make it, I’m at 63… So it will be a book with 60 new and 40 better photos than before. Still, I am surprised that I still found so many new ones, not having been able to move outside my hometown - so all within walking distance.

Of course, it will get more difficult each year. Options are:

  • new camera ( last year I bought a new brigde with 60x zoom, so had the opportunity to take photos of little birds)
    next possibilities are macro lens (Raynox) and/ or watertight camera
  • travel more, even extend the radius to 100 km would help, or 1 month holiday farther away
  • finally start learning about “difficult” species: bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, flies, moths…
  • change sampling method, which so far was only chance encounter, e.g. set up different kinds of traps

I know this varies due to location, but Covid actually was actually more beneficial to me than a hinderance in terms of going iNating. I’m somewhere between 1-7 bird species short of my all-time year record. The reason for the uncertainty is because 2016 was my “best” year but I was young, naïve teenage birder who would rather have the species on the list instead of confirming it actually was. Anyway, the only reason this year was so good for me without extensive travel (like 2016) is because places that are normally crowded by the hundreds are suddenly empty making them perfect bird havens. In a social and family perspective, this was horrible year but in terms of finding the unique organisms, this was the best year I’ve had yet.


I hopped around a few plant identification services before I found myself on iNaturalist in like March. I really enjoyed the fact that you can post a lot more than just plants, so I settled here. This place got me into fungi, arthropods, and birds to a degree.

My goals are mostly related to fungi. I have a few species I’d like to eat, and a lot more that I’d just like to document. I’ve found a single white morel, ate it. It was delicious. I found chicken of the woods twice, neither of which were actually edible in the state they were in, so I still feel like I haven’t accomplished that goal. I’ve found some other edible and/or medicinal mushrooms, but I didn’t touch them because I wasn’t confident in my identification at the time.

I also want more oaks, conifers, poplars, and other trees. Also I’d like to find Atlantic poison oak for some reason.


My goals for 2020 were maybe more modest than some of the others in the thread but I had them anyway:

  1. to keep iNatting and not fall out of the habit of it
  2. to make 500 observations as with last year
  3. to reach 500 species/taxon leafs, especially through plants

I feel like I did a decent job at attempting these accomplishments. For next year I think I’ll just aim for another 500, try to get more involved in IDing and hope that circumstances have changed enough that I can pursue non-iNaturalist life goals.


In terms of 2020 goals, I just got into iNaturalist less than four months ago. I initially just wanted to have my observations be identified. Those goals were easily achieved. Then another goal during this year was to get into a specific taxa. This was achieved via Biston betularia, and now I am attempting to diversify into different taxa of the tribe Bistonini. This latter goal is a bit more difficult and ongoing, as by the time I log on, several of these taxa are already identified by several people per observation. For the remaining time left of 2020, I am attempting to learn and identify the higher taxonomic classifications of Fungi and Plants.

Moving on to 2021, I hope to keep learning about the Tribe Bistonini, as well as other taxonomies of other organisms. Depending on the available time, I hope to learn a little bit more about all of the different types of organisms on iNaturalist.

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i had no real goals for 2020, though i have done plenty in the past year that would probably end up exceeding any goals i would have made, despite spending the year in one place and cancelling plans.
might not be realistic, but i’d really like to
get out of the U.S.
see something that makes so confused i can only upload it as “state of matter: life”
make observations somewhere that’s not new england

and i’m really looking forward to another year of hopper uploads. southwestern friends, please look out for hoppers!


I didn’t particularly have any goals for 2020, but I would say that this year has been a success in general. 881 out of my total 1082 observations have been this year. I have been immersing myself with more and more new species, families, and nature in general that I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed without iNat. Got some lifers that I really wanted to get this year, seeing how common they are for other people(still an amateur when it comes to… just about everything though, including herping. Lol!) Also got more familiar with my surroundings in general- what species live here? What habitats could I find them in? What should be my next target? are questions that I try to ask myself- but typically forget once I’m “in the zone” in the field, so I just end up taking photos of literally every new thing I come across, while also searching for the species that I am targeting. A lot of that 881 still needs identifying, if anybody’s bored.

As for 2021, my goals are to visit places I have never been before, be a better photographer, get a microscope so I can take decent pictures of the small things in our world(looking at you, moss), and get at least 20 different lifers in terms of amphibians and reptiles. Really going to try and give my heart out for a copperhead, I can never find any, no matter where I go even though they aren’t necessarily rare. Also hoping to potentially get more versed with other naturalists, herpers, etc. My other big lifers that I want to see include gopher tortoises, green salamander, cave salamander, pearl river map turtle, rough greensnake, any hognose and rattlesnake, scarlet kingsnake, more Lithobates sp, and several different salamander species both in MS, and southwest Virginia. Probably gonna have to be messaging a few people for a couple of these species… but overall I think 2021 will be a great year, hopefully better than 2020 in general.


My goal for 2020 was simply to find as many new taxa as 2019. I succeeded. In 2021 I wish to do a thorough inventory of an easily reached trail, although this will not be finished in 2021. If I can get mothing worked into this inventory, I should easily beat my 2020 record.

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My goals for 2020 were pretty open-ended. I joined iNat at the end of June as a way of focussing on doing stuff I enjoy in a world full of stressful things clamouring for my attention. It’s mostly worked - at least when I’m not annoying friends and family by hanging out on the deck at midnight photographing moths. Wandering around looking at birds, bugs and flowers is kind of my default state and has been since I learned to walk. iNat provides a way to structure it in ways that help me learn new things and my goals are pretty much about that. It was a desire to learn about bumblebees that got me to sign on initially and I still want to learn more about them. Lichens are a new interest, entirely as a consequence of iNaturalist. Finding and identifying some of the more straightforward lichen species is something I want to do in 2021 as is learning the higher order classifications. I also want to scan a bunch of old slides from different places around the world and post them on iNat.

So pretty laid back as objectives go. I’m more interested in the excuse for looking at bugs than I am in stacking up stats.


I have thought of a 2021 goal. Instead of just focusing on going through “needs ID” observations and providing the ones I can, I will use the “explore” function more, to see taxa in the Dominican Republic that have already been IDed – this way, I can hopefully learn more taxa myself.

On that note – anyone know of good info for distinguishing different anole species?


I’ve realised that my online-job makes me fat and lazy, so I’ve decided to work against it: doing a one-year-animal-streak! Of course preferably of different species, but we’ll see how it goes. ;-)

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