# What place has the densest amount of observations?

I think the original question is very interesting but it should probably focus on formal public destinations like parks, preserves, refuges, etc. Local yards will certainly have the highest density of observations, but that is misleading since they are heavily biased by observer “density”. For instance, my urban yard is only about 0.5 acre yet I have made something on the order of 10,500 observations here. That calculates to a ridiculous “density” of observations. Here’s a polygon which includes just my own observations around my home on Salton Drive:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?nelat=30.41817656704224&nelng=-97.75816235605183&place_id=any&subview=map&swlat=30.417540486879602&swlng=-97.76008013549747&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any

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Just curious, how many species have you found in your half acre?

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For those interested in yard projects, here’s an umbrella project hosting a selection of these (others are welcome!).

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my guess would be that a place like Hong Kong probably would have a ton of observations per square meter.

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Unfortunately, I just converted my old “Salton Drive Biodiversity Project” to a new collection project and for technical reasons lost about 3/4 of the observations.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/salton-drive-biodiversity
That project shows “763 species” but the actually number is on the order of 1,000 to 2,000 spp.

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I guess we should clarify if we use casual obs too, cause lots of Asian planted plants are not marked at all, each time you click on something near botanical garden and it’s planted and there’re 30 obs of the same species nearby, ugh, but if we do count them, it’s gonna be very dense; Taiwan should be pretty high on that list too, on the map both areas look solid red.

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I created an umbrella project for private property, but focused on a specific area and people trying to conserve and restore native habitat, not just any old backyard.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/big-thicket-private-property-umbrella

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I think this brief survey shows pretty clearly that parks of all sizes have plenty more room for observations compared to back yards. So the next logical question is, which parks need more observations? You could use this as a starting point when vacation planning.

Whenever I get ready to go out for a walk, I check the maps to find out which public areas near me have blank spots for observations and go to the closest one.

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In fact all parks need, even those that have lots of observations, always check taxa and mostly there’s a bias based on who were there, it’s either all plants or all birds.

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I guess this is fair. Also dang, that’s a lot of observations.

in case anyone wants to do a quick calculation of observation density for a place (or list of places), i made a page that can get place details, calculate the area of the place polygon stored in iNaturalist, get observation count for the place, and then figure out observation density.

just for example, this will get place density for San Francisco, Hong Kong, and DC:
https://jumear.github.io/stirfry/iNat_places.html?place_id=san-francisco-county,district-of-columbia-us,hong-kong&stats=observations,density&verifiable=true. the calculated area will include both land and water. so it will calculate San Francisco’s area as ~600 sq km, which includes ~120 sq km on land and ~480 sq km in the water. that may skew the density figure of a mostly-water place like SF vs a mostly-land place like DC, which is ~180 sq km total, with ~160 sq km on land and ~20 sq km on water.

this page might also offer a quick way to get figures like those in https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/welcome-to-the-club-new-zealand/21711/7.

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I would refine this to: I am sure that the densest observations would be the heavily visited zones of a National Park – the vicinity of the visitor center, the picnic areas, the popular day-hike trails. Meanwhile, the backcountry of that same National Park would have generally sparse observations. This would be so irrespective of climate or altitude.

Unless we’re talking about a place where a mycologist goes. It was infuriating to me to pick a county, and find nearly a dozen pages of nothing but ONE PERSON’s mushroom observations; no other users, no other taxa. I thought that was very inconsiderate – let other people have a turn.

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It’s interesting that what you describe (first part) is represented in “official” science, e.g. herbarium records can be used to show where roads are as they’re located mainly on outskirts of them. I think having iNat meetings could be a solution - multiple people looking for different things at the same place!

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A nice place with quite a lot of observations (59.014) is
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/paco-s-reserva-de-flora-y-fauna in Mexico
I had the chance to visit this place in 2015. It was amazing and Paco (francisco3) is super friendly.

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Mill Ends Park in Portland is 452 square inches. Someone could get an observation in the park and it would have a density of 14,000 observations per acre.

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The Northern tip of Keizer, Oregon, USA, if we could get more people observing photos of the various carabid, elaterid, teneb, buprestid, chrysomelid, and other beetle and insect species, as well as the plants in the parks, then we would have a LOT of species not yet observed with photos on iNat, I found Agonum belleri here. But I can’t collect them, and do not have any way to prove that I found them, as I own no good cameras, and my friend @bioedteach was not with me when I found them, so he could not take any photos either. : (
Though I have several specimens of beetles that are not yet on iNat, that I will get uploaded as soon as I can get a camera! Plus a lot of interesting colour variations, and mutations. Or just strangely deformed beetle specimens.

I would love it if there were more people in Northern Keizer, or just Keizer in general that were paying greater attention to the small things. Live traps for catch, photograph, and release (live pitfalls) are great for nocturnal beetles, spiders, and other insects that live on the ground.

At Bair Park** I have found over 150 different beetle species (not all are yet identified sadly) just from pitfall traps, using my sweep net in the tall grasses, looking under leaves and logs, and on and around decaying animals (not often though). And I know for sure that not all of them are on iNat yet for the area. I hope they will be soon so that more people will be able to know where to look if they want to observe how these species act in their natural habitats rather than in captivity. (Bair Park was once owned by the Bair family, and has barely changed, unlike the rest of the area, since the homes and other man-made structures have been built)

**If you go to this park, please do not throw rocks at the deer or squirrels if you see them. There are some kids in the area that do, and have killed multiple squirrels before. : ( Whenever the grasses there are cut by whoever works for the city, ensatinas, ferns, snakes are killed, as well as much of the habitat. I have found chopped up animals before. : ( Not happy about that.

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In Idaho, it may be Cherry Springs Nature Area in Bannock County.

It is part of the Caribou National Forest.

Here is the link to the collection pr0pject: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/cherry-springs-nature-area

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Although I document sightings on every nature venture I take, I definitely focus on my ten acres of woods. I think there is a value to having dense local data over time.

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I thought your units were off, haha! So I looked it up, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Ends_Park
I plan to visit when I’m in Portland later this month! -Jerry

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