What should I do if some bird species killed on purpose?

I can’t stand any dead bird post especially some goose species killed on purpose, so I deny the options in DQA. I don’t know if this action legal or not. if not, what should I do in this situation? It’s not possible for me to do nothing if my favorite bird species killed on purpose.

Thanks for reply and remaining me, I didn’t understand the guidelines due to reading disability. Unfortunately, posting hunted birds photos is legal in this site, and nothing can do (extremely hurtful to me!). And I don’t know how many incorrect DQA I voted on hunted bird post. If I stop right now, is it too late?

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Please do not misuse the DQA! That’s the worst thing you can do! Best option is to just ignore if it’s a valid observation.


I deny all the options in DQA. I don’t know if this action correct or not, if not, what should I do in this situation?

That’s absolutely the wrong thing to do, and is extremely detrimental to the site. The mods can address this better, but intentionally misusing aspects of the site is the sort of behavior that may result in being banned.

While you are perfectly justified in having opinions and feelings about what you see, as long as it’s legal behavior you do not have the right to make moral choices for others on this, or any other, site.

Best thing to do is recognize that sometimes people do things that you don’t like, but that they are allowed to do that, and move on.

Do not sabotage the site in the way you say you have been doing.


@littlegroundjay adding intentionally inaccurate DQA votes can be grounds for suspension. Also, posting observations of dead animals or even animals one has hunted is not a violation of the guidelines. See https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/community+guidelines, which covers both of those issues.

If you think the animals were poached or something illegal is going on, you can alert the proper authorities.

This seems a bit hyperbolic. Yes, the DQA should not be misused, but there are, unfortunately, many worse things one could do.


Thanks for reply and remaining me, I didn’t understand the guidelines due to reading disability. Unfortunately, posting hunted birds photos is legal in this site, and nothing I can do (extremely hurtful to me! seems like against me).
And I don’t know how many inproper DQA I voted on dead bird post (I know not too many).
If I stop right now (when I realize this action is inproper), is it too late?


It’s also worth noting that having a record of hunted animals (legal and otherwise) is a good thing as it allows tracking of this sort of activity and checking to see if what the person making the observation is doing is legal or not.

There are projects specifically set up to track and monitor poaching activity and wildlife trade, such as the Species in Trade project. It’s very important for these sorts of observations to be accurately identified and treated with the respect they deserve.

Working in biodiversity conservation I, and my colleagues, need to know what sort of hunting activities are taking place, and what specific species are in trade.

By sabotaging IDs like you have been you are actively working against your own interests and potentially making conservation and protection of these species more difficult.


What you can and may do.
What I do.

Annotate as dead - in the hopes that one day iNat will enable a personal option to ‘unsee dead obs’. That also keeps the data useful and searchable.
Mark as reviewed. (You could also skip the annotation if you prefer that way)

Feature request declined. 44 votes. 150 comments. You are not alone.

@tiwane 's response there

So we discussed this have decided not move forward with a specific way of handling observations of dead organisms or observations that include gory images. What we want to focus on instead is making better filters, including exclusion filters, in the user interface on Explore and Identify. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until Explore is rewritten. In the meantime, you can currently exclude annotations by editing the URL, see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki-part-2-of-2/18792


Is an annotation of “Dead” correct for an organism that was found alive but is dead in the image? As someone who mainly posts images of collected insect specimens, I’ve been told explicitly to not annotate them as “Dead”, if the organism was alive when observed and collected. I would imagine that a legally hunted organism is in the same category; if you shot it and took a picture right afterwards, it was still observed alive, just as a moth that I collected and dissected to identify was observed alive, despite it obviously being dead in the picture that was uploaded. I think “Dead” being used to mean “picture shows a dead organism, beware!” and “Dead” being used to indicate “this observation does not accurately represent the phenology of the organism in question, as it died prior to being observed” are two very different annotations, and my understanding is that the latter meaning is what “Dead” is supposed to indicate here. Perhaps separate annotations for “dead when observed” vs “content warning if you don’t want to see a dead thing” might be warranted.


That’s interesting. I’d mark something as dead if it was a collected insect, are we sure not doing so is a good approach? Though to be fair i add plant samples that i’ve collected (legally, as part of my job), and don’t annotate those as either alive or dead.

It depends on the location and date/time - if they represent the time and location where an organism was collected as alive, then it should be annotated as alive. So if you set your pics of dead insects at the location and time of capture when they were alive, that’s fine - I would just leave a note explaining that or preemptively annotate as alive. I think in general, the data would be more valuable done this way, but perhaps not always.

If the organism was dead at the time you found it, it should be marked dead.

If an organism is hunted, and the observation is taken at the time/location where it was killed, it could be marked as either dead or alive, whichever you prefer, I think. Again, I’d explain in the Notes/Comments though.


It sounds like you feel sad and in pain at seeing your favorite animal dead.

Sounds like you feel regret at making DQA inaccurately as revenge.

You could counter your own DQA votes or give info on your id parameters (ie Canada Goose in a specific region) so that others can help you.

You are a human with feelings and choices. It’s not too late to cease the actions that affect data quality inaccurate.


I agree, those are some good practices. I also take a different approach depending on which dead insects I’m posting. For example, if I upload a batch of my bark beetle or micro-moth specimens, I figure anyone “in the weeds” enough to be working on those IDs is used to working with preserved specimens and isn’t likely to feel the need to annotate everything as “dead”, since… of course they are, how else does one do bark beetle surveys?
But when I upload, for example, a batch of butterfly specimens, I’m sure to post a copy-paste explanation of why they should remain annotated as “alive” and “wild” despite being dead in the picture. Butterfly IDers are just more used to dealing with live photos, and I find them more likely to jump into the DQA and start trying to differentiate between live photos and specimens. It’s just a cultural difference between taxon enthusiasts, I guess.
As for a dead bird that I killed? Don’t get me wrong, I eat chicken, turkey, etc., but if I ever went bird hunting I don’t think I’d post pictures of it on iNat; it might be legal and conform with the guidelines, but it feels like it would cause more trauma than the data is worth. But to each their own- I’m sure my dead bugs are upsetting to someone out there, just like dead snakes that have been deliberately killed make me extremely upset. But it’s all data, and I think it’s good that as a site it’s all made available, even the stuff I don’t personally like to see.

But I can understand OP’s distress at seeing a beloved organism being killed. Heck, I collect and kill bug specimens for my job, but I still get really sad when someone squishes a spider for no reason, or just for fun. :(


There are earlier threads about marking collected insects, which are obviously dead in the photo - your way. Alive when collected. I am not an entomologist obvs but I find it difficult to understand a pinned insect with dulled colours as ‘alive before’.
By that logic anything dead was alive before.

@charlie plants don’t have a dead option on iNat? Only animals do

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Oh that’s right. i think that has come up before too, as probably not ideal, but not worthy of too much fuss i guess.

In my part of the country Canada geese are very overpopulated to the point they are damaging habitat because they have few predators. It’s sad to see things getting killed, but i think if we stopped hunting geese we’d see even worse outcomes. For what it’s worth.


You could mute the person who posted the observation it only means you won’t get notifications about them but it is something you could do. Otherwise I would suggest just ignoring the post. Like a couple other people said it is sad seeing animals killed especially when it’s one you love, but posting hunted/dead animals is not against INaturalist’s rules.


Yep, here’s the one I always link to:
“if you use the time and place of original collection, it is Alive.”
My understanding is that the annotation is about the observation, not the image. I might be wrong, but I believe the CV model does not differentiate between alive and dead annotations, so providing that information to account for any “dulled colors” won’t have any impact. I’d be interested to know in more detail how the CV deals with observations for which there are numerous different “types of evidence” uploaded, whether it differentiates between them explicitly or the model is just built in a way that can accommodate such situations. I always think of a White-tailed Deer: iNat has images of full live deer, dead deer, shed antlers, deer prints, deer droppings, dead skulls, other bones, buck rubs on trees, etc. and the CV seems to nail them every time as “White-tailed Deer”, presumably without taking the dead vs. alive annotation into consideration at all. So I assume that by comparison “live bug” vs. “dead bug” isn’t that big of a deal for the CV to recognize, but I just don’t know.


Every animal posted, alive or dead, and if dead, no matter how it died, provides data about what was where when. That’s what iNaturalist needs because the data are what researchers who use iNaturalist need. Therefore, do not attempt to banish painful observations. Don’t banish photos of legally hunted geese, of illegally trapped or killed animals, of road kill, of dismembered animals that were killed by predators.

Instead, attempt to become able to see the deaths as the inevitably tragic part of life – but see this without becoming callous. Remaining sensitive to the pain while also accepting it (and not causing pain yourself, if you can avoid it) – these are difficult, almost (but not quite) contradictory goals. I admire people who can achieve these multiple levels of awareness. I think they’re the ones most effective at helping individual animals and wildlife in general.


I am sure the CV copes. That is what it is trained for and on. Our obs, whatever they are, of That species

It is this merely human, who would like the taxon pictures to show me a live insect - the way most observers will see it, alive and moving.

That dichotomy between the highly detailed info a scientist draws from a pinned specimen, and the field marks we can look for when the creature is out in nature.

This is how I like to use iNat (a good /lucky field picture) in tandem with skilled taxon specialists

I would like to have found that project a few days ago.
For a falcon tethered to a squared off metal bar - not even a wooden branch, and too big for his (damaged) talons to grip comfortably.

I agree that the main taxon picture should show a picture of the insect alive and in a natural pose, and when I edit the taxon images I try to pick one of those if possible. Of course if the insect is of a species that can’t be identified in that pose due to the differentiating features being hidden on a live individual, finding such an image that both shows the insect alive and can definitively be identified as said species is often really tough. It pretty much requires that one photograph, then collect, then dissect, then go back to the photo and apply the ID. My wife and I try to do this process as much as we can, with her photography skills combined with my insatiable desire to identify everything we see. For example, here’s her Live Photo of this one, with my pinned specimen photo with the abdomen removed to dissect, and the corpus bursa that was removed from the abdomen to actually identify the species:
Between the two of us we can arrive at a definitively ID’d live image of the critter, but not everyone is lucky enough to have both a photographer and an entomologist in the house together.