What to do when someone posts an observation of something like a house pet?

Yesterday or so I saw 2 people post obvservations of their house pets and it felt kinda rude is there a way to flag something like that so it doesnt get in the way or anything? Or is that only up to the mods/ curators?

There is no rule against posting observations of pets. In cases like this, all you have to do is mark the observation as not wild (if the user hasn’t already done it themself)


Ohh ok

The observation will become Casual once someone marks it as not wild, so it’s effectively invisible to all unless they specifically search for it. Not an issue long term, and it would be too much work for staff to remove the observations.

Ohh ok I see

I sometimes add a note explaining that iNaturalist is primarily intended for recording observations of wild animals and wild plants.

I do usually also note that if people want to photograph captive animals or plants that are deliberately planted, it really helps to mark them as “not wild”.


That could be confusing because on the Android app there is no option of “not wild,” it’s “Is it captive or cultivated?”

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Unfortunately iNat has chosen to translate Not wild as Captive or cultivated
which is even more confusing when people need to translate from English to a foreign language.
We are all confused.


It’s reasonably well explained in the iNat “Help” page, at least in English, and I refer people who either don’t know the main purpose of iNat, or who don’t know the difference between things in the wild or wild things and captive/cultivated organisms to that, together with some additional explanation (examples).
Unfortunately, actually reading about the intent of the site and the rules before jumping in seems to be uncommon. The City Challenge, for example, is widely advertised in this area but almost never are the intent and basic rules of the site mentioned, unless an existing, experienced iNat member adds it.


Also make sure it’s not a feral dog/cat, they’re considered wild.


Now I’m curious: I wonder how many house pet observations go unnoticed because the person is keeping a wild animal as a pet?

Pet skunks, pet hedgehogs, pet prairie dogs… if these were allowed outdoors, and photographed there, would they be spotted as pets?

In American Canyon, California, there is a flock of probably-feral chickens, but they are fed in much the way many feral cats are.


There have been many discussions on iNat.
Very hard to split plants on a yes or no decision.
Did I plant it? Did someone else plant it? Is it a deliberate part of endangered vegetation rehab? In a botanical garden? Garden escapee? Dumped waste?
We need at least another choice for Introduced, and and and

BTW the main purpose of iNat is to encourage people to notice nature. That is their stated intention. Second step would be for us to encourage newbies to learn about What Is Wild.


This raises an interesting question. Are cockroaches inside a house considered domesticated or wild? Where I live the cold winters ensure don’t survive in the wild, but are common in some houses. The U of Manitoba has large roaches roaming and living in the tunnels joining buildings. They had escaped from the Entomology lab. Wild or domesticated? I’m sort of stirring the pot here, but it is an interesting thought experiment!

Wild of course.


Wild. They’re where they are now because they got there themselves, or were born/hatched there.


@sedgequeen and @melodi_96 That would be my assessment as well!

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With animals you can have a wild species (such as a tiger) that was born in, and is maintained in captivity, for example in a zoo, and with plants you can have a wild species (like for example a native tree species) that is sold and is deliberately planted in parks and gardens by gardeners.

That is why the word “wild” can be a little bit ambiguous. Captive for animals is more precise. Many wild animal species can be seen in captivity.

As for plants, many species that are legitimate wild species can be seen growing in cultivation; they did not grow spontaneously like a weed.

So I think that is probably why iNat did not simply use the word “wild” for everything.

The equivalent may work fine in other languages, but in English it is a bit ambiguous. Wild with animals can mean not domestic (sheep, cow, chicken) so a tiger can be considered and referred to as a wild animal even when it was born in a zoo. After all it is not domesticated. And it is not tame.

All true.
But iNat wants to distinguish between - wild, free, in nature
versus managed by people.
Wants to, but even a few people struggle to agree if That plant or That whateveritis was put there by us, or came by itself.

“Captive/Cultivated” = not wild. It’s only if you’re using the web version or devices that link to it that you also see the Data Quality Assessment where there is a question: “Organism is wild: Yes/No”.

I know that, but if the advice is being given to a new user who might not even know there is a web version or has never looked at it, it wouldn’t be helpful.