Why is some of my observations in the water?

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): iOS / website

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): ?

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) :

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/80011451

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.): When I uploaded both of these observations iNat for some bizarre reason decides to dump these observations in the water north of Papa Stour! Even when I go to edit the observations they are marked in the correct place, their geoprivacy is set to public as well. What is up with that?!

Steps to replicate issue:

Step 1: Upload anything (For me it seems to only happen to birds)

Step 2: Look at the global map

Step 3: Enjoy your observation being somewhere you have never been

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These species are considered at least somewhat threatened where you are observing them, and so their locations are given as fuzzy areas rather than exact locations. You can find out about this by clicking at the links just underneath the map to show more information.


Your species has a conservation status and all species with a conservation status in a given area have their exact location obscured by iNaturalist. If I am not mistaken, all icons that are round mean that the location is obscured, either by the user or because of a conservation status. On the observation page below the map, you will see that the location is marked obscured. The location chosen for display is anywhere in the rectangle shown on the map.


Both species suffer population decline, lapwing because of habitat loss (mainly in Europe), oystercatcher situation is more complex but also linked to it.


Thank you for all the replies! This clears up why my observations are in the water.


I also have a bunch of plants “in the water” because I saw them on private property and deliberately obscured the location. It’s a bit annoying, but better than putting my neighbors’ addresses on a public website.

People will get the general idea that the plants are actually on land somewhere near that water.

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