Wild/Not-Wild tags in Quality Assessment

A question and sort of a light survey as well.

With observations of wild caught animals found in jars of alcohol or market places, how do you all think they should be marked? (EDIT: this is referring to local markets/local use, not markets far from where the species is normally found).

Here in Vietnam it’s common to find many species in situations like this and it’s clear that the vast majority of them are captured by poachers, not raised in captivity for this purpose.

An example in alcohol: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24568860
An example in a marketplace: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24162832
Another example in a marketplace: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24269805

In each of the above cases the animals were taken from the wild.

My own feeling is that they should be marked as “wild” rather than “not wild”.

What’s the community take on this issue?

I would say, if the observer knows where in the wild it was collected and places the location there, then it can be marked as wild. But if the location is elsewhere (you mention a market) where the sp doesn’t naturally occur, then it must be marked as not wild.

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In all the included examples the species is native to the area.

Obviously we aren’t talking about markets far from the region. This is specifically local markets/local use.

Date and pin location would have to reflect where and when caught. Otherwise treat as captive.

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The origin of the market specimens is easily defined on a small island. But what about the things in a big market like fish were it could be from 300km or more away? Would a bigger circle of accuracy suffice?

It seems like if you are confident it was collected on your island you could keep as wild but map to the entire island (or the entire area of habitat on the island) using the uncertainty circle. Otherwise the issue is you get things like wild animals mapped in the middle of cities where they don’t occur, etc

I agree with this

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The main effect of the “Captive/Cultivated” thing is to take the observation out of “Needs ID” and into “Casual”. After over-using it for a long while, I now mostly only use it for cultivars or domestic forms which are difficult for naturalists to identify.

The location and date on the observation should usually be the location and date the photograph was made. If the observation is of a dead animal in a market, then it should be marked with the location of the market, to as high an accuracy as possible. That way, researchers can filter out markets geographically. Guessing about where the animal came from is just going to lead to inaccurate locations and observations of markets in strange places. Using second-hand information (e.g. asking where it was killed) is just as error-prone, if not more.

So: the animal was a wild animal, but was killed. Still wild. The dead animal was in a market: location of the market is accurate. Others disagree, but I think they’re preventing more identifications than necessary and introducing more errors than they’re fixing.

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This is my feeling as well. I’d never suggest trying to mark wherever it was caught (no way to get reliable info), but markets are often very important for determining what’s in the area.

Given that markets are such an important place for wildlife surveys (and even for finding and identifying new or previously thought extinct species) and that it’s usually often extremely obvious what was wild caught vs captive raised, what about marking the market place?

That has the added benefit of highlighting places with specific types of activities that need closer attention.

You’d never try to identify specifically where the animal (or plant) was taken from as there is no way to guarantee reliable information about that, but in many developing nations there is no question that the animal was taken from the wild.

This seems to get into the issue that I face often, the difference in experience between users who are working in these types of areas vs users who have never been to these types of areas and their differing perceptions and understandings of what’s going on.

same conversation at https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-deal-with-observations-of-fish-on-fish-markets/397

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Thanks, I hadn’t seen that before.