Would it be appropriate to post observations of dead "pests" in traps?

*Should I post pictures of dead “pests”? *

I have a relative who has had to lay out some rat traps in some outer buildings (sheds, garages, etc). These are NOT catch-and-release or humane traps; They’re old school snap traps and lethal glue traps.

The snap traps have been successful.

I’m pretty sure posting observations of them is permitted. What I’m not sure of is if it is considered appropriate.

I’d like to hear the community’s opinion:

  • You shouldn’t post exterminated organisms.
  • Go ahead and post exterminated organisms.
  • I have no feelings or opinions either way.

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Here is my dilemma:

  1. As far as I know pics of accidental (roadkill, birdstrike, etc) kills by humans are permitted,
  2. Pictures of intentional (hunting, fishing, etc) sometimes get some flack in comments on the observation
  3. mousetraps have been mentioned in a few forum topics (like the “You know you’re seriously into iNat when…”, “Hard to love species”, etc) and noone seemed upset.

I’d love to see your opinions.

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We have lots of dead caught rats on iNat, that’s probably the answer.

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Are they still in the traps?
We didn’t remove them from the traps; just bagged them (still on the snap board) and threw them away.

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so far 16 of 16 have said “go for it”…
I have roaches in my tiny apartment, which I don’t mind so long as they’re not in my food. on the flipside I’m definitely OK when my cat messily devours them. I sometimes will upload what’s left over.

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Glue traps seem an unpleasant was to kill rodents so I’m pleased to hear the snap traps are successful as hopefully the usually deliver a fairly swift kill.

Uploading observations seems fine. Rats aren’t exactly rare and I assume thier distribution is well know but I’m guessing they are under recorded on iNat as they’re not particularly easy to photograph when alive. If you used the dead annotation them people can avoid them if they want too.

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Yeah, rats were my example, but I kept the topic and poll general so it could relate to other species too.

I haven’t posted cockroaches that I’ve stomped on, or mosquitoes I’ve reflexively swatted, but that was more for the practical consideration that they weren’t in the most identifiable condition after that.

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Also, has anyone given the observer a hard time in the comments of those?
I know that shouldn’t necessarily keep me from posting, but sometimes you only have so much energy, and one of the things I like about the iNat community is that flame wars are relatively rare. If I know I’m going to have to repeatedly respond to defend my observation, I don’t know that it’ll be worth it in my final estimation.

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When I post images of dead wildlife (mainly hunted), I give context of what’s going on to avoid accusations. Mainly because it’s illegal in my country, except for natives and people with special permits. I’ve never had any negative comments about them, because people know what’s going on when viewing the observation.

In my opinion, iNat is the best place to post those photos. You never know, perhaps someone will be interested in monitoring the killing of rats, or even some of those animals could be an interesting species!

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sometimes they are!

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I can see a point in arguing if you should hunt or not hunt, or trap or not trap, or if a trap is better than another… but I don’t think that’s an argument for iNaturalist. You’re just documenting data of an organism. If it upsets people because they wish they lived in a world where nothing was killed, they are delusional. Not posting it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I think posting these organisms could be beneficial in terms of filling in our gaps of knowledge and I wouldn’t want to dissuade people from doing that. It’s not like they are going to stop hunting or trapping. They would just stop posting.
On a side note, I wonder if iNaturalist can be used to catch poachers…

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What I’ve begun doing with messy roadkill is to post two photos. In the first, I’ve masked the uglier parts of the corpse but left some parts (feet? tail? more?) visible. Thus the photo meets iNaturalist guidelines about having the organism itself in the photos. On the second photo, the corpse is shown in all its messy glory. But you don’t have to see that when just scanning through pictures for identification.

You might consider this for your trapped beasts.

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Both in and out of, the 2nd is better for proper id.
No bad comments from what I’ve sen.
Nothing bad in showing dead animals, they weren’t tortured after all.

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Does your relative want to post them to iNat, or is this something that got you thinking?

The only real pushback I’ve seen is for photos where someone has proudly shown off a snake they’ve killed. I’m a snake lover and find the killing of snakes to be pretty uncool, but in these cases it’s usually done out of misinformation or ignorance. I try to use it as a teachable moment and discuss the myths and realities of snakes and point them in the direction of material on places like Save the Snakes or Advocates for Snake preservation. No one should be berated.

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It just got me thinking. I honestly don’t think my relative cares, as long as I obscure the location.

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It’s funny that you mention the proud snake kills, because one of those from someone else was EXACTLY the example I thought of both when posing the question and in talking about defending an observation:
There was an observation where someone posted a picture of a snake killed, and rather than use it as an opportunity for productive dialogue, another user came along and commented that all people living in that territory were bloodthirsty idiots. It was taxing to repeatedly return to the comments to argue with them about why demonizing an entire group of people like that was wrong (less for their sake, because their bias seemed firmly entrenched, but for anyone else who might see those comments).

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Because people are tired of killed snakes, not everyone is able to make a productive dialogue 100 times with people who doesn’t want to listen, it’s not the best behaviour, but understandable.

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I see statements like that as more a venting of personal feeling, rather than an attempt to engage in meaningful discussion. They are “playing the man, not the ball”…

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I see statements like that as unwarranted disparagement of the entire population of the territory.

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Oh… so do I… I’m not trying to defend them. I’m just pointing out that their objective is not to have a conversation, but to vent, so it is pointless engaging with them because you only give them more of a platform to vent on. By “playing the man, and not the ball” I am referring to football, where if they strike you rather than the ball, you don’t “cry foul”, or (heaven forbid) turn around and kick them back… instead, you play to the whistle, meaning you continue on and rely on the referee to blow the whistle for the penalty.

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I don’t know that they changed their opinion on the residents of that area, but they did admit that their initial comment was coming from a place of frustration. Which I understand, but don’t think excuses it.

Oh, I share their frustration! I don’t like to see snakes killed either (2 of my observations are of venomous snakes that I almost stepped on, yet I didn’t even consider killing them, let alone the many harmless snakes I have encountered). I just think generalizing about an entire population is the wrong outlet for that frustration, and I didn’t feel ignoring the comments was okay.

And let me clarify: they were just talking about “people from [state/province]” rather than something more serious like an entire nation/ethnicity. I don’t want it to seem worse than it was. I’ve been vague because I don’t want to shame them in the forum over a discussion in the past, but I think my lack of detail makes it sound worse than it was. It wasn’t racist or xenophobic; it was much more mild.

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