Have you ever dreamed of joining a community to observe nature and report species you found in certain locations, and thus all over the world? iNaturalist.org is your place.
With a global community of more than 1 million people signed up on the website and more than 15,6 million observations registered online until now, iNaturalist.org is a platform which started in 2008 as a student project and moved forward as a unique source of scientific information for apprentice and professional scientists worldwide.
The website provides a set of simple, comprehensive guidelines to get started as a naturalist and start registering and sharing your observations of plans, animals or insects. This can be done easily with your cellphone or directly on the website.
And if you are have issues identifying your observations, the community will jump in and weight in to give your discovery its ID, or start a discussion until an agreement is found about the species.
The website allows you also to look at species and people that have been registered around you thanks to a pretty good, interactive map.
I was pleased to see that the 2 tests of the map I conducted, one of Zug and the other one in the block I grew up with in Paris, were both successful: I could find very recent observations, including a good set of bright red seven-dots ladybugs in the streets of the French capital. A creepy spider was registered next to my office in Switzerland (brrrrr!), and weird lichens and moss are growing next to the place I studied in in Sweden.
The filters allows you also to meet your fellow naturalists and share their discoveries. I just realized for example that the block next to ours in Dubai was fully scanned by a Bird Recorder for the Dubai Natural History Group, with dozens of observations that also include a broad range of insects and lizards.
Fascinating isn't it? So stop taking instagram pics of the food in front of you, go out, and use the same camera to grow the knowledge of biodiversity around you, instead.
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