Italy - iNaturalist World Tour

Today, we start the second week of the iNaturalist World Tour with seven new countries to explore. Unlike last week, none of these countries have English as their primary language. Three are in Europe (Italy, Germany, France), two are in East Asia (Hong Kong and Taiwan), along with Colombia in South America, and Russia straddling Eurasia.

Most of the top 50 observers in Italy are located in the north with a smaller group near Rome and representing the southern parts of the country.

Growth in number of observations per month in Italy is seasonal peaking around May or June. 2019 has been the biggest year so far, but the rate of growth seems to have slowed slightly relative to 2018. Italy was well represented in the 2019 City Nature Challenge, but only 3 participating cities (Vicenza, Naples, Roma) use iNaturalist while 6 others (Catania, Lecce, Ostuni, Taranto, Trento, Trinitapoli) used a Spanish fork of an older version of iNaturalist.

As in Mexico and South Africa, herps are in the top 4 categories. This is likely due to @danieleseglie's long running Italian Herps project

We’ll be back tomorrow with Hong Kong! In the meantime what can we do to improve iNaturalist in Italy? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread

@bferrero @nicolascatassi @lauragola @marcorastelli @leibele @danieleseglie @smuele @ldacosta @filippoceccolini @finrod

Posted on July 01, 2019 03:01 PM by loarie loarie


I see a general trend in all countries so far: the more affluent+populous (and not just the more populous) regions are the ones with more top observers, with some notable exceptions (the Vermont area comes to mind) . Curiously Mexico seems not so close to this trend. But then is in the top 5 in Biodiversity worldwide, that may be a factor. Will be interesting to see this week the stats of Colombia in this respect.

Posted by langlands almost 5 years ago

What rank is Costa Rica and Nicaragua?

Posted by davidfritz almost 5 years ago

Allora, dove sono gli italiani 'verdi'? E il analise interessanti come per i paesi di lingua inglesi?

Posted by sandraf almost 5 years ago

@dovyeon you can see the itinerary here. @sandraf, yes, very much hoping we can start a conversation with the Italians mentioned in this post, but I understand the irony of trying to reach an Italian audience with an English language blog and forum :(

Posted by loarie almost 5 years ago

Yip, that would be cool @loarie!
Meanwhile I'm enjoying the World Tour

Posted by sandraf almost 5 years ago

@dovyeon look up here

Posted by kastani almost 5 years ago

Remarkably few people complain about the lack of common names, which I think is a major shortcoming when using inaturalist. Maybe that will change this week....

Posted by optilete almost 5 years ago

it is a major problem in southern Africa, but we hope that our names will soon be loaded when we become a community (hopefully shortly). They have been ready to upload for over a year now - 35,000 plant names and 25,000 animal names. The lack of complaints from our community is because they have been told that it was imminent (for over a year now), and also partially because the really charismatic pan-African species of birds and mammals already have common names.

The bottom line though is that common names are for entry level users (and politicians). Really serious users should be using scientific names. That said, if I want to hook people into my own special family, the Proteaceae, I am careful not to use scientific names in my talks. But for serious identification courses, the common names are merely incidental.

iNaturalist needs to cater for both groups, and the user options regarding the display of common names (yes, no, first , second; by region) is quite superior!

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

Thanks, so it is a common problem that common names are not updated.

Posted by optilete almost 5 years ago

I think there is a difference between original loading of names - which tends to happen when communities join iNaturalist, or when very keen curators become involved, and updating common names. Technically vernacular names should not be "updated", although new names may become more popular and other names less so. If you are aware of the odd name being outdated or new name missing, leave a flag on the relevant taxon page for a curator to attend to. Include a reference to expedite the process.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

Hello, in my opinion common names should not be given much importance. People should learn to use scientific names, which is international. Apart from birds and mammals, common names label only a small bunch of spieces, sometimes one common name is used for many different species and, some other times, different common names are used for the same species (because of dialects).
I enjoy iNaturalist a lot, I'm italian and proud of being part of this community. I think there should be more interaction between members, not only asking/placing an ID but also giving each other the key information that lead to a certain ID. Members must be pushed to talk, to give details, to exchange experieces, to ask questions. Naturalistic groups on facebook are doing very well and it means there is interest towards this matter, yet they miss a dedicated structured platform as iNaturalist is. I suppose many of them don't even know about iNaturalist. I think there's the chance to bring a lot of people to iNaturalist.

Posted by megasavo almost 5 years ago

Scientific names are the only way to go - for interested and experienced people.
But the vast majority of people want a common name, and are not interested in scientific names - in fact they are turned off by them. To get them to the stage of being interested we need common names. We need them to be able to type in their common name and to get an iNaturalist ID!
And if you want money from politicians to save rare species. RULE #1: give the thing a common name!!! Without a common name you are wasting your time.
Common names are vitally important. Not to a few geeks like us. But for the great majority of people they are the hook to the natural world.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

Scientific names are changing so often that for a group people swift to common names. An also remember that common names are used on other platform, e.g. Seek. It is only a pity that they sometimes are shown in the wrong language.

Posted by optilete almost 5 years ago

And that is because SEEK is aimed at the layman and kid. Yes kids do learn Tyrannosaurus (and Brontosaurus!!!!! - which dare I say it, is still the common name for Apatosaurus!) - but that is because those names are charismatic - King of the Terrible Lizards and Thunder-Lizard! Who cares about Lampranthus repens - but Golden Brightfig does have an appeal!
Note too the Proper Nouns: it is only those who want to downplay and ignore common names who deprecate them to adjectival phrases - they are just as important, if not more so, than people and place names.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

hadn't fully read yet... but very interesting, thanks Scott! :-)

Posted by finrod almost 5 years ago

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