Download iNaturalist NZ data

You can do some amazing things with iNaturalist NZ data right here on our website. However, if you're someone with data skills, like a scientist, then you'll be able to do a lot more if you can download the data. Here we summarise the many ways to do this.

First, a word about copyright

Keep in mind, before we proceed, that iNaturalist NZ does not own iNaturalist NZ users' observations. Each user retains ownership of their own observations, and your rights to use their observations and photos are specified by the copyright license each user has chosen.

Please respect the wishes of our users and use their observations appropriately. For example, most observations and photos use a creative commons license with attribution, which means that you need to attribute the user, not just iNaturalist NZ, when you use these observations.

Download from the website

You can download the results of any search on the iNaturalist NZ website. Just go to, search for what you need, tap on the Filters options, and you'll see a Downloads option.

There are lots of Filters besides species and place that you can use to get just what you want. You can further refine your search by directly editing the search URL. See our Tips and Tricks page for details.

Download from a project

Projects are a fantastic iNat feature that lets groups of users get together and collect observations of a particular kind for a particular purpose.

The more modern Collection Projects and Umbrella Projects essentially just display the results of searching on particular combinations of species, places, times, and users. To get data from a Collection Project, tap the "View All" link to show all observations and then use the "Export Observations" link that appears.

Most Traditional Projects only contain observations that users have added to them, and can require or recommend that particular observation fields be filled in. As such, these can be islands of higher quality data within iNaturalist that can be used for particular purposed. You'll see an "Export Observations" link down the right side of all Traditional Project pages.

If you are the Admin of a Traditional Project (i.e., you created the project), or you have been promoted to a Manager of the project, then you will also see an option to "Export with Hidden Coordinates". This gives you the exact coordinates for observations that users have otherwise chosen to publicly make private or obscure (they agree, when adding their observations to your project, to allow you to see their coordinates). Only the "Export with Hidden Coordinates" option will allow you to download these coordinates.

Download all global iNaturalist research grade data

iNaturalist NZ is part of the global iNaturalist Network, and a weekly updated data file of all research grade observations across the global network are sent to GBIF. You can get the data file yourself for your own use at Look for the link to "GBIF DarwinCore Archive" near the bottom of the page.

Unleash the full power of iNaturalist in your app or database using the iNaturalist API

You can automate the extract of iNaturalist data using the public API, found at You can request to be authenticated so that your app can also post observations onto iNaturalist via the API. The API therefore gives you the ability to add full iNaturalist functionality to your app.


R is a free open-source stats and data app that is widely used by scientists. There is a package in R called rinat that using the iNat API to let you easily search and download iNat data into your script. You can then use iNat data for your analysis, graphing, and re-purposing into other formats. You can also make your solutions interactive on the internet using RShiny.

To use rinat in R, open R, make a new script, and add the following two lines.

  • install.packages("rinat")
  • library(rinat)

Request un-obscured coordinates

By default, threatened species, like geckos and orchids, are all automatically protected on the iNaturalist Network by being auto-obscured. If you are a researcher that would like access to these coordinates for your work, please send a request to We are happy to oblige, as long as we get agreement from the New Zealand Department of Conservation that this is a valid use of the data, and as long as you agree to not share or release the data in its raw form.

Revised on August 14, 2023 09:34 AM by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan