Help with iNaturalist NZ

What is iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao?

Kia ora! Welcome to iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao. You can use iNaturalist NZ to record your observations of species, get any species identified, help others identify species, and talk with other NZ nature enthusiasts. In other words, watch nature!

We're the New Zealand site in the global iNaturalist network. We're operated by the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network (NZBRN) Trust, a NZ charitable trust lead by a team of NZ ecologists and biodiversity IT professionals. iNaturalist is an open-source, global nature observation system. While iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao started out in 2012 as an independent NZ-optimised fork of iNaturalist, since November 2014 we've been operating directly from within the iNaturalist servers, and since June 2018 we changed our name from NatureWatch NZ. Because iNaturalist is awesome.

That means that when you are using iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao, you are also using iNaturalist global at the same time. iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao is a Kiwi window into iNaturalist that shows just the New Zealand observations, species, and users. That way your fantails and totara observations don't get lost in a flood of squirrels and bald eagles. Because nobody in New Zealand wants to get lost in a flood of squirrels and bald eagles.

Since all iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao observations also show up simultaneously on the global iNaturalist parent, this means that you've got the world's best naturalists looking at your observations, ready and keen to help. And, if you go overseas, you can use with your iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao account. When you get back home, all your overseas observations will be there in your list of observations inside iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao. It's the best of both worlds.

This also means that if you want to use iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you can use the excellent iNaturalist mobile app (iOS, Android). Just download it and sign in with your NZ account. All of your observations will show up right here on iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao. (We used to maintain a separate NZ app on the Apple AppStore but we retired that when the iNat app did it all better.)

Help using iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao

You'll see links to help pages along the left side near the top of this page. We recommend you start with our "Add an observation" page.

iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao is the Kiwi corner of, and has an extensive set of help pages that you can use. If you're just getting started with us, check out iNat's Getting Started guide to tour some of the site's features. If you have a question about the site, have a look through the iNat Frequently Asked Questions.

If you'd rather just send us an email and ask for help, that's good. Please do! We're here at and are happy to give you one-on-one help getting started, or help you figure out how to do something a bit tricky. We're also very keen to hear about any non-biological bugs you might encounter on the site. We work closely with the iNaturalist developers to keep improving the system.

You can also post your questions to the iNaturalist Forum. This is a vibrant global forum supporting the iNaturalist platform worldwide. We'll try to beat other iNaturalist users to the answer.

Please don't ask us for identifications through our email help desk, Facebook or forums — after all, that's why we have iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao. It's easy to join our community if you are a first-timer.

And thanks for sharing your observations with New Zealand and the world using iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao. Together we're discovering a lot of new and amazing things about NZ nature.

What is considered inappropriate content?

iNaturalist NZ—Mātaki Taiao is an online place to have fun exploring nature. Let's keep it fun by respecting the diversity of opinions and personalities of all the people interested in nature. Try not to be rude, and try not to be easily offended.

Content that violates the Terms of Service or iNaturalist's Community Guidelines may be hidden by curators or deleted by staff. Milder forms of rudeness are unfortunate, but are not something we'll delete.

Examples of what is likely to be hidden or deleted:

  • Insults or threats
  • Racist or sexist content
  • Hate speech
  • Sexually explicit content involving humans
  • Spam
  • Defamatory content, libelous content, or content which violates a third party's privacy

Examples of what is likely to not be hidden or deleted:

  • Silly content
  • Photos of non-organisms
  • Misidentifications which are not malicious
  • Heated debates

Although iNat is primarily for sharing observations of wild organisms, observations of captive animals, garden plants, and other organisms are okay (they're alive, after all). Other abiotic phenomena should be marked as "Evidence of organism — No" in the Data Quality Assessment section, which is at the bottom of the observation page. Pictures of pets, humans, abiotic phenomena, or obvious test observations are okay unless someone repeatedly posts such content.

Copyright violations should be flagged, i.e. re-published text or images that were created by other people without any evidence of permission or license by the creator of the work. If copyrighted images are used, flag the photo(s) directly rather than the observation. You can do this by clicking the "i" (white circle) below the photo and clicking "Flag this photo" in the very bottom righthand corner of that page. Then choose "copyright infringement" in the pop-up and save.

Revised on February 22, 2024 08:58 PM by murray_dawson murray_dawson