Journal archives for April 2020

April 08, 2020

Projects

Collection Project:
A Collection Project automatically draws in observations that meet a certain criterion.
For example:
Birds of the World [https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/birds-of-the-world] collects any observation of a bird from anywhere in the world.
Bird hides in the Southern Cape (South Africa) [https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/bird-hides-in-the-southern-cape-south-africa] only collects observations from bird hides where specific places have been created.
You do not have to join this kind of project for your observation to be included. It will automatically be done. But if you are not a member of the project then it will not display on your observation that it is included.

Umbrella Project:
An Umbrella Project is a collection of different projects. Like a directory it lists individual projects which fit into a theme.
For example:
NEMBA Alien Species (South Africa) [https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nemba-alien-species-south-africa] includes 13 individual projects that all relate to invasive or prohibited species in South Africa.
You do not have to join this kind of project for your observation to be included. It will automatically be done. But if you are not a member of the project then it will not display on your observation that it is included.

Traditional Project:
A Traditional Project collects specific information that you feel is relating to a specific theme.
For example:
George Municipality Urban Edge [https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/george-municipality-urban-edge] only wants observations of trees planted on road verges in a given area.
For this type of project to work you need to join the project, then while uploading the observation add the observation to the project. It will then be included and visible in the project.

Below is a list of some projects you may be interested.
And if you do not find one here which you may want search the Projects at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects

AfriBats Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/afribats
AfriHerps Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/afriherps
Alien (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/alien-s-afr
Alien Biocontrol (s Afr) Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/alien-biocontrol-s-afr
Alien grasses of South Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/alien-grasses-of-south-africa
Biodiversity of South Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-south-africa
Biodiversity of southern Africa Umbrella Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-southern-africa
Biodiversity of southern Africa and surrounds Umbrella Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-southern-africa-and-surrounds
Bird hides in the Southern Cape (South Africa) Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/bird-hides-in-the-southern-cape-south-africa
Birds of the World Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/birds-of-the-world
Butterflies of Africa Umbrella Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/butterflies-of-africa
Butterflies of South Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/butterflies-of-south-africa
Crustacean Atlas Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/crustacean-atlas
Eggs (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/eggs-s-afr
Ericas of the Southern Cape Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ericas-of-the-southern-cape
Fabaceae of Southern Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fabaceae-of-southern-africa
Flora and Fauna of the Cape Floristic Region (s Afr) Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flora-and-fauna-of-the-cape-floristic-region-s-afr
Flora of Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flora-of-africa
Freshwater Fish of southern Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/freshwater-fish-of-southern-africa
Garden Route Botanical Garden Biodiversity Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/garden-route-botanical-garden-biodiversity
George Municipality Urban Edge Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/george-municipality-urban-edge
Glass Encounters Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/glass-encounters
Greater Cape Floristic Region Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/greater-cape-floristic-region
Habitats (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/habitats-s-afr
Herps of southern Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/herps-of-southern-africa
invasive (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/invasive-s-afr
Jumping Spiders of Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/jumping-spiders-of-africa
Juveniles & Larvae (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/juveniles-larvae-s-afr
Ladybird Beetles of the World Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ladybird-beetles-of-the-world
Lichens of southern Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/lichens-of-southern-africa
Mating pair (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mating-pair-s-afr
MEDICAL EMERGENCY (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/medical-emergency-s-afr
Moulting & Exuviae (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/moulting-exuviae-s-afr
NEMBA Alien Species (South Africa) Umbrella Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nemba-alien-species-south-africa
Nests & Nesting (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nests-nesting-s-afr
Orthoptera Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/orthoptera
Passes of the Cape Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/passes-of-the-cape
Pillar Parade (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pillar-parade-s-afr
Poolkill (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/poolkill-s-afr
Powerkill (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/powerkill-s-afr
Sandy Beaches (s Afr) Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sandy-beaches-s-afr
Scorpions of the World Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/scorpions-of-the-world
Sea Coral Atlas (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sea-coral-atlas-s-afr
Sea Fish Atlas (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sea-fish-atlas-s-afr
Sea Shell Atlas (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sea-shell-atlas-s-afr
Sea Slug Atlas (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sea-slug-atlas-s-afr
SeaKeys (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/seakeys-s-afr
Seashore Vegetation (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/seashore-vegetation-s-afr
Seaweed Atlas (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/seaweed-atlas-s-afr
Sedgefield Island Conservancy Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sedgefield-island-conservancy
Sedges of Africa Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sedges-of-africa
Skulls & Skeletons (s Afr) Traditional Project (Add to observation) https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/skulls-skeletons-s-afr
South African Red List: Plants and Animals Umbrella Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/south-african-red-list-plants-and-animals
Southern African Birds Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/southern-african-birds
Waterbeetles (s Afr) Collection Project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/waterbeetles-s-afr

Posted on April 08, 2020 11:34 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 17, 2020

Is the Garden Route City Nature Challenge 2020 going on?

The City Nature Challenge is still on – in true lockdown fashion. Everything in and around your home and the terrain you are safely allowed to be on can be recorded. From the moth on the lampshade, the spider on the bedroom ceiling, the little mouse in the pantry, geckos on the stoep wall, granny’s pride - the potted fern and the woodlice under its drip tray – plus all the birds, bees plants and other creatures outside. Have a look at all the great ways to attract and record insects easily at your home - Bioblitzing Goggos: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-cape-town/journal/33098

Actually, this City Nature Challenge is incredibly important. As humans are sequestered, one can get an idea for the very first-time what life in the vicinity of a 2020 looks like when it comes to Mother Nature. What we allow and prefer in our spaces. What we have removed and what we have lost and what we are losing – and where this is happening.

Do not miss out on this fun, incredibly stimulating experience to be part of something bigger, something positive in the world. Fun to fit all ages!

Remember that photos, sound clips and videos are uploaded onto https://www.inaturalist.org/. Check your date, time and locality settings on your equipment. Only material recorded from the Friday to the Monday in the Garden Route District Municipal area will be included in the Garden Route City Nature Challenge 2020. Wild, captive and cultivated – all acceptable as observations.

There is time to upload and identify the interesting finds until Monday, May the 3rd. You do not have to identify your observations yourself. If you are an expert in any field, now is your chance to jump in and help with identifications.

How to use iNaturalist or the iNat phone App? Online training material is available or contact Nicky and Louw (Knysna), Shaun, Colin (George) or Sandra (Mossel Bay) for trouble shooting or guidance when it comes to uploads or using the Identify Tool. Direct any queries to Christine at wessageorge@isat.co.za.

News, tips and updates are on the Facebook page, https://web.facebook.com/Garden-Route-City-Nature-Challenge-101835558021716 or the project page Garden Route City Nature Challenge.

Posted on April 17, 2020 10:45 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 09, 2020

Well, well, well.

We now have an additional 2 weeks of peace and quiet at home. Lockdown extended to 30 April which effectively prevents us from scouring the mountains, oceans and everything in between for anything to take a picture of.

This does not mean that the project will be closing. We may not be able to take 100’s or 1000’s of observations, but we can still do what we can in our confined areas.

The City Nature Challenge 2020: Garden Route is not going ahead as a challenge but will be as an activity.

There are 2 projects running concurrently that you can participate in.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-garden-route
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/garden-route-south-africa-lockdown

Join us on our venture to the 2021 challenge.

Enjoy and be safe

Posted on April 09, 2020 22:37 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 02, 2020

All South Africa Lockdown projects

See
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/lockdown-southern-africa-2020
for all South Africa Lockdown projects

Posted on April 02, 2020 15:32 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 04, 2020

On Facebook

Follow / Like / Link / Comment on our facebook page:
Garden-Route-City-Nature-Challenge-101835558021716

Posted on April 04, 2020 06:56 by shauns shauns | 1 comments | Leave a comment

April 25, 2020

Summary after day 2 of the City Nature Challenge

We have noted many new users to iNaturalist. Welcome to each and everyone. It is always nice to see new people joining. Feel free to leave a comment on your observation if you need assistance or have questions.

Two days to go.

Before we look at numbers I would like to add links to a few observations that stood out for me.
Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43386632 A lovely little sunbird not often seen..
Clicking Stream Frog (Strongylopus grayii) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43316020 You are bound to hear them from any stream.
Cape Dwarf Gecko (Lygodactylus capensis ssp. capensis) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43395750 This poor gecko lost his tail somewhere. You can easily see the “cut-line” where the new tail grew back.
Golden Moles (Family Chrysochloridae) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43276146 This pic is just plain cute.
Rain Spiders (Genus Palystes) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43342887 We have all seen these web bags hanging around the garden at some time.
Common Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43391917 A plant that is said to be able to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Over 6380 observations in 48 hours from 182 observers. Making it over 34 observations per observer, with user @jessica1486 uploading 454 observations, and @sallyslak clocking up 188 species.
Over 20000 observations in Southern Africa in 48 hours, and more than 275000 observations worldwide.

Number of observations for:
Birds: 428
Amphibians: 9
Reptiles: 39
Mammals: 32
Molluscs, Arachnids & Insects: 664
Plants: 3873

Currently the Garden Route is placed 2nd in Southern Africa, and 8th Internationally.

Well, well done everyone. Put camera batteries on charge then go charge your batteries. Another big day tomorrow.

Posted on April 25, 2020 22:02 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2020

Summary after day 1 of the City Nature Challenge

Technically speaking it is not a challenge anymore, but an event. Still, even though everyone is acting within the legal limits prescribed it is looking good.
Firstly, a big thank you to every one of you that have uploaded observations, made identifications, or just supported those who have their eye on bugs instead of other responsibilities.

Three days to go.

Before we look at numbers I would like to add links to a few observations that stood out for me.

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43149059 Purely because it is a funny looking bird.

Raucous Toad (Sclerophrys capensis) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43006297 Because for some reason people often do not want to touch this harmless toad.

Eggeater (Dasypeltis scabra ssp. Scabra) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43058168 This snake is easily confused with the Night Adder.

Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43138376 Who does not love to watch the antics of these funny monkeys?

Eyed Pansy (Junonia orithya madagascariensis) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43164965 Watching a butterfly fluttering around always looks so carefree.

King Protea (Protea cynaroides) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43148520 Give credit where credit is due. Our national flower is lovely.

Over 2300 observations in 24 hours from 108 observers. Making it over 21 observations per observer.
Number of observations for:
Birds: 124
Amphibians: 4
Reptiles: 17
Mammals: 13
Molluscs, Arachnids & Insects: 234
Plants: 1404

Currently the Garden Route is placed 2nd in Southern Africa, and 7th Internationally.

Well, well done everyone. Put camera batteries on charge then go charge your batteries. Another big day tomorrow.

Posted on April 24, 2020 22:04 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2020

To Obscure, make Private or leave your observation Public/Open?

iNaturalist allows a user to select 1 of 3 options to display the level of information and accuracy available to others as to the location of an observation.

Public/Open
This setting allows a user to accurately show where the observation was taken. You can put the pin exactly on a tree and someone could use the co-ordinates to find the precise spot. Everyone can see the true coordinates.
Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/37272937

Obscured
This setting allows a user to hide the accuracy of an observation. Some things we just know must not be shown to the public.
Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15488531
A user will see a random point within a 0.2 by 0.2-degree area that contains the true coordinates. This area works out to about a 22 by 22-kilometre area at the equator.
The randomized public coordinates appear within the rectangle as a circular marker without a stem. True coordinates are only visible to you, trusted users, and trusted project curators.

Just a note about projects. If the location is obscured and you add it to a traditional project the coordinates may be displayed to the curators of the project. So, check your options when you join the project. This only applies to Traditional projects. Not Collection or Umbrella projects.

Private
This setting allows a user to totally block any indication as to where the observation was taken.
Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43105311
A user will not even see a map to indicate if it was taken on planet Earth, or Mars.

So, what to use when?

Under general observations you would use the Public/Open option. This would allow any other user to re-visit the site to verify the observation, or for researchers needing distribution etc.

Rare or endangered species are automatically obscured by the system, so there is no need for you to select it. Go and check any Rhino observation and you will see that it is not accurate. You could still select the obscured option to double make sure it is hidden.
However, not all our sensitive/Red Data plant species are automatically obscured. There are plants/insects, sought after for some reason (traditional use, horticulture, to trade in, just to be collected, because they are pretty, because they are accessible etc etc). Bulbs, honey-bush, many succulents fall in this category. Remote vs access makes a difference, though collectors climb scary mountains to collect interesting insects - they sell and trade with these. If it your aim to protect something because of these reasons, then do feel free to obscure.
Why, well the system still needs to be updated.

Private, well actually I can not think of any reason to make it Private. Let me know if you have a valid reason.

If you have taken an observation at your house, and do not want everyone to know exactly where you stay. Instead of pinning your house, select your street, or suburb. Or a close by road intersection. Then set the accuracy to display a circle that includes your home. Now you are saying it is in that area, but somewhere in the circle.
Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41298990
This will prevent a grass patch displayed out at sea.

We can not prescribe. Only help you to make your own decision.

See more on the iNaturalist help page under Observations, point 8.
https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#geoprivacy

Posted on April 26, 2020 14:54 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Habitat project in iNaturalist for Southern Africa

Why is there a Habitat project?
This is a project started by SANBI to indicate where something was sighted. It is so that they can collect and collate data according to habitats for research purposes. Without your valuable input they will not be able to do the important work they do to protect our biodiversity.
All users withing Southern Africa are encouraged to use this project. Please do!

They list a range of habitats to select from.

• Natural Terrestrial Systems:
Afrotemperate Forest, Albany Thicket, Caves, Desert, Eastern Coast Belt Forest, Fynbos, Grassveld, Nama Karoo, Renosterveld, Savanna: Arid, Savanna: Brachystegia, Savanna: Koakoveld, Savanna: Moist, Strandveld, Subantarctic Tundra, Succulent Karoo

• Natural Terrestrial Wetland Systems:
Aquatic, Estuaries, Littoral, Wetland

• Natural Marine Systems:
Coral Reef, Deep Reef, Littoral, Marine Benthic, Marine Canyon, Marine Pelagic

• Human transformed Systems:
Cropland, Dwellings, Gardens, Plantation, Urban Parkland, Wasteland, Zoos & Aquaria less

This is a Traditional project.
So, you need to join the project to be able to use it.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/habitats-s-afr

When you upload an observation, firstly go to “Fields” and select “Habitats (s Afr)”. There you will see the above listed habitats.
When this is done, under “Projects” select “Habitats (s Afr)” and your observations will be added to the project.
Note you must first do the Field before the project. If you select the Project without the field the system will reject it and your observation will not be added.

Posted on April 26, 2020 15:24 by shauns shauns | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 16, 2020

Cape Town challenge to Garden Route

Cape Town has thrown down the gauntlet and are trying to catch up to the Garden Route Lockdown challenge.

Quote from email “Please help us to get on top of Garden Route! Cape Town wants to be tops.” And they say all we have is “energy and enthusiasm”.

Is the Garden Route really going to sit back and let them take the laurels?
We have the will; we have the dedicated people and we have the diversity. All they have is a mountain.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/garden-route-south-africa-lockdown

And in one week from today the City Nature Challenge will start. And I bet Cape Town will try to get on top again.
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-garden-route

Have Fun and Be Safe

Posted on April 16, 2020 09:00 by shauns shauns | 1 comments | Leave a comment