Flowering plants of Ethiopia's Journal

February 14, 2020

Nature Map Explorer is live

The iNaturalist community is helping to bolster flowering plant distribution records worldwide, and through this project we have been aiming to improve the quality and quantity of observations for Ethiopia, as well as India, Indonesia and Turkey.

The data, alongside many others, have fed into a series of global analyses and maps. You can see the new global map of areas important for the conservation of biodiversity and carbon storage here - https://explorer.naturemap.earth/map - and watch a webinar to find out more about how the maps are made. Your feedback through Nature Map Explorer on these initial maps, how they are explained or how they/what else might be useful, is very much welcomed.

Thank you for all your support so far!

Posted on February 14, 2020 22:20 by lera lera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 28, 2019

Making sure your observations are shared to GBIF

We have leapt up from 150 in Sept to 243 Research Grade observations now - thank you, everyone!

Our aim here is to share wild flowering plant observations with the scientific community through GBIF.org (the Global Biodiversity Information Facility), where they are brought together with other location records from databases around the world.

This happens when (i) the observation is Research Grade (wild plant, identification agreed upon by by two iNaturalist members, with location, photo and observation date).

AND (ii) the license of the observations and photos permits automatic onward sharing by iNaturalist by GBIF. Only observations having CC0, CC BY, or CC BY-NC licenses will be share with GBIF: see https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#GBIFdata

If you want to make sure this is happening, please visit your profile on the website and choose 'Edit account settings and profile' - its surprising how many users are not sharing their data this way. Thank you!

Posted on November 28, 2019 22:52 by lera lera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 17, 2019

Photo guide to help identifying

A big thank you to those who have been helping identify the observations in this Ethiopia collection project. One of the members of the project @marcoschmidtffm has made an amazing photo guide to African plants, which allows you to filter by any number of features of the plant (e.g. leaf structure, flower inflorescence) and returns a list of potential species with photos.

It could be really useful to help narrow down tricky observations.

Marco has very kindly agreed to share his guide here in case it's useful in helping to identify.

It can be accessed from http://www.africanplants.senckenberg.de/root/index.php

Posted on September 17, 2019 11:47 by matthewlewis896 matthewlewis896 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 11, 2019

Low hanging fruit (and flowers) for identification

It's good to see the id progress on the Flowering Plants of Ethiopia project - over 150 observations at Research Grade now. That leaves about 1,000 observations in the 'needs id' pot, including leafy photos that will be harder to identify to species.

Sometimes - but far from always - when the photos for an observation include flowers, fruit or buds, this is marked up in the Annotations section.

That means its possible to query for observations that still need an initial id, or for the id to be confirmed, and which are more likely to have diagnostic features to help the identifier. There are about 150 of these at the time of writing. It would be fabulous to get these identified or confirmed - it'd double the Research Grade count.

This link will take you to these observations (hiding the ones that you personally have already reviewed)

[updated 19-6-20 to exclude new annotation 'no evidence of flowering']

Other ways to help improve this set for other identifiers

  • add the annotation when you see a flower or fruit photo that hasn't been tagged
  • mark up obviously planted individuals as 'not wild' in the Data Quality Assessment (see also previous news item)

Posted on September 11, 2019 09:39 by lera lera | 1 comment | Leave a comment

July 10, 2019

Planted in Ethiopia

One of the issues that we are coming across with this effort to improve the data on wild flowering plants is that a lot of observations of plants that are planted (not naturally occurring) still need to be tagged. iNaturalist rules that even exotic species are eligible for Research Grade, but only if they have spread themselves (eg the seedling of a planted tree). There are quite a few planted specimens turning up as Research Grade in iNaturalist.

If as an identifier, you are marking up an observation of a pot plant or a street tree as 'not wild', it would be super if you also point the users to the new project - e.g. "Your observation will appear in the new project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/planted-in-ethiopia , where users can help one another to identify garden and house plants, street trees, crops and so on. Please do feel free to join. "

Posted on July 10, 2019 21:53 by lera lera | 1 comment | Leave a comment

June 11, 2019

Identifications in Flowering Plants of Ethiopia

A particular thank you to those who have been identifying observations within this Ethiopia collection project. There's a pressing need for help identifying plant species records here - thank you so much for helping others with their understanding of the flora and in the progress towards Research Grade records for GBIF.

Posted on June 11, 2019 16:51 by lera lera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 16, 2019

First results of the campaing

Since the project became public and it has been advertised we have had a big increase in the rate of submission of new photos, more than 100 in 3 days. The whole dataset has expanded by 15% in a very short amount of time.

The number of identified photos has also increased, but not as much. But worry not, we have botanists from Ethiopia and Kew Royal Botanical Gardens that have volunteered to help identifying the photos, so we should see an increase in identifications too.

I would ask the community to help in flagging if a species has been planted or not (there do not seem to be many cases yet but they may increase).

We will expand the checklist of Ethiopian plants, currently very limited https://www.inaturalist.org/check_lists/7179-Ethiopia-Check-List?iconic_taxon=47126
this will help all of us knowing if the species being observed are native or introduced.

thanks all for the effort and get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions

Posted on May 16, 2019 09:09 by pierov pierov | 0 comments | Leave a comment