אפריל 3, 2023

iNat Social on May 2nd from 6PM-8PM at Metropolitan Brewing (Chicago)

Illinois Science Council is hosting an Identification Social after this year's City Nature Challenge. We'll gather at Metropolitan Brewery, get a quick tutorial on how to use iNaturalist, and then hang out enjoying the local brew while marking observations that occurred over the past weekend.

Bring your own laptop or device to work on!

Metropolitan is family and dog friendly, with gluten-free and NA options.

Tuesday, May 2nd
6PM-8PM (Central)
Metropolitan Brewing
3057 North Rockwell Street, Chicago, IL (view map)

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/id-the-birds-bees-with-isc-city-nature-challenge-tickets-537806773537

הועלה ב-אפריל 3, 2023 02:18 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | תצפית 1 | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 4, 2022

Join the Chicago region City Nature Challenge team

Help organize locally for the City Nature Challenge 2023: Chicago Region. The observation dates for next year's challenge are April 28th through May 1st, 2023. Save the dates!

Our first regional organizers planning meeting will be:
Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at 10AM Central
via Zoom

To join that meeting and/or be added to our regional organizers email list, add your contact info to this form and we will send you the meeting link.

Other links:

Thinking of planning an event?
If you or your organization is thinking about holding a related event before, during, or soon after the City Nature Challenge in the Chicago Metro area, we will be collecting all events and displaying them on our regional hub. Example events include:

  • bioblitz
  • guided nature hikes
  • iNaturalist workshops/trainings (e.g. for beginners, how to add IDs, educator-focused, or advanced iNat usage)
  • virtual identification party or nature storytelling
  • sharing how your organization or research uses iNat data
  • learning about urban flora and fauna through iNat or Seek
  • urban nature trivia Zoom
הועלה ב-דצמבר 4, 2022 04:41 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | תגובה 1 | הוספת תגובה

יוני 19, 2022

Mulberries in North America

(in progress)

Morus alba (white mulberry) Morus nigra (black mulberry) Morus rubra (red mulberry)
Broadly naturalized in North America Not known to naturalize in North America, but sometimes planted Broadly native to central/eastern North America
Fruits white, pink, red, purple, or black at various stages (might be any color when ripe) Fruits white, pink, red, purple, or black at various stages (colors when ripe?) Fruits white, red, purple, or black at various stages (usually black/purple when ripe)
Fruits mostly stubbier (length to width ratio mostly 1.5 to 3) ? Fruits mostly longer (length to width ratio mostly 2.5 to 4)
Buds small, tannish-brown; twigs pinkish-brown Buds large, dark brown/black Buds large, reddish-brown; twigs pale tan
Leaves lobed or unlobed, often deeply lobed ? Leaves lobed or unlobed (less commonly or deeply lobed)
Leaves mostly 3 to 8 cm wide, rarely more than 15 cm long ? Leaves mostly 8 to 22 cm wide, larger leaves often more than 15 cm long
Leaves mostly hairless and glossy on the surface; brighter yellowish green Leaves roughly hairy on the surface, dull Leaves roughly hairy on the surface, dull, slightly wrinkly/rugose; bluer-green
Few, short hairs on the leaf back (0.2-0.5 mm), primarily on major veins Hairy (expand) Many, longer hairs on the leaf back (0.4-0.7 mm), all over
Leaf tip not commonly elongated like a lil tail ? Leaf tip often caudate/acuminate/elongated (like a lil tail)

(Morus microphylla not yet included here)
(are there other spp in Mexico?)
what else?


As of 19 June 2022 there are about 2,750 obs (2,100 Needs ID, 200 RG) of Morus nigra in North America on iNat, most of which are misidentified Morus alba. You can help out with ID here!

הועלה ב-יוני 19, 2022 04:54 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 3 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 18, 2022

Chicago Region flora giveaway

If you live in the Chicago area and don't have a copy of Flora of the Chicago Region, or know someone who would greatly benefit from receiving a copy of this hefty book, please nominate yourself or that person to receive a copy here: http://illinoisplants.org/flora-giveaway/

More info at the link above but here are the nomination guidelines:

  1. Nominating yourself is encouraged! You can also nominate someone else.
  2. Nominee’s primary residence must be within the Chicago Region – see map above and county list: Illinois (Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will), Indiana (Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke), Michigan (Berrien), Wisconsin (Kenosha, Racine, Walworth).
  3. Nominee should not already have a copy of the Flora of the Chicago Region and should demonstrate how they need/will benefit from receiving a complimentary copy.
  4. Nominations are due May 31st, 2022 (at midnight Central time).

thanks for helping spread the word!

הועלה ב-אפריל 18, 2022 02:26 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

דצמבר 29, 2021

Underfunded native plant conservation and research

Native plant conservation and research is severely underfunded. One report showed despite comprising 57% of federally Threatened and Endangered species, they got less than 4% of the federal funding.

If you love plants, call and email your representatives. Ask them to support increased funding for native plant conservation. Then consider donating to these organizations.

This is a time-sensitive fundraiser to protect an extremely rare ecosystem: Save Bell Bowl Prairie. An airport access road is planned to be built right through it, but there is a legal effort to alter the plan and protect its many rare plants:

Annotation and illustration by Liz Anna Kozik, learn more at https://www.savebellbowlprairie.org/

Look for a native plant society near you. The research and monitoring programs through the Illinois Native Plant Society have been expanding in recent years. Since INPS is completely volunteer-led, donations to the grant programs goes right to scientists here in Illinois to study our native plants and ecosystems with no overhead:

Find a "Friends of [local nature park system]" near you. Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is a pretty new organization with teams of volunteers working to protect and restore the highest quality native ecosystems throughout the state:

And, of course, iNaturalist! Our observations help land managers and researchers learn more about ALL life. I've seen iNat data used in quite a few papers and reports. For example, the consultants tasked with assessing the threat of construction activities to the Bell Bowl Prairie's threatened/endangered species included iNaturalist in their list of resources to assess. What we share here has a real impact. But server space isn't free and community support is needed:

Who am I missing? Please share your favorite native plant conservation or research organizations that are doing good work, and how best to support them.

Associated tweet: https://twitter.com/BOUCUR/status/1476229145734623238

הועלה ב-דצמבר 29, 2021 05:31 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | תגובה 1 | הוספת תגובה

אוקטובר 2, 2021

Prairie under threat - Bell Bowl Prairie in Rockford, Illinois

Prairie dandelion, Nothocalais cuspidata at Bell Bowl Prairie, observed by @edwardcope

See what's going on, and how you can help, whether you're in Illinois or somewhere else:


הועלה ב-אוקטובר 2, 2021 02:00 לפנה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 28, 2021

"iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge" - Chicago Wilderness Cafe next Thursday, February 4th at Noon

Next week Edward Warden (@ewarden) and I, with help from Taran Lichtenberger (@taran09), Kristin Brock, and Laura Reilly (@lauraxreilly), will doing a quick presentation on iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge. If you're reading this here, you might not be the intended audience, but perhaps you can help spread the word?

Here's the link to register: https://www.chicagowilderness.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1464964

It's not strictly Chicago-specific, so feel free to share more broadly.

thanks! :)
cassi / @bouteloua


iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge

Chicago Wilderness Cafe - over Zoom! register here
Thursday, February 4th
12PM - 1PM

First, learn about iNaturalist, a community science website, app, and network of people making observations of flora and fauna across the world. Learn how amateurs and professionals alike are sharing their nature observations, getting help with species identification, and using the iNaturalist platform for conservation planning, land management, nature education, monitoring, and research.

Second, see how you or your organization can participate in the City Nature Challenge (CNC) an annual, friendly, bioblitz-style competition between urban areas all around the world, taking place between April 30th and May 3rd, 2021. It began in 2016 between just Los Angeles and San Francisco and has since expanded worldwide, with hundreds of cites expected to participate in 2021. The Challenge aims to engage city residents and visitors in learning about their local nature and to help all of us better understand urban biodiversity. Anyone can take part on their own, assist others with identification, or even organize a bioblitz at a nearby park.

Presenters & Moderators:

  • cassi saari, Project Manager - Natural Areas, Chicago Park District and President, Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society
  • Edward Warden: Conservation Stewardship Coordinator-Shedd Aquarium and President-Chicago Ornithological Society
  • Kristin Brock, Chicago Park District Outdoor & Environmental Education Manager
  • Taran Lichtenberger, Chicago Botanic Garden, Project Budburst
הועלה ב-ינואר 28, 2021 11:38 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

ספטמבר 30, 2020

Great Lakes Unknownathon (October 2020)

Help Identify!

"Unknown" observations don't have any identification label at all. Many people helping identify observations on iNaturalist will filter the observations by the group of species they know how to ID (like "plants" or "insects"), so observations with no ID at all yet will be excluded from those filtered searches. Putting in a general ID helps funnel the observation to someone who might know what they're looking at so that it can get identified more quickly.

Baseline stats:

61,809 observations in the Great Lakes region without an ID

And state/province by state/province:

Let's see how low we can get these numbers by the end of October!

View a quick tutorial on how to efficiently use the Identify page here.

*Tallying observations posted to iNat before Sept 30th, 2020.


Why the Great Lakes region?
It's where I find most interesting. :) And...I don't feel like tallying stats for more places. Though someone could probably write some simple code to tally these automatically for a bunch of places at a time, like every state or every country!

Do I have to know anything about how to identify stuff in this region?
No! Even a basic identification, like "frog", "mammal", or "flowering plant" will help other identifiers find these observations better.

I want to hang out and chitchat with other iNatters while I'm IDing unknowns. Where can I do that?
Check out the main iNaturalist Discord server or the Great Lakes Botany server.

Someone said something snarky, like "duh" or "obviously, but I want to know which species" when I added a coarse ID to their observation - what should I do?
These people usually don't understand yet how identifications work on iNaturalist. Sometimes it's best to just not respond at all, but one option is to use or modify the commonly used response for this situation. There are several listed here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/responses#addid You might even consider using some boilerplate text as you are adding IDs with some quick copy/pasting. If it was a really inappropriate comment (check the Community Guidelines), always feel comfortable flagging the comment so a curator or iNat staff can take a look.

Wait, but some of these are your observations...
Hey, that's not a question. And, sorry.

Why do some species show up in the stats as unknowns?
They're waiting to be grafted by a curator/staff, or it's an unknown bug! Yay!

Help Identify!

הועלה ב-ספטמבר 30, 2020 11:46 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 3 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

מאי 1, 2020

Plants of the Chicago Wilderness: Stories from Home and Field (free webinar on May 7th, 6PM)

Thursday, May 7th, 2020
6PM - 7:30PM

Join us for a virtual happy hour and get a glimpse into some unique plants and habitats of the Chicago Wilderness region through the lens of ecological restoration practitioners. Learn how plants can help recreate lost ecosystems, create entirely new ones, and help us read the landscape to learn how to bring nature back to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.

Register: https://audubon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUqce6trz0vGN2eRwGLqwczNlUc_hrdf5PU
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/547242352583337/

🌻 Robb Telfer is an amateur naturalist and performance poet from Chicago. He has taught and performed in nine different countries and his writing has appeared in video games, public radio, newspapers, and magazines. 

🌻 cassi saari is a recent addition to the Chicago Park District's natural areas team where she coordinates research and monitoring and supports on-the-ground ecological restoration through mapping and planning. Her background is in field botany, ecological restoration design, and vegetation monitoring. She is a volunteer Curator on iNaturalist.org and President of the Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society.

🌻 Kevin Scheiwiller is the Restoration Manager for Citizens for Conservation, a local non-profit that focuses on restoring their land holdings while sharing resources with local forest preserve districts to expand the restoration footprint in the Barrington area.

🌻 Travis Kuntzelman is the Indian Boundary Prairies (IBP) Stewardship Manager. He restores remnant grasslands in the Lake Plain and Calumet region. IBP is located in Markham, IL and includes 5 Nature Preserves.

🌻 Lauren Umek is a Project Manager with the Chicago Park District where she became fascinated with the ecological potential of post-industrial landscapes. Her PhD research explored the impacts of land management on plants and soils but the ecosystems in the Calumet region seem to challenge existing ecological knowledge in an amazing way.

🌻 Daniel Suarez is the Stewardship Program Manager for Audubon Great Lakes, where he works to recruit, empower, and connect volunteer stewards throughout the region. He works with landowners, scientists, and monitors to understand the impacts of land management on birds through co-chairing the Chicago Wilderness Grassland Bird Task Force.

hope to see you there!
הועלה ב-מאי 1, 2020 09:53 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 22, 2020

Guiding new users toward successful iNatting

This weekend is the City Nature Challenge 2020 (CNC), a bioblitz in urban areas around the world. With hundreds of cities participating this year, iNat is about to explode with its annual flurry of activity. The observation period is this Friday, April 24th through Monday, April 27th (local time in each place).

Because there will be so many new users, and a lot of young naturalists, they may not yet realize that iNaturalist is a valued resource used by land managers, researchers, organizations, etc. and treat it more like any other social media site. They may not even know that what they're posting is being viewed by anyone but themselves, or their friends, much less the public. So here are a few tips and common responses to issues that come up very frequently during these types of bioblitzes that bring in a lot of new users.

Bookmark this page: common responses to frequent situations on iNaturalist observations, which includes some standard language for common situations like:

  • Welcome to iNaturalist
  • Not an Organism/Test Observations
  • Observation of Human
  • Add an Identification
  • Multiple Species in One Observation
  • Captive/Cultivated Organism
  • Use Your Own Photos And Observations (copyrighted photos)
  • Provide Cropped Photo
  • Rotate Photo
  • Re-order Photo
  • Missing Date
  • Missing Location
  • Imprecise Location
  • Private Location
  • Duplicate Observations
  • "Bad" Identifications
  • Misled by Computer Vision

Besides adding identifications, one of the most helpful things you can do is to mark captive animals and planted plants as "not wild" if they weren't already. You can also let the users know that they should check the captive/cultivated box before uploading (see prepared response examples). Only mark observations as "not wild" if you are confident that is the case.

You can also use the Data Quality Assessment section at the bottom of each observation to mark observations as not containing an organism at all, a clearly incorrect location or date, etc.

Identify humans as humans: Observations of humans are automatically casual grade and hidden from most areas of the site by default. There is no need to flag observations as humans unless there is some sort of grossly inappropriate content involved. A small number of observations of humans is totally fine. Pictures of pets, humans, abiotic phenomena, or obvious test observations are all okay, unless that's all someone is uploading. You can politely request they focus on appropriate subjects, and if they continue to add irrelevant content, you can flag one of the observations for a curator or staff person to take a look.

You can flag an image as copyright infringement which will replace it with a big "COPYRIGHTED MEDIA REMOVED" image and marks the observation as "casual grade." You can flag the photo directly 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.*

Use the Community Guidelines as a resource. If you see something clearly inappropriate and aren't able to address it yourself, or would prefer someone else to, please flag the offending content (ID, observation, comment, and/or photo). A curator or site staff can take a look and hopefully find a resolution. Some people do need to be suspended right away; check out the Community Guidelines for some of the potentially suspendable offenses.

Curators: I use these common responses to flagged issues very frequently. When in doubt, or if something is extremely inappropriate and should be deleted immediately, you can always email the staff help@inaturalist.org.

In general, assume good faith. Remember that there's a real person behind every observation, so be polite when addressing issues.

Take a break from identifying if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Check the Frequently Asked Questions page, Community Guidelines, Curator Guide, and ask if you have any questions.

Want to avoid seeing problematic content as much as possible?

Use the filters on Identify to exclude the dates of this week/weekend, only show content from users who made their account more than a week ago, or limit your searches to places outside of the CNC areas.

Learn more about using the filters on the Identify page and special search URL modifications.

הועלה ב-אפריל 22, 2020 02:11 אחה"צ על ידי bouteloua bouteloua | 2 תגובות | הוספת תגובה