iNaturalist is a worldwide online network of biodiversity information that provides access to millions of citizen science observations of plant and animal biodiversity. It functions as a crowdsourced species identification system and organism recurrence recording tool to help understand the presence and prevalence of plant and animal species at a location-specific level. The only information required to access iNaturalist information is location, and the database can also be searched by plant or animal species of interest. While a login is not required to access information, a free account provides full access to iNaturalist resources. A key limitation of using iNaturalist to understand plant and animal populations on a given site is that while iNaturalist has mechanisms in place to control for user error as well as a “Research Grade” designation for verifiable observations, much of the information cannot be considered verified data. The most reliable data from iNaturalist and other sources may be downloaded at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
Help build the LPS: Find out how to submit a case study and other ways to contribute.