iNaturalist landscape logo

iNaturalist is one of the world’s most popular nature apps and social networks, built to share and discuss record identification with other users all over the globe.

Born from a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, the main aim of iNaturalist is to create research quality data for scientists to help them understand species distribution and trends.

In April 2021 NBN Trust, Marine Biological Association (MBA) and Biological Records Centre (BRC) launched iNaturalist UK, with the aim of benefitting local biodiversity (e.g. by automatically blurring coordinates to protect sensitive species) and to assist the efficient flow of UK biodiversity data, specifically by importing iNaturalist records into iRecord.

How to contribute to iNaturalistUK:

  • Create an account/install the iNaturalist app: Search for ‘iNaturalist’ on Google Play (Android) or the App Store (Apple). If you are a new user, you will be prompted to associate your iNaturalist account to iNaturalistUK. If you are already an iNaturalist user or miss the prompts, you can go to settings and select “iNaturalist Network” and then “iNaturalist United Kingdom” from the list.
  • Join the iNaturalistUK User Group: NBN Trust would like to know how iNaturalist is used by individual recorders and organisations. To get involved, please email describing briefly who you are in terms of recording.
  • Join the iNaturalist forum: You can share your thoughts and suggestions on iNaturalist at this link.

How to ensure that TWIC and other LERCs can use your records on iNaturalist

  • Licencing: TWIC can only benefit from your records if you apply a CCO or CC-BY licence to your records. To change your licencing settings on the app go to: Settings>Content and Display and choose CCO or CC-BY (please note that photographs can be given a licence type that is different from the species record). For more information on Creative Commons licences see: this link.
  • Use your real name when possible: when dealing with difficult taxon groups or uncertain IDs, knowing who the recorder is can help us determine if they have expertise on the subject or if we may require more information. It can also help us identify duplicate records if the user has submitted their data to multiple places. Use of usernames or pseudonyms means lost information.
  • Choose the best possible resolution: try to be as precise as possible when locating your sighting on the map, high resolution records such as 100m-square grid references or better have a stronger weight in environmental decision-making.