The Great Nature Project 2014 Year in Summary

iNaturalist by default has useful summaries available for each project as a whole (Checklist of Taxa, Project Stats, and Leaderboard), but I thought it would be fun to run some numbers based on 2014 alone.

iNaturalist revealed a great new map for all >1 million observations on the site, but it's not available yet at the project level. Therefore, I thought I'd make a few maps myself showing where observations in the Great Nature Project came from in 2014.

Map of the world

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. has the most observations by far (>18,000). Mexico is second with >2700. Then India, Peru, and Italy each have >200. You can't see it on the map, but Mauritius had almost as many observations as the whole United Kingdom last year, thanks single-handedly to rinahart169. Thanks, Varina!

As far as the 50 United States plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico are concerned for 2014, the top and bottom rankings are:
The Top States!
California (>6500)
Texas (>5200)
Vermont (1800) (especially impressive since it's the second smallest by population)

The Bottom States (all with fewer than 5 observations in the Great Nature Project):
Rhode Island (zilch! And there are over a million people there!)
Oklahoma (zero! And almost 4 million people there!)
Puerto Rico (nada! not a state, but nearly ties with Oklahoma for population)

Do you live in any of the dozens of un/under-represented countries or states? Planning any travel to those areas in 2015? Make sure you share your observations of biodiversity!

Most of the top contributors to the Great Nature Project are top contributors to iNaturalist overall, but I want to highlight top contributors to the Great Nature Project who joined iNaturalist more recently. These folks uploaded their first observation to iNaturalist in the last year or so, and each has added several hundred observations to the Great Nature Project. Quite an impressive start for each of them!

asemerdj- 632 observations and 394 taxa!
corbanhemphill- 484 observations and 343 taxa.
allenbartell- 496 observations and 232 taxa.

What was your favorite sighting in 2014? What do you look forward to seeing in 2015? My most interesting observation of 2014 was a fisher (first in Maryland on iNat!), but sadly I saw it as roadkill. In 2015 I look forward to seeing everything that you add to the Great Nature Project!

Thank you all for your interest in the Great Nature Project! We have exciting plans in store for 2015 and wish you all the best in the new year!

Have fun exploring!

Publicado el diciembre 31, 2014 09:10 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer


I was actually driving through Kansas and about to cross into Oklahoma when my wife read this to me. So we took some shots from I35 to get Oklahoma some data. It was actually quite interesting because there were hundreds of Hawks on the roadside. Not sure if they are usually that common there in the winter or perhaps the cold arctic front had pushed them down.

Publicado por allenbartell hace más de 9 años

Also, I grew up in SoDak and I recall seeing snowy owls only a couple times up there. I have mentioned to many fellow birders how special those sightings were to me.

Last week my wife and I drove from TX to SD to spend the holidays with my family. I told her about the rate owl sightings and said that it would be a dream of mine to see a snowy owl once more.

Well, yesterday, near Watertown SD, I noticed a large raptor flying toward to road and pointed it out to my wife. As we got closer I could not believe it, SNOWY OWL!!!!! I got my dream sighting!! We did not get a decent pic but my wife has some video. What a great way to end the year!!

Publicado por allenbartell hace más de 9 años

I'm from South Florida, and I seem to remember a greaser diversity of wildlife there than I see here in South Texas. Maybe because we're on the edge of the desert here, and South Florida is basically a drained swamp?

Anyway, I could have added more observations, but I've been mainly concentrating my observations on things I don't see EVERY DAY. Obviously, I could put black vultures (Coragyps atratus) about 50 times a day, but that would tend to get a little monotonous. We all know what species are common in our areas.

I also don't add an observation if I can't get a good enough look to make an identification. Just 2 days ago I saw a raptor go after some birds in a tree. I only got a quick glimpse of it - maybe 0.2 second. I'm pretty sure it was a Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), but I can't be sure, so I didn't post.

More observations this year. I'll be making at least one trip across the country this year, so I'll have more opportunities to see new species!

Publicado por mojavejohnson hace más de 9 años

I live in California so we've obviously got that covered, but this year I'll be traveling to at least Washington, Texas (Dallas area), Minnesota, and Michigan. Some will be work travel, but I'll try to take a few shots when I can to add observations. Great project!

Publicado por tsoleau hace más de 9 años

Thanks, Allen! Way to get some Oklahoma observations in under the wire! That's really exciting about the snowy owl. Congrats!

Publicado por carrieseltzer hace más de 9 años

This is really interesting. Thanks Carrie!! I promise lots of photos from Hawaii in 2015!

My favorite from this year just has to be dog vomit slime mold from our bioblitz in Australia. It's just so weird and cool!

Publicado por maryeford hace más de 9 años

My early posting of the slime mold Wolf's Milk clinched my interest in iNat. I learned so much by using the Identotron, using the ID Please tool, getting responses from experts, moving up to Research Grade and following the External Links that I was able to post about it on my natural history blog and then was all ready for the super fun GGNRA Bioblitz in California. Now I tend to post unusual sightings or things I want to learn more about.

Publicado por dipperanch hace más de 9 años

dipperanch, your story about slime mold reminds me of my observation of cyanobacteria (I think!). I thought it was a fungus, too, but then somehow I came across a photo of Nostoc and started reading about that. I have yet to get a confirmation on the ID, but I hope someone who knows more about it will find it eventually!

mojavejohnson, I definitely understand that it's much less exciting to share things you see all the time since that can become tedious and uninteresting. I'm trying to take the opportunity to notice and document more plants and insects (since they can be easier to photograph!) that I otherwise would have walked past without a thought. This fall I took a whole series of photos of hemipterans that lived on a fence that I passed every morning on my way to work (I still need to upload some of those!).

tsoleau, no shame in continuing to document California's biodiversity! I find it fascinating to use the new global iNaturalist map to zoom in on favorite natural areas and usually find that there are no observations from there yet on iNat! For example, this map ( ) shows the location of my childhood stomping ground outside Chicago-- a nature center and preserve with ephemeral ponds, oak savanna, and no observations! I definitely need to remedy that :-)

Publicado por carrieseltzer hace más de 9 años

When you slow down and look small it is amazing the diversity you can find in a single log or under a rock. Never forget the small spaces. I am never afraid to post something if I can't id. That is how I have learned a lot. But I do try to get a decent enough pic that someone COULD ID it.

Publicado por allenbartell hace más de 9 años

How can you join?

Publicado por thespy1602 hace más de 9 años

Hi THESPY1602! I invited one of your observations with a photo to the Great Nature Project, so you should receive a notification. Alternatively, you can click "Join this project" at the top of any project page. Then, you'll be able to add observations to it. Thanks for your interest!

Publicado por carrieseltzer hace más de 9 años

I joined! Thanks! Nice project!

Publicado por thespy1602 hace alrededor de 9 años

do you have any other projects?

Publicado por thespy1602 hace alrededor de 9 años

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