Introducing iNaturalist for the UK

The NBN Trust is working in partnership with Marine Biological Association (MBA) and Biological Records Centre (BRC) to become the UK node for iNaturalist.

Working with MBA and BRC we will be developing processes and agreements for promoting and using iNaturalist in the UK to complement the other recording tools already available to the biological recording community. BRC will work with National Recording Schemes to facilitate the integration of iNaturalist within UK recording systems.

The main reasons for taking this opportunity are:

  • iNaturalist is a growing community within the UK; the past year has seen approximately 660 new users a month. The Network is well placed to engage with these citizen scientists and encourage greater participation in wildlife recording, particularly for groups with little previous experience;
  • We will be given enhanced access to UK records, which we can then share with organisations across the UK, following the guidance of sharing sensitive records and licensing agreements. This will facilitate the use of iNaturalist data for research and conservation in the UK
  • As members of the iNaturalist steering group we will be able to support the direction of iNaturalist and feedback comments and suggestions from the UK.

It should be noted that there are no plans to transfer data directly from iNaturalist to the NBN Atlas, other than the exports we currently do at the request of NBN Atlas data providers.

This is the first step in the process of becoming the UK node for iNaturalist and there is still work to do before the UK website is launched. However, we hope to launch the site in April 2021 and updates on progress will be shared in Network News and on the NBN Forum.

About iNaturalist

iNaturalist is a lot of different things, but at its core, iNaturalist is an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature.

In the UK it is already used by thousands of people for community events such as BioBlitz’s, including the City Nature Challenge.

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