October 14, 2019

Jordan - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 16 of the iNaturalist World Tour in Jordan. The top observer is @cliygh-and-mia with observations clustered around the capital Amman. Several other top observers have observations near Amman such as @khaled5 who works as a tour guide across Jordan. Ecologist @ronf and Jerusalem Botanical Gardens botanist @fragmansapir are in Israel on the map because of all their observations in neighboring Israel, but they each are top observers within Jordan across the country and in places like the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve. Severeal other top observers such as @harrisonlee07, @wildchroma, @paolaferruzzi, and @saysay123 have observations clustered near this reserve. @yairur is also in Israel on the map, but their Jordan observations are just along the border with the Golan Hights in the northwest corner of Jordan. Several top observers such as @denis_m have observations clustered in the coastal city of Aqaba.


The graph of observations per month had a peak centered on January 2017 and has been ramped up again in 2019.


@sammyboy2059, based inthe UAE, is the top identifier and leads in bird and mammal IDs. @ronf leads in plant IDs. @cliygh-and-mia leads in insect, herp, arachnid, and mollusk IDs. @ariel-shamir and @artem are other top identifiers lending their expertise from Israel and Armenia respectively.


What can we do to get more people in Jordan using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@cliygh-and-mia @ronf @yairur @fragmansapir @khaled5 @denis_m @harrisonlee07 @sammyboy2059 @ariel-shamir @artem

We’ll be back tomorrow in Jamaica!

Posted on October 14, 2019 18:13 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Cameroon - iNaturalist World Tour

Cameroon is the 111th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @aristidetakoukam with many observations (mostly fish) up and down the coast of Cameroon. @johnnybirder's observations are clustered near Korup National Park while @markuslilje's observations are clustered in the western and northern parts of the country. @irida73ceae has observations near Banyo, @elisebakker near Bouba National Park and @jakob and @markusgmeiner near Lobeke National Park. Other top observers include @muir, @dan_cawley, and @spellecchias. @dan_cawley's observations are near the capital of Yaoundé where he works at the Rain Forest International school.


the number of observations per week has been ramping up since 2017.


@esant is the top identifier and leads in fish IDs. Fish are the top observation category thanks to all the contributions from @aristidetakoukam. As with many African countries, @jakob leads in insects, @johnnybirder in birds, and @marcoschmidtffm in plants as top identifiers. Other top identifiers include @joshuagsmith and @clinton


What can we do to get more people in Cameroon using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@aristidetakoukam @johnnybirder @markuslilje @irida73ceae @elisebakker @jakob @muir @esant @joshuagsmith @clinton

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Jordan!

Posted on October 14, 2019 07:03 by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

October 13, 2019

A Kazakhstani Photographer Posts the First Known Photos of a Jumping Spider Species - Observation of the Week, 10/13/19

Our Observation of the Week is this Pseudomogrus dalaensis jumping spider, seen in Kazakhstan by @talgar-t64! These are the first known photos of a living individual of this species.

“People usually do not pay attention to what's under their feet. And there's this whole world,” says Anatoly Ozernoy. “And I want to show [these worlds] to people. Show their beauty, their physical perfection, their world. We should not destroy them, they have the same right to live on this earth. Earth is for everybody, it's not only for people.”

Anatoly lives in southeastern Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Ile Alatau mountains, and he tells me “a great variety of natural habitats is represented here: mountain peaks with glaciers, alpine meadows, old-growth conifer forest zones, steppe by the foothills and deserts further away from the mountains. This allows me to experience tremendous diversity of life without a need to travel long distances - everything's a stone's throw away.”

As a spider enthusiast, Anatoly has taken it upon himself to photograph local spiders, many of which are not well documented. “There are lots of endemic species here,” he explains, “but their scientific descriptions lack photos [and] most of them have never been photographed alive...So my photos are often the first ones of the species - this also adds quite a motivation to my research. I'm eager to find more of them, take pictures and share with people.”

One of those spiders is the one shown above, the jumping spider Pseudomogrus dalaensis. Anatoly tells me it’s known only from three locations in Kazakhstan “and out of the blue I found it just 13 kilometers away from one of those places in the fall, although I was betting on spring or summer. It was a great luck! The spider is small and I was fortunate enough to spot it on a large prickly shrub.”

With over 6,000 species, the Salticidae, or jumping spiders, are the most diverse of any spider family, and are pretty amazing. Perhaps the most visually-acute spiders, salticids have large, forward-facing eyes that allow them to find prey and judge jumping distances. This distance judging is accomplished not through binocular vision like we humans use, but “by comparing a blurry version of an image with a clear one, a method called image defocus.” And unlike, say, orb weaver spiders, male jumping spiders use visual cues when courting a mate; most famously those in the genus Maratus. Check out this video of a male courting a female!

Anatoly (above) says that iNaturalist has “proved very useful” when it comes to “photographing spider species, researching their distribution throughout the country, sharing local biodiversity with the community.

It's got various taxa distribution features, great tools for working with maps, plus every interested person has an opportunity to see observations. Moreover, I have an opportunity now to help others with identification of their spider observations and see for myself and learn new species and their habitats.

A huge thank you to @kastani for translating messages between myself and Anatoly, and to @zygy for bringing my attention to this observation. The generosity and passion of the iNat community is always humbling.

- Using laser vibrometers, researchers at UC Berkeley study the acoustic signals male jumping spiders create during courtship, which complement their visual dance. 

- Here’s a video of those sounds. 

Posted on October 13, 2019 16:46 by tiwane tiwane | 12 comments | Leave a comment

October 12, 2019

El Salvador - iNaturalist World Tour

El Salvador is the 110th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @carlosjuarezp, a bat and herp researcher, is on the map between the capital of San Salvador and Montecristo National Park where most of his observations are clustered. @guillermofunes and @kevcv_bio also have observations split between these two regions. The second top observrr, @ares-afc, has observations mostly clustered around San Salvador along with other top observers such as @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird, and @verovasquez. @davidernesto's observations are centered on Montecristo National Park itself. @arnoldorm's observations are clustered near the small town of Colima. All 10 top observers appear to be El Salvador residents, which is interesting.

El Salvador es la parada número 110 en el iNaturalist Tour Mundial. El observador principal, @carlosjuarezp, un investigador de la herpetofauna y murciélagos, está en el mapa entre la capital de San Salvador y el Parque Nacional Montecristo, donde se agrupan la mayoría de sus observaciones. @guillermofunes y @kevcv_bio también tienen observaciones divididas entre estas dos regiones. El segundo mejor observador, @ares-afc, tiene observaciones agrupadas principalmente en torno a San Salvador junto con otros observadores principales como @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird y @verovasquez. Las observaciones de @davidernesto se centran en el propio Parque Nacional Montecristo. Las observaciones de @arnoldorm se agrupan cerca del pequeño pueblo de Colima. Los 10 principales observadores parecen ser residentes de El Salvador, lo cual es interesante.



The number of observations per month hs been growing steadily since 2017 and passed 500 observations per month for the first time in June of this year

La cantidad de observaciones por mes ha estado creciendo constantemente desde 2017 y pasó 500 observaciones por mes por primera vez en junio de este año



Top observer @ares-afc is the top identifier and leads in insect and arachnid IDs. Top observer @carlosjuarezp leads in herp and mammal IDs. @arnoldorm is another local top observer/top identifier. @jmmaes from nearby Nicaragua leads in plant IDs. @oliverkomar from nearby Hondoras is another top identifier.

El observador superior @ares-afc es el identificador superior y conduce en las identificaciones de insectos y arácnidos. El principal observador @carlosjuarezp lidera las identificaciones de herpes y mamíferos. @arnoldorm es otro observador superior local / identificador superior. @jmmaes de la cercana Nicaragua lidera la identificación de plantas. @oliverkomar de la cercana Hondoras es otro identificador superior.



What can we do to get more people in El Salvador using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

¿Qué podemos hacer para que más personas en El Salvador utilicen iNaturalist? Comparta sus pensamientos a continuación o en este hilo del foro.

@carlosjuarezp @ares-afc @talgoose @tokue @kevcv_bio @arnoldorm @goodlordbird @guillermofunes @oliverkomar @jmmaes

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Cameroon!

¡Volveremos mañana en el Camerún!

Posted on October 12, 2019 18:55 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2019

Curaçao - iNaturalist World Tour

Curaçao is the 109th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Curaçao sits between Aruba and Bonaire in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. Here, top observers include visitors (e.g. @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @anthonysarkiss and @stanvrem), people doing research on the island (e.g. @wernerdegier studying symbiotic crustaceans) and people who live / have lived on Curaçao (e.g. @clifford and @patrickas). Somewhat unusually, 50% of the observations are from a project by California Academy of Sciences coral reef researcher @pimbongaerts which I'll describe at the end of this post.


While the number of observations per month has ticked up in recent years, the graph is dominated by @pimbongaerts field season in July of 2019.


West Indies bird expert @chrisharpe leads in bird IDs, @maractwin leads in fish IDs and @greenline leads in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @adamwang. But the top identifier, leading in 'other animals' (in this case corals) is @ianespanol1 who was @pimbongaerts's Summer Systematics Institute at the California Academy of Sciences charged with identifying corals recorded during the field season.


@pimbongaerts (aka Pim Bongaerts) and @ianespanol1 (aka Ian X Espanol De La Cruz) are interested in conserving coral reefs. They used iNat to record and identify observations of 29 coral species from their field sites in Curaçao. Working with UC Santa Cruz researcher Collin Hurst, they used this data to train a coral classifier to explore if they could train the computer to recognize Caribbean coral species based on corallite-scale. Eventually, they hope to automate monitoring of coral biodiversity.

What can we do to get more people in Curaçao using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@pimbongaerts @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @ianespanol1 @chrisharpe @adamwang @maractwin @greenline

We’ll be back tomorrow in the El Salvador!

Posted on October 11, 2019 22:26 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 10, 2019

Uruguay - iNaturalist World Tour

Uruguay is the 108th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @santiagomailhos, has observations are throughout Uruguay but most are clustered south of the city of Paysandú on the banks of Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina as are @cmbiancardi's observations. @pablobaldu has observations clustered near the capital of Montevideo and along this southeastern coast of the country. Many other top observers also have their observations clustered here such as @mirmeleon, a student at Facultad de Ciencias (Universidad de la República) in Montevideo, @leo_lagos, editor of the daily science section of Uruguay's newspaper, @phviny, @liuid, and @ori86. @liuid is doing a PhD studying bats at the University of La Plata (Argentina) and is currently based in southern Brazil. @joaco5 has observations clustered along border with Brazil near the city of Rivera. @roget, associated with Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, has more observations across the Rio de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up in 2019. Peaks in April 2019 and August 2019 were mostly driven by @santiagomailhos and @pablobaldu respectively.
.


The top identifier is @rafatosi, a bird oriented Uruguayan biologist, who also leads in bird, mammal, and herp IDs. Top observer @mirmeleon is another local top identifier and leads in 'other animals'. Most of the other top identifiers are from nearby Argentina including @lrubio7 (who leads in insects & arachnids), @nicoolejnik (who leads in mollusks and fish), and @r-a-p.


What can we do to get more people in Uruguay using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@santiagomailhos @pablobaldu @mirmeleon @joaco5 @leo_lagos @phviny @rafatosi @lrubio7 @nicoolejnik @r-a-p

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Curaçao!

Posted on October 10, 2019 07:45 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2019

Cyprus - iNaturalist World Tour

Cyprus the 107th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The political boundaries within the Island of Cyprus are controversial. First, Akrotiri and Dhekelia British Overseas Territories (mostly military bases) carved out of the island. Second, the northern half of the island is the defacto state of Northern Cyprus after Turkey invaded in 1983. GADM treats Northern Cyprus as a separate country even though it is only formally recognized by Turkey. Following GADM, Cyprus (officially the Republic of Cyprus) is the Island of Cyprus minus Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Northern Cyprus.

The top observer is botanist @danielcahen with observations clustered in the mountainous Platres region. @jakovosdemetriou, studying biology at the National and Kapodistrian University in nearby Athens, Greece has observations clustered along the west coast along with other top observers such as @denis_m, @luca63, @sandy_rae, @clamsdell, and @sandralamberts. @jurga_li has observations clustered along the southern coast along with @bogmyrtle and @purperlibel.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up since 2018.


@ronf is the top identifier and leads in plant IDs. @johnascher leads in insects and @sammyboy2059 leads in birds and mammals. @jakovosdemetriou is both a top identifier and top observer. @cliygh-and-mia comes in 5th on the identifier leaderboard.


What can we do to get more people in Cyprus using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@danielcahen @jakovosdemetriou @denis_m @luca63 @jurga_li @sandy_rae @ronf @sammyboy2059 @jakovosdemetriou @cliygh-and-mia @johnascher

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Uruguay!

Posted on October 09, 2019 05:03 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2019

Venezuela - iNaturalist World Tour

It's Week 16 of the iNaturalist World Tour. We've also updated all the figures to include data from September 2019. Taiwan, Denmark, Czech Republic, Peru, Austria, China, Chile, Thailand, Poland, Philippines, Botswana, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Benin, Iceland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Mozambique, Hungary, Nepal, Eswatini, Egypt, Cambodia, New Caledonia, and US Virgin Islands have all moved up in the rankings. That means the St. Kitts and Nevis (which now is slated for this week) was covered last week, but we need to cover Venezuela which is now slated for last week. So, if you're still following along, this week we'll play catch up with Venezuela (in place of the St. Kitts and Nevis), Uruguay, and Curaçao, and El Salvador in Latin America, Cyprus and Jordan in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Cameroon in Africa.


We begin playing catch up with Venezuela. The top observer is @ozzhernandez with observations clustered around the capital of Caracas. @steven-cyclist, who once lived in Venezuela, @cepsl, and @angelfern56, director of the IVIC herbarium of the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research, also have observations clustered here. @imerualfonzo, curator in Vertebrate Paleontology of the José Royo y Gómez Museum of the Central University of Venezuela, has a centroid pulled to the south of Caracas as does @pagophila. @gchavarri has observations clustered near Ciudad Guayana, @luchomartinez near Mérida and @franciscomarval near Cumana. @greglasley's observations from travels nearly 30 years ago are across the country but pulled towards his observations in Trinidad. Don't miss this Rainbow Whiptail seen by @dllavaneras featured in an Observation of the Week post from Isla Larga near Puerto Cabello Venezuela.


The number of observations has ticked up substantially in 2019 beginning with an isolated peak in January 2019 driven by @steven-cyclist.


@chrisharpe, an Ornithologist / conservation biologist working in Neotropics (especially Venezuela) leads in identifications generally and bird IDs specifically. @ozzhernandez leads in insect IDs, @herp in herp IDs, and @diegoamaya in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @rafael_gianni and @gchavarri.


What can we do to improve iNaturalist in Venezuela? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@ozzhernandez @steven-cyclist @imerualfonzo @pagophila @cepsl @gchavarri @angelfern56 @chrisharpe @herp @rafael_gianni

We’ll be back tomorrow in Cyprus!

Posted on October 08, 2019 05:59 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 06, 2019

US Virgin Islands - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 15 in the US Virgin Islands - the 104th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. These islands sit between Puerto Rico to the West and the British Virgin Islands to the East. The top three observers in the US Virgin Islands: @casseljs, @thehappiestwanderer and @stinger, and also @mickley have observations clustered in the northwest island of St. Thomas. @stinger is a plant ecologist and a giant in the field of biodiversity informatics behind such efforts as ITIS and BISON. Most of the top observers, e.g. @heather232, @corey22, @emily28, @sarka and e@as_is_the_sea, have observations clustered on the north east island of St. John. A few, scuh as @grodz & juddpatterson, are clustered on the southern island of St. Croix.


The number of observations per month ramped up significantly in 2019.


@maractwin is the top identifier and leads in fish. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of fish observations here. @kemper and @rangertreaty50 are other top identifiers with lots of fish IDs. @joshuagsmith leads in bird IDs and @mack911 leads in fungi IDs.


What can we do to get more people in the US Virgin Islands using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@casseljs @thehappiestwanderer @stinger @heather232 @corey22 @maractwin @rangertreaty50 @joshuagsmith @mack911 @kemper

We’ll remain in the Caribbean tomorrow on Curaçao!

Posted on October 06, 2019 21:48 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

Saint Kitts and Nevis - iNaturalist World Tour

Saint Kitts and Nevis the 104th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @susanhewitt is by far the top observer and is pretty much singlehandedly holding down these islands with her annual visits. @susanhewitt's observations are mostly on Nevis along with top observers @cherrielee and @ktratboy. Other top observers such as @mlodinow, @ronald63, @narpus, and @jmeerman have observations on nearby St. Kitts. Its noteworthy that @gabriel217, in 10th place on the leaderboard, has only posted iNat observations from Saint Kitts and Nevis and doesn't have any observations posted from elsewhere.


The graph of observations per month pretty much just shows @susanhewitt's annual visits in June 2015, May 2016, Aoril 2017, April 2018, and March, 2019..


@adorantes, from the nearby Yucatan, is the top identifier by far and leads in plant, bird, and arachnid IDs. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @kitty12, @ehabes, @rajibmaulick, and @chrisharpe


What can we do to get more people in Saint Kitts and Nevis using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@susanhewitt @mlodinow @ronald63 @cherrielee @narpus @adorantes @kitty12 @ehabes @rajibmaulick @chrisharpe

We’ll be back tomorrow in the US Virgin Islands!

Posted on October 06, 2019 05:16 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment