Journal archives for September 2019

September 09, 2019

Guatemala - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 11 of the iNaturalist World Tour in Guatemala. The top observer is @juanitoescamilla, a palentologist, with observations clustered around the capital of Guatemala City. Several other top observers such as @calvarezgua have observations clustered around this city. Following the mountains to the northwest from Guatemala City, there is a cluster of top observers, mostly visitors, with observations clustered around the Lake Atitlán region such as @josh_vandermeulen, @microm, @matthias55, @driley, @flowerbeast, and @jasondombroskie. @dennis_medina is based in Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá to the north and @tato in the town of Jalapa to the east. @jaico, from Mexico, has been posting most recently from Guatemala and is now 6th on the leaderboard but isn't yet showing up on the map (which was last updated September 1st). There is another cluster of top observers such as @marinegardener around the ancient city of Tikal in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

El observador principal es @juanitoescamilla, un palentólogo, con observaciones agrupadas alrededor de la capital de la Ciudad de Guatemala. Varios otros observadores importantes como @calvarezgua tienen observaciones agrupadas alrededor de esta ciudad. Siguiendo las montañas hacia el noroeste desde la ciudad de Guatemala, hay un grupo de observadores superiores, en su mayoría visitantes, con observaciones agrupadas alrededor de la región del lago de Atitlán, como @josh_vandermeulen, @microm, @matthias55, @driley, @flowerbeast y @jasondombroskie. @dennis_medina tiene su sede en el Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá al norte y @tato en la ciudad de Jalapa al este. @jaico, de México, ha estado publicando más recientemente desde Guatemala y ahora ocupa el sexto lugar en la tabla de clasificación, pero aún no aparece en el mapa (que se actualizó por última vez el 1 de septiembre). Hay otro grupo de observadores destacados como @marinegardener alrededor de la antigua ciudad de Tikal en la Reserva de la Biosfera Maya.



The number of observations per month has been increasing steadily since 2017.

El número de observaciones por mes ha aumentado constantemente desde 2017.



The top identifier is @ronytrujillo, a biologist based in Guatemala, who also leads in plants, spiders, and 'other animal' identifications. @friel, the Director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, is the second top identifier and leads in insect and fish identifications. @d_kluza, an American scientist living in New Zealand, is the third top identifier and leads in bird identifications. @arnoldorm, based in El Salvador, leads in herp identifications. @tato and @dennis_medina are resident top identifiers based in Guatemala. Thanks to all the other top identifiers!

El identificador principal es @ronytrujillo, un biólogo con sede en Guatemala, que también lidera las identificaciones de plantas, arañas y 'otros animales'. @friel, el Director del Museo de Historia Natural de Alabama, es el segundo identificador principal y lidera las identificaciones de insectos y peces. @d_kluza, un científico estadounidense que vive en Nueva Zelanda, es el tercer identificador principal y lidera las identificaciones de aves. @arnoldorm, con sede en El Salvador, lidera las identificaciones de herpes. @tato y @dennis_medina son los principales identificadores residentes con sede en Guatemala. ¡Gracias a todos los demás identificadores principales!



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

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

@juanitoescamilla @josh_vandermeulen @dennis_medina @microm @matthias55 @jaico @ronytrujillo @friel @d_kluza @tato

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Pakistan!

¡Volveremos mañana con el Pakistán !

Posted on September 09, 2019 07:40 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 15, 2019

Albania - iNaturalist World Tour

Albania is the 83rd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @aleksandergolemaj, has observations clustered around the 3rd most populous Albanian city of Vlorë along with other top observers such as @eridanxharahi. Several top observers such as @ariani and @marselmersinaj have observations clustered around the 3rd most populous city of Durrës. Inland from here there is a cluster of observers such as @marko_thenaturalist around the capital of Tirana. @jakob and @atassin's observations are clustered to the north of Tirana. @herri_thebufi and @p_julia's are clustered to the south @gernotkunz's observations are clustered in the southeastern part of the country.



The number of observations per month graph is dominated by May, 2017, July 2018 and Jun 2019.



Top observer @jakob is also the top identifier in Albania. @borisb leads in insect IDs while blue_celery leads in plant IDs. There is an unusually high proportion of mollusk observations in Albania and the mysterious @extraneus leads in IDs of this group. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @lupoli_roland and @marko_thenaturalist.



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

@aleksandergolemaj @ariani @jakob @eridanxharahi @gernotkunz @marselmersinaj @borisb @lupoli_roland @extraneus @marko_thenaturalist

We’ll be back tomorrow in the United Arab Emirates!

Posted on September 15, 2019 16:21 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

Search for Owl Leads to Surprise Dormouse - Observation of the Week, 9/15/19

Our Observation of the Week is this Common Dormouse, seen in Lithuania by @laukinis!

Proving yet again that even if you don’t get a shot of your target species you’ll probably see something great if you’re outside and exploring, bird watcher Kęstutis Jarmalavičius took the above photo after missing a chance at an avian.

“The tracking history of this mouse is pretty unexpected,” he tells me. 

Nearby I saw a squirrel owl (Strix aluco) in a tree. I tried to get closer and take a picture of it, but the bird flew away, unable to take a picture. Suddenly I saw something else watching me from an adjacent tree. That's how this shot was born. The mouse was quite high (about 5 meters). There was a hollow in that tree, perhaps it was coming out of it to look around. I've only seen this species a few times during the day.

Not knowing anything about common dormice, I thought it bizarre that the dormouse Kęstutis observed was up in a tree, but that is actually where these nocturnal rodents spend most of their waking hours. While they often dine on hazelnuts to fatten up before hibernation (hence their other common name, the hazelnut dormouse), dormice eat a variety of arboreal foods, such as flowers, fruit, and insects such as caterpillars. In addition to hibernating through the winter, dormice will also enter a torpor state when the weather is cold or wet. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “dormouse” is “possibly from Anglo-French *dormouse ‘tending to be dormant.’”

Kęstutis (above), is currently working as a forestry specialist whose interest in nature began in childhood - after first catching and identifying butterflies, he later got into birds, which he says is his current major hobby. He joined iNaturalist a few weeks ago. “First impressions are very good,” he says, “[and] I am delighted with this project that unites nature lovers around the world.”

- by Tony Iwane. Some quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and flow.


- Check out more of Kęstutis's great photo archive, which he's been adding to iNat!

- Dormice are pretty cute, here's some nice footage of them eating.

Posted on September 15, 2019 21:06 by tiwane tiwane | 7 comments | Leave a comment

September 07, 2019

Armenia - iNaturalist World Tour

Armenia is the 75th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @ahospers, a visitor to the Armenia from the Netherlands. There are several other visitors (e.g. @julie_sf, @sdrovetski, @sindic) among the top 10 observers. The second top observer @scops, has observations clustered around the capital of Yerevan. This is the case with most of the top observers in Armenia including @artem, @tigran82, @ttadevosyan, and @vahemart. An exception is @transcaucasiantrail whose observations are clustered to the southeast.



The spike in August of 2018 results from the top observer, @ahospers, adding his observations. But beside that spike, the number of observations per month haven't been growing much. This may partially be because there was some relatively early activty on iNaturalist from Armenia such as @ttadevosyan's Armenian Citizen Herpetologists Atlas and @vahemart's Flora of Armenia projects both started back in 2012. While its unclear why this early activity didn't spur much growth, it does flatten the slope a bit comparing recent activity.



The top identifier @sammyboy2059 is based in the UAE and also leads in bird IDs. @kastani from Kazakstan leads in plant IDs and @kharkovbut based in Ukraine leads in insect IDs. @ttadevosyan and @artem are local top identifiers from Armenia and lead in herp and 'other animal' IDs respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @cliygh-and-mia.



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

@ahospers, @scops, @artem, @julie_sf, @transcaucasiantrail, @tigran82, @sammyboy2059, @kastani, @cliygh-and-mia, @ttadevosyan

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Fiji!

Posted on September 07, 2019 05:36 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 08, 2019

Fiji - iNaturalist World Tour

Fiji is the 76th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer in Fiji is @maractwin who among his many interests is an avid scuba diver. Many of the top observers in Fiji are keen scuba divers including @davidr, @johnsear, @richardling, @depamine. This is to be expected since Fiji is a global destination for divers. @obinfiji is a resident of Fiji yearround where he works for BirdLife International. @leonperrie is a botanist from nearby New Zealand while @petdoc, @dagendresen, and @desertnaturalist are visitors from further away.



The number of observations per month in Fiji is fairly flat and spikey which indicates that its largely driven by a few visitors rather than a large community of residents.



Fish is the top observation category on Fiji which again is to be expected because of all the scuba diving. @maractwin is the top identifier in addition to the top observer and leads in every category except plants (@leonperrie) and mammals (@jakob). Most of the other top identiifers (e.g. @sascha_schulz, @davidr, @kemper, @anthonygill) focus on Fish IDs



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

@maractwin, @davidr, @obinfiji, @johnsear, @leonperrie, @petdoc, @richardling, @sascha_schulz, @kemper, @anthonygill

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Guatemala!

Posted on September 08, 2019 06:32 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 29, 2019

Egypt - iNaturalist World Tour

Egypt is the 97th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. While there are a few top observers such as @yasminam with observations clustered around the capital of Cairo, most top observers have observations clustered along the red sea. Most of the observations from here are marine (e.g. fish and marine invertebrates). The top observer in Egypt, @lovelyclemmy, has a marine focus and observations up and down the Red Sea along with other top observers such as @nakarb, @vmoser, @seastung, @awaheed, @maridom, @tuenf, @jujurenoult, and @ronald63. You can read more about @nakarb in this Observation of the Week post from Malaysia and more about @seastung this Observation of the Week post from Mozambique. And from Egypt, don't miss this Observation of the week post about a small giant clam seen by from @wernerdegier along the red sea.



There was a peak in observations per month in November 2017 driven by a visit by @nakarb but otherwise the number of observations per month has been slowly increasing since 2018.



The top observation category is fish reflecting all the underwater Red Sea observations and the top identifier overall and for fish is @maractwin. @sammyboy2059 leads in bird IDs and @phelsumas4life leads in 'other animals' (in this case marine invertebrates). Other top identifiers include @karimhaddad, @kemper, and @khaledayyach



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

@lovelyclemmy @nakarb @vmoser @seastung @awaheed @maractwin @sammyboy2059 @karimhaddad @kemper @khaledayyach

We’ll be back tomorrow in Ethiopia!

Posted on September 29, 2019 19:00 by loarie loarie | 1 comment | Leave a comment

September 06, 2019

Slovenia - iNaturalist World Tour

Slovenia is the 74th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @spela, the top observer, focused on marine life and has observations clustered around the seaport city of Koper (near Trieste, Italy) along with many other top observers. @maarten22, @alich local and others have observations clustered around the capital of Ljubljana. @irena9 and @ahmedmujcinovic have observations clustered to the southeast. Several of the top observers are visitors such as @c_michael_hogan, @drbh2o, @scotty, @trcarlisle, and @jujurenoult



The number of observations per month is very seasonal peaking in the summer moths. The highest peak to date was April of last year.



The top identifier is @ribabo from nearby Croatia. Other top identiifers are from elsewhere in Europe including @jtklein, @zizou, @jakob, and @tiggrx



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

@spela @irena9 @maarten22 @ahmedmujcinovic @c_michael_hogan @ribabo @jtklein @zizou @jakob @tiggrx

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Armenia!

Posted on September 06, 2019 06:49 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 04, 2019

Iceland - iNaturalist World Tour

Iceland is the 72nd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Of the top observers, most (e.g. @c_michael_hogan, @docprt, @milliebasden, @stevendaniel, @nyoni-pete, @theworldofpaolo, @lucapassalacqua) appear to be visitors from elsewhere. Based on their observations, @sbushes, @naturjc, and @kjartanbirgis are the only members of the top 10 observers who appear to possibly be residents of Iceland. @sbushes and @kjartanbirgis's observations are clustered near the capital of Reykjavík



The number of observations per month jumped up in the summer of 2018 and again in 2019. In August of this year, the number of monthly observations passed 1,500 for the first time.



@alexis_orion, based in Berlin, is the top identifier and also leads in bird IDs. @jmgrinde leads in plant IDs and @johnascher in insect IDs. Its noteworthy that there are more fungi observations(with @jurga_li as the top identifier) than insect observations in cold and wet Iceland. Its also noteworthy that this is the first country we've visited thats missing a category (no herps in Iceland!). Many thanks to other top identifiers such as @ldacosta, @nannie and @tiggrx.



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

@c_michael_hogan @docprt @milliebasden @sbushes @stevendaniel @alexis_orion @ldacosta @jmgrinde @nannie @tiggrx

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Bulgaria!

Posted on September 04, 2019 08:28 by loarie loarie | 4 comments | Leave a comment

Bulgaria - iNaturalist World Tour

Bulgaria is the 73rd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @katya is the top observer. She splits her time between Russia and Bulgaria near the national reserve Ropotamo where her observations are clustered. @exonie's observations are clustered around the town of Botevgrad. @georgipetrov66's observations are clustered in the countryside north of Botevgrad.

Several top observers such as @zmei have many observations near Bulgaria's largest city of Sofia. @mstoyanova and @kennethwoodcock's observations are centered in the area around the second largest city of Plovdiv. While the observers mentioned above appear to be at least partially resident in Bulgaria, there are many top observer visitors as well, such as @nyoni-pete, @paulcools, @cesarpollo5 and @henkwallays2. Don't miss @katya's Observation of the Day of 'kissing' European Hornets along the Ropotamo river or this Observation of the Week post about a busy European Orchard Bee northeast of Sofia spotted by @exonie.



The number of observations per month has been slowly climbing over the last four years and jumped to a new hight this summer.



@borisb is the top identifier and leads in insects, @tiggrx leads in plant IDs and @ldacosta leads in bird IDs. While these three top identifiers are from elsewhere in Europe, @exonie stands out as a local Bulgarian top identifier. Many thanks to @jakob, @kastani and all the other top identifiers helping out with Bulgarian identifications!



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

@katya @exonie @zmei @nyoni-pete @paulcools @mstoyanova @borisb @exonie @jakob @ldacosta @kastani

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Slovenia!

Posted on September 04, 2019 20:19 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

September 01, 2019

Slovakia - iNaturalist World Tour

We're in Slovakia for the 69th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour! The top observer is @fero has observations centered in the Žilina Region. @fero runs Birding Slovakia and is in the top 400 observers on iNaturalist with observations from around the world. Most of the other top observers such as @martind, @vierka, @marian_tulak, @anbalemans, @matpei also have observations centered in the Žilina Region. The second top observer, @drakoslav, has observations centered to the south in the Nitra Region. @tomasm2's observations are centered in the far west Trnava Region, while other top observers such as @ondrej3 and @rsl are centered elsewhere in the country.



The number of observations per month has been ramping up the last three years. @fero has done some work translating iNaturalist into Slovakian and outreach to Slovakian birders during this time.



As with many countries in Europe, the top identifiers for plants, birds, and insects are @duch, @ldacosta, and @borisb. @duch is botanist at the Czech National Museum. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @zizou identifying from France and @wojtest identifying from Poland.



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

@fero @drakoslav @martind @vierka @tomasm2 @ldacosta @borisb @zizou @wojtest @duch

We’ll be back tomorrow in Bhutan!

Posted on September 01, 2019 16:30 by loarie loarie | 10 comments | Leave a comment