September 19, 2019

Hungary - iNaturalist World Tour

Hungary is the 87th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @philsansum, has observations clustered in the northeastern part of Hungary along with @beidts, @ahospers, and @deserti around places like Bükki National Park and Hortobágy National Park. The second top observer, @veszt is a biologist and plant breeder from Hungary, his observations are distributed widely across the country. There is a cluster of observers such as @rudynature and @ikomposzt around the capital of Budapest and other users such as @gergely_katona clustered around Debrecen, Hungary's second largest city after Budapest. @balzs9's observations are clustered on the shores of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. @cathyp is currently 10th on the leaderboard but doesn't show up on the map since her observations are mostly from September of this year and the figure was last updated on September 1st.


The number of observations per month jumped up in the summer of 2018 and again in 2019.


In addition to being a top observer, @veszt is the top identifier and leads in plant identifications. @cossus and @ldacosta lead in insect and bird IDs respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @kastani and @cs_melitta.


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

@philsansum @veszt @beidts @balzs9 @rudynature @gergely_katona @veszt @kastani @cossus @ldacosta @cs_melitta

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Mozambique!

Posted on September 19, 2019 23:59 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 18, 2019

Belarus - iNaturalist World Tour

Belarus is the 86th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @leschij, has observations clustered around Navahrudak along with @merav. @lutautami's observations are clustered to the East towards the capital of Minsk where there is a large cluster of users. There are quite a few top observers with observations clusterd north of Minsk such as @alekseyandreyanov near Vitebsk, @ahospers, @siarhej_21_07_19, @optilete, and @max_hof_mann. @lst (an account belonging to a couple) has observations clustered to the To the southwest on the border with Poland. There are several top observers with observations clustered around the nearby city of Kamianiuki including @denis_m and @maxpauel


Its noteworthy that the first observation from Belarus was only added in May of 2015 - later than any of the other countries we've looked at so far - when @lst joined after learning about iNaturalist from National Geographic. Aside from the peak in August 2018 when @ahospers imported his observations from Observation.org, real organic growth in Belarus seems to have begun in earnest this year beginning in April.


The mysterious @laukines_pievos is the top identifier and also leads in plants, @borisb leads in insects, and @kastani leads in birds. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @leschij, @jakob, and @sergeygerasimov.


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

@leschij @ahospers @lst @alekseyandreyanov @lutautami @merav @laukines_pievos @kastani @jakob @sergeygerasimov

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Hungary!

Posted on September 18, 2019 17:48 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 17, 2019

Uganda - iNaturalist World Tour

Its Week 13 of the iNaturalist World Tour. This week we'll visit Uganda, Mozambique, and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in Africa, Belarus, and Hungary in Europe, Kazakhstan in Eurasia and Martinique in the Caribbean.


We begin in Uganda. The top observer, @annikaml, has observations clustered around Mweya on the shores of Lake Edward in the west. The second top observer, @wildnothos, has observations clustered around the capital of Kampala on the shores of Lake Victoria to the east. Most of the top observers have observations clustered between these two locals such as @davidbygott, @nikborrow, @mathiasdhaen, @tapaculo99, @hdemann, and @nadyky.


The number of observations per month has been slowly climbing the last few years and jumped up in the most recent two months.


@jakob is the top identifier. @johnnybirder, @cabintom, and @michalsloviak lead in the top three categories of birds, insects and mammals respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @davidbygott and @ldacosta


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

@annikaml @wildnothos @davidbygott @nikborrow @mathiasdhaen @tapaculo99 @jakob @johnnybirder @michalsloviak @ldacosta @jwidness

We’ll be back tomorrow in Belarus!

Posted on September 17, 2019 06:22 by loarie loarie | 4 comments | Leave a comment

September 16, 2019

United Arab Emirates - iNaturalist World Tour

We end week 12 of the iNaturalist World Tour in the United Arab Emirates. The top observer is @trcarlisle with observations clustered around the most populous city of Dubai. You can read more about @trcarlisle in this Observation of the week post about her Long-tailed Blue butterfly sighting. There are several other top observers with observations clustered around Dubai including @gtonen, @luoycy, @aishathani, and @mattrempel. The other big cluster of top observers is on the eastern edge of the UAE along the Gulf of Oman. Here, the observations of top observers such as @fadiyaghmour, @john_pereira Ecologist, @ahabib, @jackyjudas, and @sami-majeed are clustered. There is a small cluster of top observers around the second most populous city of Abu Dhabi including @dominik_melisa and others.


The number of observations per month has a consistent spring peak which was higher in 2019 than previous years.


@sammyboy2059 is the top identifiers and leads in bird IDs. @rajibmaulick leads in insect IDs and @trcarlisle leads in plant IDs. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @sethmiller and @cliygh-and-mia.


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

@trcarlisle @fadiyaghmour @john_pereira @ahabib @jackyjudas @sami-majeed @sammyboy2059 @sethmiller @cliygh-and-mia @rajibmaulick

We’ll be back tomorrow in Uganda!

Posted on September 16, 2019 06:23 by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

September 15, 2019

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

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

September 14, 2019

Democratic Republic of the Congo - iNaturalist World Tour

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the 82nd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @cabintom, an amateur Lepidopterist based in northeastern DRC near Bunia. To the north, there is a cluster of top observers around Garamba National Park including @mathiasdhaen, @congonaturalist, @lindsaymin, and @s_vigliotti. You can read more about @congonaturalist's work as a Nat Geo Explorer here. There's a cluster of top observers around the capital of Kinshasa such as @dianeaustry, @bonobote, and @michael_mulligan. Several other top observers such as @muir, @violettederozier, @wildnothos, @terathopius, and @richard105 are clustered elsewhere in the country. @muir has done alot of ecology and conservation work across Africa over the years including in DRC. @wildnothos has a website dedicated to the Nothobranchius fishes of Africa.


The number of observations per month jumped up in 2019.


The top identifier is @jakob who leads in insects, mammals, arachnids, mollusks and other animals. @johnnybirder, @calebcam, and @marcoschmidtffm lead in birds, herps, and plants respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @rjq, @ldacosta, @cabintom.


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

@cabintom @mathiasdhaen @muir @violettederozier @congonaturalist @terathopius @jakob @johnnybirder @rjq @ldacosta

We’ll be back tomorrow in Albania!

Posted on September 14, 2019 06:19 by loarie loarie | 14 comments | Leave a comment

September 13, 2019

Zambia - iNaturalist World Tour

We're in Zambia for the 81st stop on the iNaturalist World Tour - just across the Zambezi River from our stop in Zimbabwe yesterday. The top observer is @nicovr with observations clustered around the capital of Lusaka near other top observers such as @william6, @willvanniekerk, and @joachim. The second top observer, @salmonskyview, spent 1/2 year teaching in Zambia. There are clusters around some of Zambia's most famous National Parks such as @kovro near the Luangwa Valley and @pma near Kafue. Other top observers such as @violettederozier, @jakob, and @n_case_w have observations elsewhere in the country.


The number of observations per month has been growing since mid 2017. Interestingly, it has ticked down the last two months. Does anyone know why?


@nicovr is the top identifier as well as observer and leads in bird and mammal IDs. @cabintom, an amateur Lepidopterist based in northeastern DRC, leads in inset IDs. @n_case_w and @calebcam lead in plant and herp IDs. As with many African countries, @jakob, @ldacosta, and @johnnybirder are among the top identifiers.


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

@nicovr @salmonskyview @violettederozier @william6 @willvanniekerk @jakob @kovro @cabintom @ldacosta @johnnybirder

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Democratic Republic of Congo!

Posted on September 13, 2019 07:52 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 11, 2019

Zimbabwe - iNaturalist World Tour

Zimbabwe is the 80th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour - we'll stay in Southern Africa in neighboring Zambia tomorrow. The top observer is @i_c_riddell, a professional safari guide throughout Zimbabwe. @i_c_riddell's observations are centered on the capital of Harare along @florem, the second top observer, who is affiliated with the Department of Crop Science at the University of Zimbabwe in the capital of Harare. Several other top observers such as @markusdeklerk also have observations clustered here. @shirleyhitschmann runs a production company in Mutare in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe along the Mozambique border. @simontonge works in conservation and zoos in the UK but grew up in Zambia and Malawi and makes regular visits to Zimbabwe as part of this conservation work. His observations are clustered around Bulawayo along with other top observers such as @nickypegg. @supergan and @jimsteamer are world travelers based in Spain and the US with many observations from Zimbabwe. There is a cluster of top observers such as @joachim, who leads tours across Africa, in the iconic Hwange National Park in the western tip of the country near the 'four corners' border with Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia (there's also a distinct cluster around Victoria Falls even further north west towards the Zambian border). The 10th top observer, @zimgales, has observations clustered around Gonarezhou National Park in southeastern Zimbabwe.


The number of observations per month jumped up in 2017 and has been ramping up since. This is probably due to the arrival of Southern African community members formerly using the iSpot platform (as discussed here).


@alanhorstmann who splits his time between South Africa and Ireland is the top identifiers and leads mammal IDs.
As in many African countries, @jakob, @johnnybirder, and @ldacosta are among the top identifiers. @johnnybirder leads bird IDs, @nicovr leads insect IDs, @alanhorstmann leads mammal IDs, @marcoschmidtffm leads plant IDs, and @calebcam leads herp IDs. Many thanks to @colin25 for lending his Southern African expertise and to all the other top identifiers.


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

@i_c_riddell @florem @shirleyhitschmann @simontonge @supergan @alanhorstmann @jakob @johnnybirder @colin25 @ldacosta

We’ll be back tomorrow in nearby Zambia!

Posted on September 11, 2019 22:13 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

Trinidad and Tobago - iNaturalist World Tour

Trinidad and Tobago is the 79th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @mikegrutherford, the curator of the University of the West Indies Zoology Museum on Trinidad and Tobago, is the top observer. His observations, like most top observers from Trinidad and Tobago are clustered in the northern part of the island of Trinidad not far from the capital of Port of Spain. @drjayf, @rainingrainers, @markhulme, @shanemanchouck, @gumboot99's observations are also clusterd nearby. @gumboot99 is a plant ecologist at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine on Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the top observers on iNaturalist globaly such as @greglasley, @paul_prior, @paultavares, and @colindjones have visited Trinidad and Tobago and made many observations..


The number of observations per month has been ramping up since mid 2017.


@matthewcock is the top identifier and leads in insect ID. @joshuagsmith leads in bird IDs. @rainingrainers and @gumboot99 (who are also a top observers) leads in herp and plant IDs. @maractwin leads in fish IDs. Many thanks to other top identifiers such as @john8.


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

@mikegrutherford @drjayf @paultavares @colindjones @rainingrainers @markhulme @matthewcock @joshuagsmith @maractwin @john8

We’ll be back tomorrow with Zimbabwe!

Posted on September 11, 2019 08:17 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment