Captive Organism Observations

Several people have asked recently if they can post butterflies at the Butterfly Garden or jaguars at the zoo because they are not "wild" organisms. The simple answer is, yes, but also read the FAQ on the subject so you can be consistent with all other iNat users:

"Checking captive / cultivated means that the observation is of an organism that exists in the time and place it was observed because humans intended it to be then and there. Likewise, wild / naturalized organisms exist in particular times and places because they intended to do so. The main reason we try to flag things like this is because iNat is primarily about observing wild organisms, not animals in zoos, garden plants, specimens in drawers, etc., and our scientific data partners are often not interested in (or downright alarmed by) observations of captive or cultivated organisms.

Since this tends to be kind of a gray area, here are some concrete examples:

Captive / cultivated
--zebra in a zoo
--poppy in a garden
--butterfly mounted in a display case
--your cat

Wild / naturalized
--zebra in the Serengeti (assuming it's not in a zoo in the Serengeti)
--fly on a zebra in a zoo
--weed in a garden
--moth that flew into your house
--snake that you just picked up (yes, it's in your hand where you intended it to be, but the place and time is where the snake intended to be)
--feral cat
--humans (though one could argue that children in school and adults at work are often not where they would intend to be themselves)
--garden plant that is reproducing on its own and spreading outside of the garden (presumably this is not what the gardener intended)


Publicado el julio 27, 2016 11:00 TARDE por andybridges andybridges


Is it beneficial to add these, though? Like does it help train the AI, even if it's not used by the researchers?

Publicado por jonathanbright hace alrededor de 5 años

What is the best way to mark an observation as naturalised eg a weed in a natural reserve. It would be alarming if users of inaturalist think that just because a species is listed for the reserve that it is actually native to the area.

Publicado por margl hace alrededor de 5 años

how about a bird in rehab, for example? I'm assuming captive, right?

Publicado por martinstoner hace más de 4 años

I'd love further clarification on caterpillars/chrysalis. There are so many unidentified caterpillars that cant be identified because usually thr moth/butterfly is the identified part so it can be beneficial to temporarily raise them to add to the identification information. So if i relocate a chrysalis (in my situation it was on a piece of grass I broke and nearly trampled before seeing the chrysalis) technically it's captive, but letting it free as a butterfly/moth would once again make it a wild observation?

Publicado por archgully hace alrededor de 4 años

Is there a way to see this/add this to other people’s observations? For example, I’ve seen Hibiscus rosa-sinensis submitted in my area where it is definitely not hardy and easy to find sold in garden centers. Is there a way for me to note that said plant is cultivated so that it doesn’t affect data about the plant? Thanks.

Publicado por thatweirdplantkid hace casi 4 años

@thatweirdplantkid Yes - but through the website rather than the app. Look for 'is wild' in the Data Quality Assessment. Thank you!

Publicado por lera hace casi 4 años

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