An observation on iNaturalist documents an interaction with an individual organism at a specific time and place. This encompasses encounters with signs of organisms, such as tracks or nests. When creating an observation, you'll provide:
- Your Identity: Create an iNaturalist Account (share only your own findings).
- What You Saw: Specify a group or, ideally, a particular organism. If unsure, the iNaturalist Community can assist with identification.
- Location: Record coordinates and accuracy (location can be obscured from the public).
- Time: Note the date of your encounter (not the posting date).
- Evidence: Include photos or sounds to aid the community in confirming the identification.
While not mandatory, including all these elements ensures your observation meets research standards for science. Remember, create separate observations for each distinct organism. If the observed item is not wild, like a garden plant or a zoo lion, mark it as captive/cultivated to avoid it being classified as research quality.