Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey of exploration, discovery, and collaboration? The Saskatoon and Area iNaturalist City Nature Challenge (CNC YXE) 2023 took part April 28 to May 1, and it’s time to gear up for the second phase – the identification phase happening from May 2 to May 7, 2023. We need you! This is your chance to be a part of a global citizen science effort and contribute to our understanding of the biodiversity in Saskatoon and its surrounding areas.
As you venture into the world of iNaturalist, you may have some questions about how to effectively make identifications. Fear not! We’ve got you covered with some identification tips and suggestions from experienced iNaturalist user, Alex Zorach, also known as @cazort on iNaturalist.
Alex emphasizes that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to identification on iNaturalist. The process typically involves users proposing identifications, and others can agree or disagree with them. The notifications on your dashboard may be about people commenting on your observations or refining or agreeing/disagreeing with identifications. However, the pace of identification can vary depending on the taxon and region. Some taxa and regions may be more heavily watched than others, affecting the speed of identification.
Alex suggests that you exercise restraint with identifications and don’t feel pressured to identify everything to the species level. If you are reasonably certain about the genus, family, or a broader grouping, you can guess the broader grouping. This can help others narrow it down further. For example, if you are confident something is an oak, another user with more expertise in oaks may come along and provide a more specific identification.
You can also use iNaturalist as a tool to research identifications. You can browse through research-grade observations, but be cautious as some may be mis-identified. You can also check “Similar Species” on the page of a particular taxon to see what other species are commonly confused with it. This can help you identify characteristics that differentiate similar species and make more accurate identifications.
External tools can also be valuable resources for identification. For birds, you can use eBird to check range maps, timing of migration, and frequency in bar charts. For insects, BugGuide.net is a useful site, and for plants, BONAP can provide range maps. There are two facebook pages online with help at hand; Saskatchewan Mycological Working Group for lichen and mushrooms, and Saskatchewan Native Plants. These external tools can complement the information available on iNaturalist and help you make more informed identifications. There are more clues for identification online here.
Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes! Identifications on iNaturalist are a learning process, and you can learn a lot from other users, even from those who are unsure about their identifications. When uncertain, share your reasoning behind your identification and be open to feedback. This is how you can push yourself towards expert level and expand your knowledge.
How to Become a Better Identifier by Carrie Selzer
The Saskatoon and Area iNaturalist City Nature Challenge is not just about making identifications, but also about fostering teamwork, networking, and uniting people with a shared passion for nature. By collaborating with fellow users, you can contribute to a global effort to document and understand the natural world, and help build a comprehensive and accurate database of biodiversity observations.
So, gear up for the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge and get ready for an exciting adventure in identification! Join the community of nature enthusiasts, scientists, and researchers in Saskatoon and its surrounding areas, and be a part of something bigger than yourself. Let’s come together, unleash the power of teamwork, and make a meaningful impact on our understanding of nature. Together, we can unlock the mysteries of our natural world, one observation and one identification at a time!
For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park
For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
For more information:
Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits
NEW P4G District Official Community Plan
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)?with map
Tumblr friendsafforestation.tumblr.comFacebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park
Facebook: StBarbeBaker Afforestation Area
Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Twitter: St Barbe Baker Charity Twitter:FriendsAreas
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
Donations can be made through Paypal, Canada Helps, Contact Donate A Car Canada, SARCAN Drop & Go 106100594 for the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Use the UN Decade’s Visual Identity
Make it your own
Spread the word about the UN Decade
Let’s Bring Back Forests
Let’s Green Our Cities
“Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
Richard St. Barbe Baker