What is an Identification?

Modified on Fri, 02 Feb 2024 at 02:42 PM

An identification, or ID for short, is an assessment of the type of animal, plant, or other organism that was observed. It is typically listed with a common name and a scientific name, though some species do not have common names. When you make an observation, identify the organism as best as you can, even if that is just "Plants" or "Birds". Each user can have one active identification on an observation.

         

On iNaturalist, other users are encouraged to add identifications to each other’s observations, based on the evidence provided, in order to confirm or improve the Community Identification.

         

Add identifications at a taxonomic level that you are confident of and that is supported by the evidence provided in the observation. For example, if based on the evidence in the observation, you think it could be either a Short-tailed Weasel (Mustela erminea) or a Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata), but you're not quite sure or the evidence isn't clear enough, you should add an identification of Weasels (genus Mustela).

         

There are several types of IDs:

  • Leading: Taxon descends from the community taxon. This identification could be leading toward the right answer.
  • Improving: First suggestion of this taxon that the community subsequently agreed with. This identification helped refine the community taxon.
  • Supporting: Taxon is the same as the community taxon. This identification supports the community ID.
  • Maverick: Taxon is not a descendant or ancestor of the community taxon. The community does not agree with this identification.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article