How to subscribe to a taxon or Place

Modified on Mon, 1 Jul at 4:36 PM

On iNaturalist, you can subscribe to and then be notified about new observations of a certain taxon, new observations made in a Place, or new observations of a certain taxon in a certain Place.

New observations that meet your subscription choices will show up in your dashboard on the website and in your daily update email (depending on your email preferences). You can subscribe to a taxon, to a Place, or to a taxon in a Place.

You can only start and manage subscriptions via the iNaturalist website.

  1. Make sure you’re logged in to the website and go to your Dashboard

  2. On the right-hand side of the page*, you’ll see the Subscriptions section

  3. If you want to subscribe to a certain taxon without a geographic restriction, select Subscribe to a Taxon. If you want to subscribe to a Place, or to a certain taxon with in a Place, choose Subscribe to a Place. For this tutorial, let’s say you want to subscribe to all cactus observations in California because you want to see what people are finding, and you want to help identify them.

  4. Click on Subscribe to a Place, and see this pop-up:

  5. Then fill in the fields (note that Taxon is optional for a Place subscription, but in this case you will be using it.)

  6. Click on Save, to save the subscription.

  7. It now appears under Subscriptions on your dashboard. You can click on the gear icon to edit it or unsubscribe.

When new observations meeting your subscription’s parameters are made, they’ll show up in your Dashboard. Note that the dashboard refreshes about every 15 minutes, so the observations may not appear immediately. If there’s more than one observation in the dashboard update, there will be an Identify button that will help you quickly identify them.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • Subscriptions are tasks that run in the background and thus do add a burden to iNat’s infrastructure, so please be judicious when making a subscription and don’t subscribe to something like all birds, or all plants, and or to extremely large Places like all of a continent or a large country. You’ll be overwhelmed by the large number of new observations, and those big subscriptions are taxing on iNat.

  • Subscriptions only use an observation’s attributes at the time its posted to iNat. So in the example subscription above, if an observation of a cactus was identified at the level of Plantae when it was first posted, it would never show up as part of your cactuses in California subscription, even if the Community ID eventually changes to cactuses.

* Or on the bottom of the page, if your browser window is narrow.

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