Establishment Means on iNaturalist
On iNaturalist, each taxon can have an Establishment Means in a Place, such as a country, state/provice, or county level Place. What the Establishment Means tells you is whether the taxon is native, introduced or endemic to that Place. Here's how those terms are defined on iNaturalist:
- Native: evolved in this region or arrived by non-anthropogenic means.
- Endemic: the taxon native and occurs nowhere else. (Usually used only for taxa with small ranges. Please don't use this for Places like continents.)
- Introduced: the taxon arrived in the region via anthropogenic means.
If a taxon is labeled as introduced or endemic to a Place, you'll see a little badge on any observation of that taxon in that Place - a green star for endemic, and a pink exclamation point for introduced. Click on the badge for more information.
Establishment means can also be used for Collection Projects, as well as a filter when using the Explore page.
How to add or edit Establishment Means
Any user on iNaturalist can add or edit a taxon's Establishment Means in a Place by editing that Place's checklist on the iNaturalist website. Here's how to do it. In this example, we'll be marking Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) as native to Canada.
- Using the Header Search, find the Place you're interested in and click on About. This will take you to the Place's page, eg https://www.inaturalist.org/places/canada
- Scroll down and, on the left-hand side, click on View Check List Page, which will take to you Canada's Check List: https://www.inaturalist.org/check_lists/7025-Canada-Check-List
- In the upper right-hand corner search field, enter the taxon you want to edit and click Search List.
- Click on Edit for that taxon, which takes you to https://www.inaturalist.org/listed_taxa/58729
- On the right-hand side, click on Edit next to Establishment Means. Clicking on the question mark will bring up definitions for each term.
- Choose the proper Establishment Means setting. In this case, it would be Native.
- Click Save.
- Remember, Places are "nested" in a hierarchy. Establishment Means "float" up, meaning that Ursus maritimus will now be listed as "native" in North America as well, because Canada is nested within North America on iNaturalist.
- If you are a Curator, you will have the option to "Apply establishment means to descendent places". Make sure to read the description and think carefully before you choosing to do this. A taxon could be native to one part of a country, for example, but introduced in another part of it.
- It's important to keep in mind that "introduced" does not necessarily mean the taxon is "invasive" in that Place. "Invasive" is a judgement call and is determined by the negative effects an introduced species might have in a Place. Because of this, it's not a term used by iNaturalist. "Introduced" on iNaturalist just tells you whether humans brought it to a Place, either accidentally or on purpose, and not necessarily its effect on the ecosystem there.
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