Sign up for the Biodiversity Challenge
Five easy steps!
For an iPhone, follow the instructions below:
1. Download iNaturalist for free
2. Start the app
A short tutorial will start automatically. It explains the main steps involved in sharing observations.
Note that you have to allow iNaturalist access to your device’s GPS location data so that species you photograph can be geolocated. This step is optional, but enabling the geolocation feature means that your observations can be used by scientists. You can contribute!
3. Create an account
4. Join the Biodiversity Challenge
This step is very important. Your observations won’t be counted by the Foundation and therefore be used to fund mental health-related projects unless you join the Montréal Space for Life Biodiversity Challenge.
- Go to the Other page by tapping on the three dots in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Tap on Projects on the menu.
- Tap on the magnifying glass and enter Biodiversity Challenge. The project should show up on the list of possible choices.
- Tap on Biodiversity Challenge and join.
5. Share your observations
To share an observation, you can take a photo with the iNaturalist app or select one of the photos on your phone.
- Tap on the Observe icon (camera icon at the bottom of the screen).
- Select the option you want. You can take a photo or record a sound using the iNaturalist tools. You can also upload a photo or sound recorded on your device.
- Select an identification from among the ones suggested by the app. If you’re not sure, go for a very broad category like “insect” or “plant” by entering a keyword in the text box. Adding an identification, even a vague one, will help naturalists classify your observation.
- The place and date of the observation should be added automatically. If they aren’t, you can add any missing information manually.
- Save your observation by tapping on Share.
That’s it! You’ve shared your observation. Go back and check on your observations from time to time: the Biodiversity Challenge community could provide a more accurate identification or add comments.
Here are some tips to help ensure efficient data collection:
- You can photograph plants, mushrooms, animals or insects.
- If you can, take several shots from different angles. You can also take close-ups of certain parts of a specimen.
- The photos you submit don’t need to be professional calibre. You just have to take pictures that are clear enough that the specimen is identifiable.
- And when making your observations, it’s essential, of course, to be respectful of nature.