by Celia Wade-Brown

What’s that bird? Do you love lizards? Do native orchids flower in August or January? Or maybe you want to identify a tree in the Tararua Forest? Not sure whether that butterfly is native to this area? Where can I see a flowering rātā in Aorangi Forest Park? So many reasons exist to use iNaturalist! It’s a worldwide app with hundreds of observations made in the Wairarapa and you can add your own.

There is both a website and an app (for Android and iPhones). You can record observations of animals, plants, and fungi even if you’re out of mobile coverage. You can look at what’s been found locally so you can learn what to expect. The app will compare your photo with its database to offer suggestions for what you’ve seen.

Classroom teachers can set up projects, landowners can choose places and people can follow experts. Together we can map all the species found in the Wairarapa!

There are many other apps, such as eBird, but I’ll be continuing to use iNaturalist to learn and to record. At WaiP2K (Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance), we’re looking at how best to use iNaturalist, TrapNZ and other tools to share data, improve conservation outcomes and motivate interest.

Get in touch if you have questions or suggestions on conservation data and mapping >

Celia And Rangiora

Celia photographing Rangiora, Brachyglottis repanda

Screenshot from iNaturalist