Use of iNaturalist

This page provides some guidance on how to get the most out of the iNaturalist app and make sure that your records are being received by organisations such as RECORD.

What is iNaturalist?

iNaturalist is a global wildlife recording platform. You can use it via an app (iPhone or Android) or via any internet browser. If you make an account and sign in, your observations are available across all your devices.

What are the advantages of iNaturalist?

What are the disadvantages of iNaturalist?

How are iNaturalist records shared with RECORD?

What are the problems with iNaturalist data sharing?


The above process does take some time, so if you are entering data into iNaturalist it may not appear within our database or data outputs for quite some time (potentially years). We don't mind waiting, but if you want data to reach us quickly, please use Swift or email it over instead.

Criteria needed for iRecord transfer

If records do not meet certain criteria they are not imported into iRecord and therefore do not reach us. These criteria are:


Every observation submitted to iNaturalist has a 'license'. The licenses dictate who can use the information contained within your record and how they can use it. This is really positive in that it gives you as the recorder control over how the information you collect is used. However it can also be problematic as many recorders don't realise that their observations are licensed under conditions that prevent organisations such as RECORD from using them. There are a few things worth bearing in mind:

How can you make sure that your iNaturalist records reach us at RECORD?

What about Seek?

Seek is a separate app, developed by the same organisation as iNaturalist. Whilst originally aimed at children, Seek is now used by all ages. It has great automatic identification technology to help you identify what you've seen in real time, plus lots of fun challenges. However if you want to record wildlife rather than just identify it, Seek is not the best app to use. Whilst it is possible to link Seek to your iNaturalist account, for adult users we recommend recording through iNaturalist rather than Seek. You can find out more about the differences between the two apps here.

RECORD - Local Environmental Records Centre,
Cedar House,
Caughall Road,

01244 383749
Charity number: 1095859
Company number: 04046886
VAT number: 455 8632 62

An ALERC member

©RECORD 2024. View our privacy policy and terms of use. The information on this website has been provided as general information only and RECORD can not accept responsibility for loss occasioned after reliance placed on any of the contents of this website. RECORD makes no warranty as to the accuracy of site information or contents.

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