Trip Report: Uploading observations to the Biodiversity Squamish iNaturalist project, August 25, 2019

The theme of this outing on the Estuary’s North Dyke trail was in response to Michele’s request for some practice and tips for uploading observations to Biodiversity Squamish. All three participants had already uploaded the free iNaturalist app and had wonderful reasons for wanting to participate.

How do I add my observations to the Biodiversity Squamish project? They are only showing up on my own site.

Instead of opening iNaturalist which brings up your own site, open Biodiversity Squamish and click on “add observations”. Your observation will automatically also be added to your own site. If you do open iNaturalist to your own site, each time you add an observation you need to scroll to the bottom of the page, click on ‘projects’, and then add your observation to Biodiversity Squamish. The iNaturalist application is being updated so that extra step will no longer be required, but for now we need to do this.

When iNaturalist offers its 10 most likely suggestions for identifying my observation, how do I know if one of them is correct?

You’ll have to do some research. Don’t worry about the formal names, which don’t always reflect the appearance of a species. Check to see if the suggested species has been recorded in British Columbia or just across the border in Washington.  In addition to native species, the sites and references listed below include introduced species if they have naturalized here over time.  Cultivars (cultivated or garden plants) are excluded from all of these references.  It’s exciting if you discover that your find proves that a species has extended its range into our area. However, if iNaturalist is suggesting a species known only on another continent, it’s unlikely to be correct, even if it looks virtually the same as your observation.

Do I have to know the identification if I want to post an observation?

No.  Just make a start at whatever level you think is accurate.

What is the boundary of Biodiversity Squamish?

Look at the map on the home page. Zoom in to check the details.


  • It is good to take and upload several photos for the same observation. For plants, for example, you can show:
    • overall appearance of the plant in its habitat (that photo also helps you remember where you were)
    • views from different angles
    • the leaves (stem leaves and basal leaves sometimes need separate photos)
    • flowers or fruit in more detail
  • At home, in your own time, you can edit your photos and combine them into one observation.
  • You can upload photos from your camera, phone and more.
  • You can only upload photos that you have taken.

More Questions?

Read the ‘about’ section on the home page of Biodiversity Squamish, including clicking on ‘more’. This provides background about
Biodiversity Squamish and includes iNaturalist links answering how to get started and commonly-asked questions and an address if you still have a question:

Please feel welcome to write Judith at

Photo above by Judith Holm:  View of the Stawamus Chief from the North Dyke Trail, where this discovery walk took place.