Can We Make an Impact?

The short answer: Yes. See last year's wrap-up journal post for details about how we made an impact last year:

Frankly, I'm still astounded by what we accomplished a year ago. But can we do it again? (Now for the long answer.)

Well, last year we started the 48-hour ID blitz with 28 project members and ended up with 42 members. This year, a week ahead of the event, we are already at 36 members. Yay, and thank you all for joining! So, we're on track to have enough identifiers, I think.

Last year, we started the marathon with 271,844 observations of plants in New England that were Needs ID and already down to the species level (meaning not stuck at genus/family/kingdom levels). We focused on that class of observations in 2022. Right now, at 7 PM on the Sunday before the ID marathon starts, there are 347,496 such observations. That's an increase of more than 75,000! Why the change? Now, I know many people have been working HARD at identifying New England plants in the last year - thank you especially to @tsn and @peakaytea! - so why haven't we kept up? The exponential growth in iNaturalist observers and observations, that's why.

Such growth is great, of course - more people are getting outside, learning about and appreciating local biodiversity via iNaturalist - but it does mean the identifiers are getting swamped. And that's one of the reasons why I started this project.

Last year, I estimated the "normal" rate of plant identifications in New England by checking the statistics on iNat for the weekend before the ID-a-thon. I estimated that the total of New England species-level plant observations needing IDs decreased by about 600 over that weekend a year ago. (And then we all smashed that by shrinking the pile of species-level observations needing IDs by over 10,000 the weekend of the marathon!)

This year, the "normal" rate is .... well, dismal. The number of New England plant observations at the species level and needing IDs actually INCREASED this current weekend by 28. Oh, dear. Oh, my. On the other hand, all that means is that we need to shrink the pile even a little and we will have made an impact.

Anyone want to venture a prediction as to how much we'll shrink the pile of species-level observations? Last year, I hoped for 1%; this year, that would be about a decrease of 3,500 Needs ID observations over next weekend. I think that's entirely feasible.

I'll be back soon with more posts leading up to next Friday. Thanks for reading this!

Julkaistu helmikuu 20, 2023 12:19 AP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper


I'm going to be traveling next weekend, so I'll be on and off, but hopefully I've been making a dent at pushing observations down the taxonomy.

I've also been trying to make judicious use of the button that says "It's as good as it can be." Rotten logs are one opportunity for this button.

Looking forward to next weekend, for whatever part I'm in...


Lähettänyt peakaytea yli 1 vuosi sitten

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