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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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Logging iNaturalist and eBird Hours in VMS

(Update 7/2023)

Independent iNaturalist observations will no longer be allowed.  Projects that include iNaturalist as a more or less incidental part of a larger project will still be allowed

Independent iNaturalist activities helped to fill gaps in volunteer opportunities during the pandemic.  With the easing of pandemic era restrictions, more opportunities are now available, so it makes sense that iNaturalist use is limited to projects more closely aligned to the mission of the TMN program. 

We encourage members to organize and participate in Bioblitzes, the City Nature challenge, and other projects with incidental use of iNaturalist like the WFC Fauna survey, the Brackenridge Field Lab Herbarium project, and the camera-trapping project. Identification and Curation in iNaturalist is limited to the same projects as allowed for observations (Bio-blitzes, City Nature Challenge, etc.).  If you are a subject area specialist or expert and wish to propose a new project, please contact to discuss.

We have summarized the guidelines below for your convenience, but the full 8 page State Guidance document should be consulted as the final word if there appears any confusion or discrepancy.

  • iNaturalist: As part of a preapproved project, you may log hours in the field and you may log time uploading photos/sounds in 15 minute increments You may log time curating (identifying) observations that are part of an approved project in 30 minute increments.
  • eBird is limited to 15 minutes in total per trip and exclusively for data entry. If there is a group, only one person from the group may claim eBird credit.
  • iNaturalsit and eBird use the code FR: Field Research
  • iNaturalist and eBird Observations: In the Description state the project and location where the observations were made (eg: Bioblitz at Walnut Creek Green Belt).
  • iNaturalist Identifications and Curation: In the Description state “iNaturalist Identifications” along with the project you are focusing upon.
  • iNaturalist Observations must be Research grade eligible (verified by photo or sound) and not captive nor cultivated
  • All field activities and identifications must be from within the state of Texas, not on your own property, and all data must be publicly accessible.

Field Research

  • All iNaturalist Observations must be added to a pre-approved Project.
  • CAMN has pre-approved the 12 TPWD Texas Nature Tracker iNaturalist Projects
  • CAMN will also pre-approve periodic Bioblitzes. Look for these announcements in the CAMN Reader.
  • Members may request pre-approval for additional Projects on a case by case basis.
  • Casual observations and observations on private land will not be approved.

iNaturalist Species Identification/Curation

  • Observations must be within the state of Texas.
  • Offering identifications in the CAMN project, for bio-blitzes, and for observastions at local parks, preserves, and natural areas will be allowed.

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