Information to support the transition of NatureWatch NZ to the global citizen science platform iNaturalist.org
The NatureWatch NZ citizen science platform has been merged with the global iNaturalist system
Future access to the iNaturalist platform
The NatureWatch NZ project was to established to develop new IT functionality for the citizen science community in NZ. Subsequently, the new developments were given to iNaturalist.org to incorporate within its global platform. Since then, the www.naturewatch.org.nz domain name has been used to host a regional hub of the iNaturalist network. This allows NZ users to see only the New Zealand region records of the global database.However the regional hub comes at a cost and it has proven difficult to find the necessary funds.
More recently a dispute between trustees concerning the methods being used to raise funds and whether there was a long term need for a 3rd party to run a NZ regional hub. This led to the decision to decommission the www.naturewatch.org.nz regional hub and start another one using the website www.inaturalistnz.org
This means that iNaturalist users in New Zealand currently have two ways to access their records:
- via the 3rd party hub at www.inaturalistnz.org
- via the global website at www.inaturalist.org
Security of the web portal and database
In the longer term the www.inaturalist.org website and underlying database is reasonably secure and has funding to complete further developments to make the system even better. Users can have a high degree of confidence that the records themselves will continue to be hosted and that access will be freely available through the global website.
Read more about the development and people behind iNaturalist here
A regional hub may be operated by a 3rd party organisation (in this case the NZ Bio-Recording Trust) and involves maintaining a separate website that provides another entry point to the global database under an agreement with iNaturalist,
When there is a hub in operation both the hub website and the global website will take you to the same database, so the choice is yours!
All of your observations & projects created are unchanged
Updating website links to observations and projects
If you are using links to pages that were created on www.naturewatch.org.nz they are very easy to update! Simply change the http://naturewatch.org.nz/ part of the web address to https://www.inaturalist.org/
Note that the inaturalist.org site has a slightly different layout to the old naturewatch.org.nz site and you'll find that the Projects and People pages now under the 'Community' tab at the top of the page.