The iNaturalist platform as a source of data to study amphibians in Brazil

Lucas Rodriguez Forti, Judit K. Szabo

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    Based on debilitating recent budget cuts for science, Brazilian researchers had to find alternative ways to continue scientific production. Here we provide a perspective for the use of citizen-science data deposited in the iNaturalist platform as an alternative source of data to support biodiversity research. Observations contributed by volunteers can be analyzed at large spatial and temporal scales and can respond to questions in behavioral and population ecology. We analyzed this potential through the example of Brazilian amphibians, a group that is less studied worldwide than birds. In fact, to our knowledge, only two studies have been published that are based on citizen-science data for Brazilian amphibians. At the time of writing, the iNaturalist platform has over 14,800 research grade observations from Brazil, representing 698 species, a number increasing daily. Compared to other species-rich countries, volunteer-collected datasets from Brazil cover a relatively high taxonomic diversity (61%), providing a plethora of valuable data. Despite this potential, there are large spatial gaps in sampling in Brazil. Here we encourage established and budding herpetologists not only to use the platform to retrieve data, but also to contribute to iNaturalist actively, with new observations, as well as by identifying species in existing records.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere20220828
    JournalAnais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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