Zimbabwe - iNaturalist World Tour

Zimbabwe is the 80th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour - we'll stay in Southern Africa in neighboring Zambia tomorrow. The top observer is @i_c_riddell, a professional safari guide throughout Zimbabwe. @i_c_riddell's observations are centered on the capital of Harare along @florem, the second top observer, who is affiliated with the Department of Crop Science at the University of Zimbabwe in the capital of Harare. Several other top observers such as @markusdeklerk also have observations clustered here. @shirleyhitschmann runs a production company in Mutare in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe along the Mozambique border. @simontonge works in conservation and zoos in the UK but grew up in Zambia and Malawi and makes regular visits to Zimbabwe as part of this conservation work. His observations are clustered around Bulawayo along with other top observers such as @nickypegg. @supergan and @jimsteamer are world travelers based in Spain and the US with many observations from Zimbabwe. There is a cluster of top observers such as @joachim, who leads tours across Africa, in the iconic Hwange National Park in the western tip of the country near the 'four corners' border with Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia (there's also a distinct cluster around Victoria Falls even further north west towards the Zambian border). The 10th top observer, @zimgales, has observations clustered around Gonarezhou National Park in southeastern Zimbabwe.

The number of observations per month jumped up in 2017 and has been ramping up since. This is probably due to the arrival of Southern African community members formerly using the iSpot platform (as discussed here).

@alanhorstmann who splits his time between South Africa and Ireland is the top identifiers and leads mammal IDs.
As in many African countries, @jakob, @johnnybirder, and @ldacosta are among the top identifiers. @johnnybirder leads bird IDs, @nicovr leads insect IDs, @alanhorstmann leads mammal IDs, @marcoschmidtffm leads plant IDs, and @calebcam leads herp IDs. Many thanks to @colin25 for lending his Southern African expertise and to all the other top identifiers.

What can we do to get more people in Zimbabwe using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@i_c_riddell @florem @shirleyhitschmann @simontonge @supergan @alanhorstmann @jakob @johnnybirder @colin25 @ldacosta

We’ll be back tomorrow in nearby Zambia!

Publicado por loarie loarie, 11 de setembro de 2019, 10:13 PM



We need to engage the botanical community. So long as plants only make #4 on the list, then we will never get lots of observations. Only four people have more than 100 plant observations: an afternoon's walk in the highlands and mountains. The top 10 plants are tourist highlights, the real flora is utterly unrecorded: only 8 species of grass are recorded, none with more than 2 records.

But for the foreseeable future politics and economics will dominate issues in Zimbabwe, and fuel and internet access will limit activities and participation. It will take some time for recreational Citizen Science to emerge, and visitors and their guides will probably continue to be the major contributors for some time to come.

Publicado por tonyrebelo 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Thanks for catching that @kitty12 I think carrieseltzer or tiwane must have fixed it. Interesting background, tonyrebelo - I'd be curious to hear from @florem about whether the University of Zimbabwe is doing anything on the biodiversity cit-sci front.

Publicado por loarie 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Hi @loarie thanks for the tag. This world tour is such n awesome idea; I look forward to scrolling through the countries soon. In the meantime, it might be worth adding that Zim has some serious internet access issues--I've had to do much of the eBird reviewing because the main (in-country) reviewer has at most only a couple hours of internet access a day. So most Zim records would currently probably come from travelers. Hopefully the situation gets better soon--its a fantastic country, with some awesome biodiversity, andit'll be great to have more obs from there.

Publicado por johnnybirder 6 meses antes (Sinalizar)

I know the Tree Society of Zimbabwe is very active, involving some people from the University of Zimbabwe. But unfortunately they are not on iNaturalist. And it is also true that the current situation does not help.

Publicado por florem 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)

The increase in the number of observations also corresponds to my arrival in Zimbabwe in May 2017 (coming from France). I would never have imagined it could make a difference, so cool!

Publicado por florem 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)

@florem are there differences in internet access between places? I think you're based in Harare (?) which presumably has better connectivity that say Mutare (where most of my contacts live)? Or is the situation now better?

Publicado por johnnybirder 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)

The main problem is power cuts (and fuel shortage). In Harare we currently have power from 10pm to 4-5 am. No power during the day. But it also depends where you stay in Harare. At some places it is better, at others it is worse. We have solar panels, with that we have access to internet. I do not know how is the situtation in Mutare...

Publicado por florem 5 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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