14 May 2019

NatureMap-plants: help conservation scientists reveal hidden important places for biodiversity conservation

NatureMap-plants is a citizen science project aimed at improving our knowledge of flowering plant species distribution in four countries - Indonesia, India, Ethiopia and Turkey - that are extremely rich in plant species. Currently, these countries have insufficient plant observation data available to be able to identify areas of high plant species richness and to ensure that threatened plants are sufficiently protected to avoid their extinction.

ID 40906685 © Atiger88 | Dreamstime.com

ID 40906685 © Atiger88 | Dreamstime.com

To fill those knowledge gaps, keep up with changes in plant distribution and to know where endemic and threatened plants need to be protected, we need everyone's help.

We have created four iNaturalist projects that automatically collect wild flowering plant records in the form of geolocated photos added for these countries. As much as possible, these photos will be identified by expert botanists and volunteer naturalists in the iNaturalist community. The data will be used by Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and other research institutes around the world to expand and update their knowledge of plant distribution and ecology. This new data and knowledge will then be shared with conservation scientists and agencies, so they have the best available information to help these species thrive in the future.

We ask everyone to take photos of wild flowering plants and post them to iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org), including close-ups of the flowers or fruit and the whole plant, the date and the location, to enrich the overall data available in the four iNaturalist projects.

If you have a smartphone or a camera and you encounter a flowering plant in the wild (not planted by humans), download the app and take a few good photos of it! Chances are your photo can be a valuable record for this plant’s conservation, and the species may one day enjoy further protection thanks to your photos!

For questions about the project contact


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Last edited: 14 May 2019


Piero Visconti

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 427


quick-start guide

iNaturalist Country Projects

Nature Map Earth

Project webpage

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313