Metaphorically speaking, living in Nosara can feel like a daily visit to the zoo, with three notable differences:

A: Coronavirus makes it feel that we are the caged species.

B: It’s the animals that are free.

C: There’s no identification plaques to let you know what you’re looking at.

It’s a safe bet that the majority of people can identify pizotes, iguanas, howler monkeys and a good few others. However, how many times have you sat in your yard, or walked along the trails, and a brightly colored bird or butterfly, or an obscure mammal or lizard has crossed your path, leaving you to wonder what it is you are looking at?

Earlier in the year, the NCA produced a blog post about a free cell phone app called I-naturalist. I-naturalist combines citizen science and rapid assessments to identify, evaluate, track and record biodiversity. In the short time Inaturalist has been adopted by local cellphone users, it has already cataloged hundreds of local species, from the common to the much rarer and harder to identify, including snakes, lizards, falcons, hawks, various flora and fauna, and much, much more.

The species that rank top of the observations charts are the usual suspects, howler monkeys, coatis, iguanas etc.

Nothing new there. However, amazingly, as you scroll down you can expect to find a huge range of species which you have either seen and were unable to identify, or more likely, species you have never seen at all. Living photographic proof of just what an incredible natural wonderland of biodiversity Nosara truly is.

And yes, there’s even claims that Nosara is home to its own resident sloth.

To find out more about the what and where of the species shown above, along with hundreds more, click this link.

As you can see, iNaturalist is already playing a key role in Nosara conservation programs. The NCA urges more people to use iNaturalist to report wildlife sightings, thus giving us greater insight into the species that live here, and insights into their behavior, numbers, and patterns.

iNaturalist may be accessed via its website: www.inaturalist.org, or from its mobile applications.

iNaturalist is very simple to use, but for more information check out this short tutorial video.