Fishers Island is undoubtedly a place of great natural beauty—on our beaches, in our marshes, woodlands, grasslands, and even our own backyards. But what range of species live here? We can fairly easily observe the wide variety of plants, birds and mammals with which we share our island, but most people miss the smaller things. Luckily, a remarkable platform named iNaturalist has been developed to help users identify any living organism. It is brilliantly simple to use. Users upload a photograph (from their phone or computer) and the platform’s image recognition software will guess an identity for it. Then that “observation” is automatically shared with nearly two million users, including specialists, who can help confirm the identity of the species. iNaturalist allows users to not only identify any living organism, but to keep a catalog of everything the user has seen. It also facilitates the creation of projects like “Fishers Island Biodiversity” that group observations based on time and geographic parameters.
The virtual displays below are sample sections of the 14 groupings of Fishers Island iNaturalist photographic observations that are currently on display at the Museum. All are arranged taxonomically.