Right now the scientific names on some species do not show on the site - we are working to fix this problem which should be solved after the back-up this morning.


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If you have a question, start here: How to get support

Help to navigate the website

Is there an overview of main functions?
Yes, go to our Tour.

Are there instructions on a more detailed level - e.g. by page?
Yes, if an ? icon appears to the right in the main menu on a page, click for more information.

Are there step-by-step tutorials for key functions?
Yes, for the main functions you will find these under Home > Tutorials.


I have seen new species, how do I record them?
Go to Add observations where you will find three ways of entering observations:
1. If you have a few species, you can add the relevant observation one-by-one using our interface by species.
2. If you have a fair amount of species you can use our interface by Checklist.
3. If you have a database of observations, you can use our import function.

In addition:
4. If you are a participant on a trip managed through iGoTerra Trips you can also validate your own observations through this interface.
5. Use our mobile app Pocket available through AppStore or Google Play and record your observations off-line directly in field - once connected to the internet you upload your observations to the website.

We recommend that you test the various interfaces to see which one you find most convenient. We have made it easy to capture the co-ordinates of your observations. All observations from these five modes of input will end up in the same database. The output from the observation database will end up in your lists and automatically update your ranking numbers.

Do you have your wildlife notes on paper? Here is a quick guide on how to go digital!
iGoTerra is built by wildlife watchers. We know how it feels to have your notes on paper and therefore being in poor control of your lists and observations. You continue to add observations, taxonomy changes, and you may feel that it will be an impossible task to get on top of your lists. Good thing is that iGoTerra can greatly facilitate the process of going digital!

Your notes are in the form of paper trip reports? Go to Add Observations by Checklist then go to select the Country Area and set the starting date to e.g. the first day of the trip, then click on the + for each of the species/subspecies you observed, then optionally add a note on exact date, site, count, etc. Note that you can also do a Fast Track by just ticking the species you observed. Even if you have in the range of 100 trip reports, it is actually a fairly rapid process. A bonus is that you, in the process, will re-live all your memories from that trip!
Extra Tip: use the filter at the top right to quickly find a species, which may have changed sequence.

Your notes are in one world checklist book, e.g. Clements Checklist?
Go to the Add Ticks in World Checklist, then select which group of birds you would like to go through, then enter a mere tick on species or subspecies level, then for some species you may decide to add a note, e.g. which country or even date you observed it the first time. Even this process is rather quick, and taking it Family by Family, will step-by-step, get you to your goal.

Your notes are in paper notebooks?
Go to Add observations by Species, then add each species. Note that you can lock Location, date, etc to facilitate entry of more than one species with similar supplementary data.
If you are fast in typing and familiar with excel, a complementary method may be to first type the observations into excel. Once you have an excel-sheet, you are only a few minutes away from having your database done, as you can import the entire excel-sheet into iGoTerra.

Obviously, the more information you add, the more valuable your new digital database will be. However, you can get very far by just entering some of the data and later you can add more details. As long as you enter a species and a country, all your country lists will be built, regardless of any further detailed information added or not. Of course you can use any combination of the above.

The iGoTerra team is always ready to guide you and provide advice on how to simplify the entry process in your specific situation. Just drop us a mail on support@igoterra.com.

What is the difference between an observation, a tick and a lifer?
An observation is an observation of a taxon, seen or heard, with information on date, location (ideally geo-coded) and other details. A tick is the first observation made in a given geographical area - e.g World, Western Palearctic, Kenya, Texas. Some members "tick" species every year, other keep life lists. A species observed for the first time is a "lifer".

Why is there a delay in updating ranking numbers?
When you enter an observation and it is a new species for the year or the country or country part this is saved real-time. The ranking numbers results from a batch process that counts all lists (such as countries, regions, years and months) of the website. As soon as you add a new observation your account enters the ranking queue and it takes some time to complete. The alert on Lists saying "Your checklists will soon be recounted" notifies that the update of your lists is ongoing.

How can I get help to identify new species?
iGoTerra offers two support functions in this respect: You can post your photo on our ID-helper Forum with details of date and location to seek help from other members. Our Premium members can also use our neat Photo Compare service where your photo can be compared with photos of similar species in a family or a genus.

Can I copy observations from a friend of mine since we were on the same trip together?
Yes, you can. Find your friends profile page from the main search field. Click on the country you want to copy. Click on Country Lists in the submenu. To the far right on each country row there is a copy symbol. Click on this and select the start/end dates you want to copy and follow the instructions. Remember to select the wanted taxa-groups!


How can I view my lifer list?
In the main menu, choose Lists > Country lists - you will have a World total at the top and then individual lists for all the countries you have visited. For more information, click on the ?-icon in the main menu.

Can I compare my country list - species by species - with another member´s country list?
Yes, you can. Go to the country for which you want to compare. In the toolbox Quick Links there is a link named Compare checklists, where you just follow the instructions.

Can I compare my target lifer list for a certain country - species by species - with another member who is going on the same trip as me?
There is no specific report currently. However, our premium members can extract their own target list from e.g. Angola and then tick the option New Lifer Species. You also have the choice to include or exclude subspecies. After exporting your respective lists you can combine these in excel. If you use the list with most targets as baseline you can then add a column for the second person (and insert/copy a row in case the first person has observed it).

All lists are in taxonomic order - how do I change the sort order to alphabetical ?
Click in the table header on the column you want to sort to see the list ascending or descending.

Can an individual State (of the 50 United States) or other geography bird checklist (e.g., individual country) be invoked at the time of data entry so that the number of possible species to select from is reduced?
We have state bird checklists for all US States (these can also be downloaded into our app Pocket).

Is there a way to associate my sightings with any number of “areas” in a hierarchical fashion? For example, can I enter a sighting from the backyard of my home in Oregon in the United States such that it is easily associated with my county, State, the United States, and the American Birding Association (ABA) Area?
Yes - we have all US counties loaded into our databases and observations entered into a county (or through a geo-coded Location within the county limits) will automatically update lists all the way up to ”World”.

Can I query iGoTerra to produce various list totals that can be reported to the American Birding Association (e.g., State list, “lower 48” State list, ABA Area list, North America list, etc.)?
Yes - we follow the ABA listing regions and all of these lists are available, see http://www.igoterra.com/admin_countryregions.asp

Is there a way to record “heard only” birds such that they can either be included, excluded, or noted when producing reports and list totals?
Yes - both on the website and through our app Pocket.

Does iGoTerra keep track of bird families seen? Can a report be produced to show missing families? Are world families based on the taxonomy the user has selected at the time (e.g., Clements families may differ from IOC families)?
Yes - not only families but also genera can be displayed the taxonomy does follow your selected taxonomy. The display function also shows the top countries to go to for missing families and genera.

Trip Reports

I want to prepare a trip to a country, how do I get started?
From the Home page, under Travel Planner, select the country you want to go to. We have collected various pieces of information by country, including the country checklist - you can also generate your personal TravelChecklist from here.

Where do I have to go to see the greatest number of new species?
iGoTerra offers that service here.

Where do I have to go to see the greatest number of new families?
iGoTerra offers that service here (initially only for birds).

Where do I have to go to see the greatest number of new genera?
iGoTerra offers that service here (initially only for birds).

How can I document what I see and hear during my trip?
Aside from adding observations, iGoTerra offers two supportive functions options to document a trip including an aggregate list of species :
1. All members have the possibility to generate a list of all species for a specific country - look for Planning Tools > TravelChecklist in the country page you have chosen
2. Premium Members can use iGoTerra Trips which is a "automated" trip administration tool designed for bird tour operators and members that want to prepare and document their trip in detail (if you are a Standard member you can benefit as a participant)

If I use MyTrips, for how long time are my trip reports stored in iGoTerra?
Indefinitely. They are there for you as an observation log so you can browse and even make changes to what you saw and when at any time and it will be reflected in your observation data and rankings.

If I use MyTrips, can others see me trip reports?
Only iGoTerra members who participated on the trip can see your TripReport.

If I use MyTrips, how can I export my trip reports to my own computer?
You can export your TripReport to a .doc or .pdf file and then store it on your own computer.

If I use MyTrips, how can I edit my trip reports?
You can us iGoTerra editing functions.. Once you have finalized the TripReport, you can export this to a word document (.doc) and here you have full editing possibilities - including adding photos, maps and text sections e.g a trip diary.


Which taxonomic references do you use?
Even though taxonomy is very much a moving target these days, iGoTerra strives to follow the most up to date and widely recognized taxonomic authorities for all taxa groups. Having said that, for many taxa groups, e.g. plants, there is no commonly recognized global source with the result that both common and scientific names differ substantially.
- For Birds, we offer our members to opt for the checklists of Clements or IOC. The database of iGoTerra is updated directly upon publication of new versions of IOC and Clements and we offer a service to update your personal observations accordingly.
- For Mammals, our database is based on IUCN framework and updated annually according to IUCN updates and complementary scientific research.
- For Dragonflies, we use the World Odonata list of Slater Museum of Natural History/University of Puget Sound.
- For Reptiles, we tend to follow Reptile Database but we are not up-to-date. If you find a taxon that needs an update, please leave us a note on the forum, and we will take care of it.
- For Fishes, we use FishBase.
- For the order Pipunculidae, we follow the world checklist established by Jeff Skevington.
- For all other taxa groups, our database largely follows Catalogue of Life supplemented with Encyclopedia of Life or Wikipedia.
- For European species we tend to follow Fauna Europea.
With +190k species, our database expands daily to account for the observations of our members.
This is (endless) work in progress, if you know of a good checklist that we could use, please let us know!


Will I retain the copyright if I upload a photo in iGoTerra gallery?
Yes, you always retain the copyright to your photos. See our Terms of Service.

If I want to sell my photo, how can a commercial company contact me?
There will be a template for someone interested in your photo to type a message and when submitted/posted an email will be sent to you as the photographer. However, iGoTerra intentionally do not disclose email addresses of its members. This is an important policy that is also stated in our Terms of Service.

How large photos can I store? Is there any recommended size?
For quality reasons, we recommend to upload photos up to 1200 px. You can upload larger photos but its size will be reduced to a maximum of 1200 px wide.

How do I upload a photo that I have taken?
Go to Upload Photo and follow the instructions on the screen. If you are adding an observation of the species you can upload the photo from the Observation interface.

How can I edit data on a photo I have uploaded?
Go to MyPhoto and click on the photo you want to edit - There is a button "Edit photo information" on the top right corner.

How can I contact the photographer of a certain photo?
There will be a template that allows you to type your message and when you submit/post this an email will be sent to the photographer.

If I find a photo which I think is mis-identified, what should I do?
A mis-identified photo may occasionally occur, either due to a pure uploading mistake, or by a mis-identification. In both cases the photographer would certainly be pleased to learn about it. You can either give a polite comment on the photo itself, and the photographer will then be notified via a mail. You may also write a mail to info@igoterra.com.

What do I need to consider before converting to iGoTerra?

What kind of details should I provide for my observations?
First you may want to think about at which level of detail you want to keep your lists. This may vary of course -
1. Geographically, for your own home country you may want to keep your observations on state or even a lower level and for trips around the globe you are maybe happy to have it on country level. In iGoTerra we can accommodate up to 5 levels below country level - not all of these are populated of course. On the country dashboard page you have the linked levels displayed and also to what listing areas a country belongs.
2. You should also try to include full dates on your observations since this information is very valuable to help you keep track of your yearlists or month lists
3. You should also transfer the location where you made the observation. In iGoTerra you can choose between selecting a "Saved location" which has co-ordinates attached to it, but if you do not find a match you can also put in your own free text location and define its co-ordinates on a map.
Once this is done you have a plan and you can start loading your observations - either through an import or by manually adding the observations. If you do have your observations in a database but are unsure how to get started with the import, please drop us an email and we will try to help out.

How can I import my current data from other databases?
Importing databases has never been so easy. We have designed a flexible tool which allows you to tell our system how your information is structured, so you do not have to rearrange the way your data is stored. For a few standard softwares, the template configuration is pre-defined. After choosing the country, you upload your observations here - the example shows a link to Albania. Then you follow the instructions in the 3-step process (upload, verify and import) on the screen.

I have not previously recorded subspecies, how should I do when importing?
Our experience shows that it is most convenient to first load all your information to iGoTerra. Thereafter you review the species checklist for your visited countries trip by trip where you can allocate your observation to the subspecies level. In the checklist you will have pop-up information tags that shows the geographical range of all subspecies. You may also look at the subspecies that other iGoTerra members have recorded from the same locations. Note however, that this is indicative and by no means will not guarantee anything.

How does iGoTerra import my Comments and my more extensive Field Notes that are associated with my individual bird sightings?
The import format has a number of parameters and one of them is Comment.

I am currently using my own taxonomy, how will it be affected when importing to iGoTerra?
First - it does make sense to use a mainstream taxonomic reference. If you import your observations, iGoTerra will look for a match to your information - if it does not find a match it will say so and you can then research and update the information until there is a match. If your import is a few years old there may have been a split in between (say e.g. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis which also had the subspecies coromandus) where there clearly is a match from the scientific name. iGoTerra will accept the match but once the observation has been imported you will be asked to state if it is the Eastern or Western Cattle Egret you have observed. If you update manually, you will not find the exact option, but you will probably see that there are other species in the genus and if you browse through these taxa you will find the match.


What is the key value if I move from Basic to Standard membership?
That depends on what sections of the site is important to you and that varies from member to member - if you look at Membership you will be able to see the difference function by function but a key aspect is that you have will be able to add an unlimited amount of observations (Basic members are capped at 400 "lifers" - i.e. first time observations). and in addition you will have access to most ranking statistics and almost all trip planning tools.

What is the key value if I move from Standard to Premium membership?
That depends on what sections of the site is important to you and that varies - if you look at Membership you will be able to see the difference function by function, but a few neat functions are PhotoCompare and the possibility to create automatic annotated trip reports and administrate your wildlife watching trip in MyTrips - you also have full access to all information on the website. For birders, an absolute key tool to stay on top of taxonomic changes is the Bird subspecies assignment tool.

Can you please provide references to people that have been using iGoTerra for a while?
Click here to see what our members say.

If I enroll to iGoTerra now, how can I be sure that the price is not going to increase beyond control in the future?
The current fees vary from free of charge to being in the same magnitude as a standard wildlife magazine subscription (full service access) and we intend to keep it at that level. We prefer to have many members contributing to the network, rather than operating the site in an exclusive way for only those who can afford a very high fee.

Getting involved

I want to contribute to iGoTerra development, How can I help?
A few areas are described below but please send us an email to for any area that you would like see developed on the website.

I would like to become a country checklist administrator, how can I contribute?
Good thinking! We very much welcome this type of contribution by our members, who harbours lots of local knowledge. Please send us a mail at and we will respond to you. As you may understand, in order to secure the level of quality, we may ask you some background questions.

I have some good ideas on how to improve iGoTerra, how can I do that?
Excellent! It is in the iGoTerra genes
 to take action on our members’ suggestions. Please send an email to and describe your idea to us. We will always respond to you.

I have found an error in iGoTerra, how can I report it and get it corrected?
Send the description of the issue to . This is the preferred way rather than our Facebook group or Forum, which we would like to rather be used for discussions.

I have read the FAQ, and I have not found the information I am looking for.
Post your question on the Forum to get input from other members as well as the iGoTerra team.


How is iGoTerra powered?
iGoTerra is owned, operated and developed by Igoterra AB, a limited company founded in 2012 and registered in Sweden. The original founders and new investors have since provided a foundation for building the company for the future. The current management and resource team is available under About iGoTerra. In addition, the site benefits from the input of an international team of voluntary members who actively contribute to Forum and Support leadership, country checklist reviews and updates, and many other crowdsourced features.

How can I be sure that iGoTerra will be in business for many years to come?
There is no such thing as a guarantee for the future. However, the management team have invested and continue to invest a significant amount of money and time in the site and its services - our increasing number of members have also invested significant time to contribute with their observations and photos and the strength of the site thus increases on a daily basis. We are ready to take the next steps in the development of the company and its services. We have an extensive number of product ideas that we plan to launch over the next few years.

If iGoTerra stores all my data, is it really secure?
Cloud-computing (e.g. a customer storing data in a remote site) is becoming more common and this also leads to more secure and efficient solutions being developed for the customers. To us, this is a key question, and we work both with redundancy and back-up solutions, as well as the possibility for the customer to extract data and store as a personal back-up.

What kind of back-up solutions does iGoTerra have?
A "mirror" back-up (raid system) of all data and source code content is taken every night (CET) by our web service provider. The website is however accessible even when the back-up job is carried out.

Can I back-up my data in an easy way?
Yes, click on this link to perform your personal back-up.

Will someone else be able to see my data?
Yes, by default all data is shared with all the other iGoTerra members; iGoTerra is based on the conviction that sharing data and information between members increases the power of the community and the knowledge of everyone. If you want to use iGoTerra to record your observations but do want your name to be displayed publicly, you can choose to appear as an anonymous member in your personal account settings. Anonymous membership is linked to Premium Membership.

Can I limit the access for other people if I want to treat an observation as confidential, e.g. a breeding site of a rare taxon?
In case of observations of confidential nature, there are possibilities to neutralize those. If you register it as a personal observation it will not show to other members. We are currently also discussing with other wildlife organisations on various ways to filter sensitive information for IUCN listed taxa.

Will someone else be able to use my data?
According to the iGoTerra Terms of Service, you grant iGoTerra a world-wide, irrevocable, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the data and materials to display, distribute and promote your contents for scientific and recreational purposes. Note however, that you will always retain your copyright to your information e.g. photos.

Can I access my data from any computer, tablet or mobile phone?
Yes, as long as you have an internet connection, you will be able to access the site from any device at any time. This is what we believe is the beauty of iGoTerra. No matter which operative system you use, PC or iOS.

What does happen to my observations and photos if I decide to leave iGoTerra?
Your account will be deactivated which means that the link between your observations and your name will be taken away - your photos will remain on the website with your name since linked to your copyright. The observations and photos as such will remain since it is of value for scientific purposes. This approach also means that if you would reconsider and decide to join again all observations as you left them are intact. Please see our iGoTerra Terms of Service for a full description.


If you are not yet familiar with the language used for classifying wildlife, here are a few definitions to get you started and find your way around the website:

Type specimen

Guidelines for location names

When creating a location within a well known area, start with the name of the area:
Taman Negara NP
Taman Negara NP - Tabing trail
Taman Negara NP - Resort grounds

Recommended abbreviations for locations
Location names
NP - National Park (e.g. Kaziranga NP)
BS - Bird Sanctuary (e.g. Sultanpur BS)
WC - Wildlife Center (e.g. Napo WC)
NR - Nature Reserve, Reserva Natural
ER - Ecological Reserve
FR - Forest Reserve
CA - Conservation area
WS - Wildlife Sanctuary
BG - Botanical Garden(s)

en route
Mt(s) - Mountain(s)
I(s) - Island(s)
N - North (etc....)
N of - North of (etc....)
Rd - Road
Hwy - Highway
St - Street

For more information about the spatial structure, see Area definitions.

We are here to help

The iGoTerra team is ready to answer your questions and implement your ideas

For support issues:

For other topics: