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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Definition of Areas and Geo-coded Locations

Region – A region is defined as a group of countries: North America, South America, Nordic countries, Western Palearctic, Europe, North Atlantic, etc. Regions are always larger than a country but may cover certain countries partially (e.g Russia in Western Paleartic). The American Birding Association (ABA) has defined an overview of commonly used listing regions.

Country - A country is a country. Each country page features links to the region(s) the country belongs to and the country parts the country may be divided into (see below).

Country part – A country part is a subset of a country: states in the United States, provinces in China, counties in the UK, etc. A Country could be divided into up to 5 sub-levels. As an example, Brazil is composed of five regions, and in turn the Southeast region is made up of four states: Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Please note: when an observation is added to a Country Area, it is automatically added to the Country and the higher Region the country belongs to.

Geo-coded Locations
We encourage our members to add observations and link them to geo-coded locations. It is easy to add new ones and helps others to link their observations to an existing location.

Location – A location can be a national park, a wildlife refuge, a lake, a forest patch, etc. It is defined by the coordinates of its center and a radius ranging from 250m to 2km. All members are encouraged to use existing locations to position their observations (either via Pocket or via add obs) and are welcome to create their own when no suitable locations exist.

See our tutorial: How to add a location?

To prevent multiple entries, please use the recognized name of the area when available on Google maps or on the web (Wikipedia is often a good source in terms of spelling).

Position – A position is the exact geo-coded spot of an observation. The position should preferably be the position of the taxon observed, not the position of the observer. Positions are defined by the observer with the help of the Google maps cross-hair. A position does not have a name of its own. Instead the position takes the name of the closest location when applicable. The coordinate system used by iGoTerra for the geo-coded positions is Google WGS84.

Please note: A location should be linked to the lowest available Area (e.g. Texas) so that all the observations will automatically be added to higher levels, such as State, Country and Region.

Guidelines to name locations

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

Name the location either in English or local language.

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--A to B
Mt(s) - Mountain(s)
I(s) - Island(s)
N - North (etc....)
N of - North of (etc....)
Rd - Road
Hwy - Highway
St - Street

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