Alert system for iNaturalist neobiota observations in place in Luxembourg

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Since 2021-07-14, an alert system concerning iNaturalist neobiota observations from Luxembourg has been operational. Paul Braun, digital curator at the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History, has implemented a Python code executed every day at 12:00 CET (= 13:00 local time) which sends an email alert message to key persons in charge of neobiota early detection and surveillance in Luxembourg. Independently from their quality grade, all observations since the day before 00:00 CET until the current day 12:00 CET are compiled and sent to , and thereafter dispatched to a selection of key persons. We chose 12:00 CET to enable a rapid response in case of observations of important species occur on the current morning. Unfortunately, the iNaturalist API does not give the option to choose precise periods for data extraction, which results in an overlap of the periods covered by the alert messages.

If interested, other member states of the European Union are welcome to obtain the code in order to set up a similar alert system for their country. The contact email address is .

Recommendations to iNaturalist: it would be useful to implement the following in future versions of the API:

  • enable the selection of a specific set of fields needed for a query (currently only complete data sets can be selected, which causes transfer of high data volumes and has a negative impact on climate and environment);
  • enable precise periods for observation queries.

Example of an iNaturalist alert message

iNaturalist Neobiota Luxembourg update 2021-07-26

9 neobiota species occurrence records have been updated or added in the Neobiota Luxembourg project on iNaturalist.LU since: 2021-07-25

Species observed on created on observed by quality grade iNaturalist.LU link
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-23 2021-07-23 jamija research 88294335
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 liial needs_id 88117244
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 carla1964 research 87840451
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 xylocopa research 87701163
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-15 2021-07-15 nulu1 needs_id 87128863
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-15 2021-07-15 nulu1 needs_id 87128655
Lepomis gibbosus 2021-07-11 2021-07-25 alexanderkristiansen needs_id 88610643
Pacifastacus leniusculus 2021-04-21 2021-07-25 alexanderkristiansen needs_id 88611675
Harmonia axyridis 2020-06-09 2021-07-22 mia328 research 88089824

Please help validate neobiota species observations on iNaturalist.LU here.
The Neobiota Luxembourg project on iNaturalist.LU can be found here.
The data in this mail was obtained at 13h00 2021-07-26 using the following iNaturalist API link:

An alert system for neobiota observations recorded in the national database on natural heritage Recorder-Lux has been operational since 2019. It triggers an alarm message as soon as an observation is entered in or uploaded to the Recorder-Lux database. It was implemented by Armand Turpel.

Example of a Recorder-Lux alert message

Here are your latest messages from MNHN Indicia Warehouse

Survey Date Taxon Spatial Ref. Recorded by Email Record Status Verified By
General Recording 03/07/2021 Procyon lotor 61817, 92092 Roland Proess Pending verification

Thus, most neobiota observations from Luxembourg will trigger an alarm in a timely manner. However, a small gap remains: the observations of invasive alien bird species via the database of the Centrale Ornithologique du Luxembourg (COL) do not yet trigger an alarm in a timely manner. This currently concerns the following 4 bird species: Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata), Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca), Canada goose (Branta canadensis) and Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri).

Posted by C. Ries.

 Page content last updated on 2021-08-16. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2021-08-16.