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NatureWatch New Zealand – record, share and learn!

NatureWatch NZ (now called provides an online community for nature watchers to record, share, identify and comment on species observations throughout New Zealand.

Users can engage with other nature watchers and learn about New Zealand animals, plants, and fungi. Not only can you add your observations, but you can add places, projects, common names of species, new links about species, and more!

'Projects' in NatureWatch NZ are linked to one aspect of NZ nature. For example, there are projects on the biodiversity of local reserves, like the Travis Wetland in Christchurch. Other projects are interested in particular groups of species, like New Zealand butterflies.

One of the great features of the new NatureWatch NZ is its 'ID Please' feature. You can upload a photo, or photos, of a species you don't know, tag your observation as 'ID Please', and other NatureWatch NZ users will suggest identifications. If you disagree with any of the identifications made on any observations on NatureWatch NZ, you can sign in and suggest another ID. Have a browse of the ID Please list to see if there’s anything that you can help someone identify.

The NatureWatch NZ mobile app for iPhones and iPads is now available from Apple's App Store. You can use it to take photos—the iPhone will automatically add the where and when (which you can edit), you add the species name (or you can choose 'ID please'), and next time you’re connected to the internet you sync your observations with the website. Thanks to Dunedin-based developer and amateur mycologist, Kit Randel, for adapting the iNaturalist app for NatureWatch NZ. Kit also has an Android app in the works.

The NatureWatch NZ website and its mobile apps are all open-source, based on the open-source from the USA. All our modifications and potential improvements are shared with iNaturalist and vice versa, so we can all stay up-to-date with the latest web technologies. We’re working on a number of additional features right now. If there's anything else that you'd really like it to do, just let us know.

NatureWatch NZ is run by the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network Trust, a charitable trust dedicated to increasing New Zealanders' engagement with and knowledge of nature.

NatureWatch NZ is an optimised blend of iNaturalist and the old New Zealand Biodiversity Recording Network (NZBRN) site, launched in 2005. NatureWatch NZ has almost completed migrating across all of the masses of observations and users from the legacy NZBRN system. It transfers some of the NZBRN bells and whistles like 'Sought but not found' (more on the way), and it links to the New Zealand Organisms Register (NZOR) for a complete and up-to-date list of all NZ species.

NatureWatch NZ was launched at the end of August and already 4,913 observations have been added by 124 people, including 3,955 with photos. You’d be most welcome to join us!

The development of NatureWatch NZ was primarily funded by the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme. The TFBIS Programme is funded by the Government to help achieve the goals of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, and is administered by the Department of Conservation.

Coming soon to NatureWatch

Various pro-features that are coming soon will be especially relevant to monitoring restoration projects - being able to record through time, dimensions, abundance, condition, phenology and/or behaviour of tagged plants or animals. You can also link NatureWatch NZ to any other website and live stream a subset of data (see

NatureWatch links

View video introduction for Naturewatch

Naturewatch can also be found in the resource centre in Recording and sharing monitoring information

Links to NatureWatch NZ observations for photos
Australasian gannet
Northern rata

Thanks to Colin Meurk and Jon Sullivan for photos and text.