Primary function to retrieve observations from iNaturalist, allows users to search for data, or just filter results by a subset of what is offered by the API.

  query = NULL,
  taxon_name = NULL,
  taxon_id = NULL,
  place_id = NULL,
  quality = NULL,
  geo = NULL,
  year = NULL,
  month = NULL,
  day = NULL,
  bounds = NULL,
  maxresults = 100,
  meta = FALSE



Query string for a general search.


Filter by iNat taxon name. Note that this will also select observations of descendant taxa. Note that names are not unique, so if the name matches multiple taxa, no observations may be returned.


Filter by iNat taxon ID. Note that this will also select observations of descendant taxa.


Filter by iNat place ID.


The quality grade to be used. Must be either "casual" or "research". If left blank both will be returned.


Flag for returning only results that are georeferenced, TRUE will exclude non-georeferenced results, but they cannot be excluded.


Return observations only in that year (can only be one year, not a range of years).


Return observations only by month, must be numeric, 1...12


Return observations only on a given day of the month, 1...31


A bounding box of longitude (-180 to 180) and latitude (-90 to 90) to search within. It is a vector in the form of southern latitude, western longitude, northern latitude, and eastern longitude. Alternatively supply an sf or sp object from which the bounding box will be derived.


The maximum number of results to return. Should not be a number higher than 10000.


(logical) If TRUE, the output of this function is a list with metadata on the output and a data.frame of the data. If FALSE (default), just the data.frame.


A dataframe of the number of observations requested.


Filtering doesn't always work with the query parameter for some reason (a problem on the API end). If you want to filter by time, it's best to use the scientific name and put it in the 'taxa' field, and not in the query field. Another issue is that the query parameter will search the entire entry, so it is possible to get unintended results. Depending on your use case it may be advisable to use the "taxon" field instead of the query field.


if (FALSE) { ### Make a standard query get_inat_obs(query = "Monarch Butterfly") ##Filter by a bounding box of Northern California bounds <- c(38.44047, -125, 40.86652, -121.837) get_inat_obs(query = "Mule Deer", bounds = bounds) ## Filter with by just taxon, allows higher order filtering, ## Here we can search for just stone flies (order Plecoptera) get_inat_obs(taxon_name = "Plecoptera") ## get metadata (the number of results found on the server) out <- get_inat_obs(query = "Monarch Butterfly", meta = TRUE) out$meta }