OBSERVATION AREA

How to choose an observation area?
We recommend choosing an area based on natural features like roads, streams, ditches, forest edges, etc., to make finding and navigating the observation area easier. Multiple types of habitats can be within the same area, such as forests, meadows, rivers, which increases the chances of encountering various species.

If it's private land, you should discuss with the owner beforehand if they allow nature observations on their property. The BioBlitz format ensures that observations made within the designated area will be visible on the data portal.

How large should the observation area be?
There is no minimum or maximum size for the observation area. When defining the area, it's important to note that only pre-registered observations within that area will be considered. The more diverse habitats (water bodies, meadows, forests, etc.) within the area, the more different species you can encounter.

If I'm observing in my garden, do I still need to register the observation area?
If you want your observations to be counted in the Nature Observations Marathon, you should inform the organizers in advance about your observation area.

Who can organize the observation marathon?
Anyone interested in nature can organize the observation marathon. It's important to assign a responsible person for the observation area, who will find a suitable area, provide information to the organizers about the observation area, and know how to report observation results.

OBSERVATION

How can I participate in the observation marathon?
Choose a public observation area from the registered observation areas, and familiarize yourself with the terms of participation. It's advisable to read the participant's guide in advance.

How to organize observations in the observation area?
Making observations depends on the category of observation opportunities within the marathon area. Below are some ways to organize work within the marathon area:

a) You can set up a stationary base and receive people who have made observations in the area, along with observation guides and/or experts who can help identify species and record data in the database, including photos taken with smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, etc.

b) If there are enough observation guides and experts, you can organize observation walks at specific times, e.g., every full hour, every few hours, or according to your chosen schedule. This makes it more interesting for observation guides, and observers have the opportunity to notice wildlife they might miss on their own. Of course, you can also come up with your unique solutions.

When observing in a group, observations can be recorded by an observation guide or guest expert. This prevents data duplication when multiple people record the same bird observation, for example. You can also divide tasks among participants according to different taxonomic groups (birds, insects, amphibians, etc.).

Do I have to observe species for the entire 24 hours?
Each participant can decide when to make observations within the marathon's 24-hour duration. It's important that observations fall within the marathon's time frame. For example, you can choose to observe during the day and/or evening, rest at night, and resume observations in the morning and early afternoon. If you have the interest and capability, you can observe throughout the entire 24 hours.

Do I have to observe all taxonomic groups (animals, birds, plants, insects, etc.)?
It's important to make as many observations as possible during the marathon. You can focus solely on observing plants or birds, but it's fascinating to discover new insect and moss species, amphibians, fish, and more. All observations are welcome.

Can I report species I can't identify and send photos or videos of them?
You can report observations identified only by the organism group name (fungi, plants, birds, etc.). In such cases, be sure to include a photo, video, or sound recording with the observation.

Is observing signs of a species (e.g., excrement) enough?
Observing signs is sufficient. When entering the observation, be sure to include a photo of the signs.

Do photos need to include coordinates?
If possible, it's advisable to enable GPS and mobile data on your camera.

Can people report the same plant or species observation multiple times on a public observation area?
It's inevitable that this will happen with all observation platforms, making it impossible to determine whether everyone observed the exact same object.

How long can observations made during the marathon be reported?
We welcome observations made during the marathon for up to 7 days after the marathon ends.

ENTERING / TRANSMITTING OBSERVATIONS

How do I report observations?
The easiest way is to enter observations using the web-based tool Legulus (type legulus.tools in your browser's address bar). If you haven't used Legulus or the international biodiversity workspace PlutoF before, you can create a username in Legulus and then enter observation data. If you have questions, write to support@plutof.ee.

Who can enter observations?
All PlutoF platform users. PlutoF = Legulus = PlutoF GO (all the same user). If you use any of these, you don't need to register a new username. The observer can also add co-observers, provided that the co-observers are registered PlutoF users.

Where can I see entered observations?
Newly entered data will become visible in the Biodiversity Data Portal every hour, allowing you to track them almost in real-time both generally and in the context of the Nature Observations Marathon. All observation data for each observation area is visible.

How can completed observations be corrected?
The observer can correct and supplement all observations later using the PlutoF workspace at plutof.ee.

Can Legulus be used to enter observations at other times?
Yes, Legulus is a tool for entering nature observations that can be used anytime. All observations made with Legulus that meet the requirements of proper nature observations will be sent to the Biodiversity Data Portal. It's important to avoid entering observations under the Nature Observations Marathon project outside of the marathon period.

What is PlutoF?
PlutoF is a biodiversity data management platform created and developed by the University of Tartu's Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden. Users can create and manage their databases containing information about observations, collection specimens, literature, and more.

What is Legulus?
Legulus is a highly simplified alternative to PlutoF's desktop. PlutoF and Legulus are like different "doors" to the same information system. Legulus allows users to enter data on observations and collection specimens but not to edit them. Legulus primarily operates within an internet browser, and there's no need to install a separate application to use it. Since PlutoF and Legulus operate on the same information system, the same username can be used for both. If you're already a PlutoF user, you can use the same login for Legulus and vice versa.

What is eElurikkus?
eElurikkus is the Estonian Biodiversity Data Portal. It makes Estonian species records, including specimens and samples stored in research collections and biobanks, DNA-based and human-made species observations, research data, and other species-related information available to everyone interested. eElurikkus data resources consist of openly available databases.