Main screen iGoTerra

iGoTerra provides unique tools and services to record, manage and share wildlife observations, lists, photos and trips. The program supports many taxonomic lists including birds (Clements/IOC), butterflies, plants, amphibians, insects, etc. Photos can be associated with your observations and using the community you can get help with identifying species. Reports focuses on lists and traveling to find species of interest. iGoTerra provides a ranking system and countless other opportunities to engage into friendly competition and learn from other naturalists about wildlife.

iGoTerra is aimed at the traveling birder/naturalist and tour companies with interest in sharing observations with other likeminded folks.

iGoTerra is available in 3 membership level; Basic (Free), Standard ($32 per year) and Premium ($78 per year). The basic level limits you to about 400 species whereas the Standard level allows you to do trip planning and with the Premium level you can ID your species, create trip reports and advertise (for tour organizations) on the country home page.

iGoTerra is a web-based/cloud application and does not require installation. Help is available from the website and includes a tour and a dozen or so step-by-step Tutorial demos on the main functions of iGoTerra.

A mobile version, iGoTerra Pocket, is available for iOS and Android and can be installed from iTunes and Google Play. The applications incorporate a quick-guide and tips section that also can be downloaded as a PDF from the website. It is estimated that 60-80% of the daily observations are submitted using iGoTerra Pocket.


Taxonomic Support

iGoTerra supports a wide variety of taxonomic lists for birds as well as other mammals, plants, insects, etc. Non-bird taxonomies and checklists cover species globally. The source of these taxonomies includes:

  • Birds: Clements or IOC.
  • Mammals:  The database is based on IUCN framework and is updated annually
  • Dragonflies: World Odonata list of Slater Museum of Natural History/University of Puget Sound
  • All other taxa groups: iGoTerra largely follows Catalogue of Life.

As of November 2016, over 160,000 species are in the database and available to users.

The table below compares eBird and iGoTerra taxonomy lists.

Jan 11, 2017 eBird iGoTerra
Birds Clements 2016 Clements 2016
IOC 7.1
Butterflies No Yes
Herps No Yes
Mammals No Yes
Plants No Yes
Other eBird only focuses on birds Trees
Algae and protozoa
Fix lists No No
 Notes Includes additions such as:
Identifiable Sub-specific Group
Worldwide coverage of all livings things.

Supports the Feral Dove (aka Rock Pigeon (Feral)

iGoTerra provides the option to register observations of not yet described birds. These will be treated as observations within brackets and, therefore, are not counted in any ranking. When they are formally described and included in Clements/IOC official updates, they will automatically be included in rankings.

Integration with eBird

iGoTerra handles data exchange with eBird well.

iGoTerra supports import of eBird All Observations, eBird Individual Checklists and exports to eBird’s record format. Import of all eBird Observations is a straight forward process, but it requires that the user converts to default CSV files into a XLS file or copies the data into a special upload window.  Upload speed of the eBird all Data file heavily depends on the speed of your Internet. Uploading, verifying and importing the data including verification took about 13 minutes for 13607 records. As part of this process a list with mismatched species is shown (if any) that the user can correct and load into the system. Locations added during the bulk import process will be part of your location list, if GPS coordinates are provided (for example eBird All Data download has them) they will be used to map the location.

Importing of eBird individual checklists is easy. The user will need to select a location (country or state or county) to which the checklist belongs, convert the file to an XLS or paste the data into a separate text box section, and upload the records. A handy feature is that multiple individual checklists can be combined into a single file for upload.

iGoTerra allows users to create eBird compatible checklists using the record format. Required eBird protocol information is entered as part of entering observations into the program. This information is automatically added to the export file.


Data Entry

Data entry via checklist in iGoTerra (click to open).

iGoTerra provides a checklist or a single species approach to enter observations. In both cases the user selects an area (e.g. county) and location. If the checklist option is used, the users can generate a full checklist or one based on species seen or even not seen species. Next the user checks off a species and a row with additional data entry options with count, age, sex, activity and comments can be entered. After each modification, the user will need to save the record. Via the checklist entry photos can be added to each observation on the fly. Only JPG is accepted now. Data entry is slow at times. The wait (2-3 sec) on a satellite Internet connection is just long enough to make it annoying. On a solid connection at work, iGoTerra performs better.

Within the data entry section of iGoTerra users can switch between single species, checklist and import data easily. Though you may need to refresh your checklist when moving to a different option. The orange bars (see screen shot) act like buttons so switching is easy.

iGoTerra provides import support for six different file types in addition to the above-mentioned eBird imports. Supported formats include AviSys, Birdbase, Wildlife Recorder, ArtPortalen, Visionature, Bird Journal, and a personal format. In the personal format file, you can have up to 12 columns that you need to match for the import process.  In addition to uploading the files, a text window is provided in which you can copy and paste the data for import into iGoTerra. Perhaps a minor drawback of some of these import functions is that the file must be in “.xls” format. This means that in MS Excel you will need to save your file as an older file format (the current default is “.xlsx”).

Mobile version

iGoTerra Pocket is a free mobile app for both iPhone and Android. It works real-time to record your observations in the field, as well as carry your selected checklists in mobile device. Data entry is easy and fast using the mobile app. The mobile version efficiently uses a smart search function to find species. Once you have selected the species a new window automatically opens in which you can enter all the details include count, sex, etc. Nicely the default count is set to 1. You can review and update your observations as needed, before loading them into the cloud. If you want to keep track of each location in which you record an observation for a species you can do so, by simply entering a new record. If you do not want to do this, just update your first record. The pocket version offers media support, but you cannot yet upload your photos via the mobile application.

The mobile app works even when off-line i.e. not wanting to pay expensive roaming charges. Do ensure that you have the appropriate checklists downloaded before you into the field. In the off-line mode, all downloaded taxonomies are fully supported. When connected to Internet, the observations are easily uploaded to your iGoTerra account and all your lists and rankings are updated. In the app, you can register any type of pre-set observation data (number, sex, activity, etc.) or free text comments, as well as adding new geo-coded locations. It is also useful when doing migration counts as the counter can be used. On pelagic trips and in areas with few landmarks, it is highly useful due to the automatic geo-coded information.


iGoTerra reporting focuses primarily on lists and rankings. Lists for users include country, year, month, region, garden and special lists. As part of the country and region lists, species, family and genus total are provided. From this list and others lists as well, you can drill down to states (or counties) and see your totals. The region lists includes the continent as well as the ABA and ABA new areas. The year, month and garden list detail the total number of species seen by month. Of interest is the garden lists which depicts by year and month the number of species recorded. Clicking on a number will open the list with species seen and date. In many of these lists, by clicking on any number you will get to the actual list of species including observation details.

The specialty lists are a form a report that targets very specific topics such as species photographs, self-found, eco-twitching, and you own personal list.  Some of the special lists will be generated automatically, but for others you will need to mark the special list you want to updated in parallel when entering observations.

Other ways to access your observations is via the output menu. From this menu, you can access All Observations, the Observation Diary (aka checklists submitted), and My Report Generator. The All Observations option provides you with a window to refine the list of observations you want to view as well as a map with locations where you have seen species. Via the Observation Diary, you access your sightings using an interactive calendar. If you birded at multiple locations that day, the map will show these locations and the associated checklists. The My Report Generator allows users to create a trip report based on your own observations.

Users can access their photos via the Photos menu, which includes options to upload and display your photos. Advanced functions provided are a Photo ID helper, Photo Compare, a gallery with nearly 9000 species and an option to display a list of species photos not in iGoTerra’s library. The ID Helper displays a gallery of photos that users submitted and need help with identification.

The table below compares the reporting and analysis capabilities of eBird and iGoTerra. Both programs are evenly matched with each having their own strengths. eBird provides a few more options in terms of charts and more comprehensive species maps, but iGoTerra reports and trip reports are a strength.

Report eBird  iGoTerra
Life List
World Life/Year/Month Life
Continent Life/Year/Month Species/Family/Genus
Country Life/Year/Month Species/Family/Genus
State Life/Year/Month Via custom list
County Life/Year/Month Via custom list
Location Life/Year/Month Via custom list
ABA Region Life/Year/Month Species/Family/Genus
Also ABA New
ABA Ticks Life/Year/Month
Yard Totals “competitive” yard birding Yes (Garden List)
Charts Multiple species abundance
Single species frequency/group size/average/abundance/high count/totals
Species Species
Hotspots Photos
All-time First/Last Region/County/Hotspot/IBA
Checklist (observations for a single date/time/location) Location Yes , via observation diary
Checklists (printable) Location/Hotspot
Trip reports Yes

Noteworthy Features

iGoTerra’s website is full of features for the adventurous birder. Several features of this listing program of interest are:

Photo Compare is an identification tool to compare your photo with others photos. This feature helps you with identification of species and other users can pitch in as needed. Other photo related features include a gallery, slideshow option, and ID-helper.

List of countries with the number of species you have not seen yet (birds and mammals).

Species description page which details the full species taxonomy, plates number in the various field guides, photos, distribution map, and the species name in many different languages.

The user profile page includes an interactive map, access to your submitted photographs, life counts for the regions displayed on the map and your latest observations.

Trip planner tools, with geo-coded locations, literature and personalized travel checklist, travel checklists including markers for endemic species, plate/page # to field guides and locations checklist (based on geo-coded observations).

A subspecies assignment tool, is an extremely efficient way of (mass-)assigning your observations to subspecies level. Something that will give the user an upper hand in the taxonomic updates, as the splits and lumps will be automatic.

From the Vendor

iGoTerra has been around for 11 years and is run by a dedicated multi-national team of several wildlife enthusiasts and keen birders backed by strong financial support ensuring a future proof service. The entire iGoTerra team provides very quick support and e.g. helps out in importing users’ databases if needed.

A key focus for iGoTerra is to make it as simple as possible to enter your wildlife observations regardless where you are, to manage your data, and to explore and share your data. Birding and wildlife watching shall be the focus and our tools will enable you to spend your time on seeing more species and to know what to look out for when on a birding trip. Even in these taxonomic turbulent times, it is easy and fun to use the iGoTerra tools to help you stay on top of your lists.

Some other noteworthy features, that were provided by the vendor include:

Customized powering of Big Years and similar events, see e.g. Western Palearctic Big Year 2017

Extralimital observations. Due to the high quality of country checklists, this functions enables the user to quickly find extralimital (mostly incorrect) observations.

Compare your detailed lists with another member (Country page > Quick Links > Compare Checklists). This works on both species and subspecies level.

Extensive toolbox for managing and editing observations, incl mass-editing (Edit my observations). This is especially helpful if the user wants to geo-code observations which previously did not have coordinates.

Back-up function if you want to store your data on a personal site.

iGoTerra Trips and TripsPro is used by several major tour operators, which makes it possible for a tour participant to copy the tour leader’s list and take away personal misses on the trip. iGoTerra is probably the only company which has extensive tools to support the wildlife tour operators to improve quality and reduce cost.

Extensive and fast support, e.g. support with importing members’ existing data-bases. There are at any point in time several people to answer questions or help out. Video tutorials for most functions.

Not yet formally described bird species can be recorded (will be recorded, but not counted until on the official checklists).

Last updated 1/27/2017

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