Using the Seek app to identify wildlife

What is Seek by iNaturalist?

Seek is a mobile app that allows curious naturalists of all ages to observe and identify living organisms. Its on-screen identification uses computer vision to make identifications based on data from the wildlife recording platform iNaturalist. Unlike iNaturalist, findings made with Seek will not be shared publicly, making it safe for younger children to use.

It is a great tool to introduce learners to using a wildlife recording app but without the need to tidy and check the data afterwards.  Observations added to Seek by iNaturalist are not shared and so will not appear on your Nature Park map. To add observations to your Nature Park map you need to use the iNaturalist app instead. Please go to the Record wildlife on your site activity page to learn about adding sightings to the map.

This activity will introduce you and the learners to using the Seek by iNaturalist app.

You do not need to be registered on iNaturalistUK to complete this activity.

When you open the Seek camera and point it at a living thing, the app immediately tells you what you’re looking at, even before you take a picture. This on-screen identification guides you towards taking a more identifiable photo by getting you to fill the frame and get the right angle or features. When the app narrows it down to species, it prompts you to take a picture, for which you earn a badge, and unlocks more information about the species. This “augmented reality” view of the world makes it easy to explore and interpret the natural world around you all while guiding you to take more identifiable photos.  Seek can’t always identify things to species (it’s still learning...), but it aims to provide the most precise and correct name it can.

Getting to know your space

Recording change

~ 1 hour
All ages


Download the app

Download the Seek by iNaturalist app on to any mobile devices you wish to use.  No login required. 

Ensure location services are enabled on the devices.

Practice using the app

Read the Seek User Guide and practice using the app before using with learners.


  • Outdoors

Useful guidance 

Step by step

  1. Begin the activity by explaining how the app works using your own device.
  2. Ask learners to discuss the type of wildlife that they might want to photograph and identify e.g. plants or insects or fungi.
  3. Explore your site and look for wildlife to photograph. Learners can split into small groups, each with a device, and perhaps look for different things.  
  4. Encourage learners to notice how as they move the camera around, the dots at the top of the screen light up / go out. Each dot represents how specific the identification is e.g. is it to a simple level like ‘insect’ or a more detailed level like ‘Peacock Butterfly’.  The Seek app will make more precise suggestions depending on the image being captured.  
  5. This functionality can be used to help learners know what they need to include in a photograph to help others to identify the wildlife they have seen.
  6. When the Seek app has made an identification it will ask if the learner wants to take a picture and add it to the observations list (which will only be stored on that device.)
  7. Spend time with your learners looking at the pictures they have taken and discussing what plants and insects they found.


Bring the group together to discuss and share the observations made.  

  • What living things were easy to photograph?
  • What living things were hard to photograph?
  • What was the most interesting thing you found?
  • Was there anything you found in an unexpected place?

Note: Seek by iNaturalist will give you the option to ‘Post to iNaturalist’. You can only share to iNaturalist this way if you have connected your account.  We do not recommend connecting the Seek app to your iNaturalist account where children under the age of 13 are participating in the activity.  Otherwise, you can share the observations by uploading the photos from the gallery on your device to the iNaturalist website or the app.