Frequently Asked Questions

+ phone settings

Can I use Nature Passport outside of my carrier’s range of service, with no Wi-Fi?
Yes, you can use Nature Passport anywhere. The only things that won’t work if you do not have access to the internet are the Field Guide and Cloud Sync extra-functions that are only available to users who have created an account. You can still submit photos to Field Guide, but they won’t be processed till you are back in mobile phone, or Wi-Fi, range. Likewise, your account data will be backed up to Cloud Sync once you are in range.

Are there settings that allow me to control how data is downloaded?
Yes, you can choose to only download data when you are in a Wi-Fi through the Profile Page. Simply tap on the avatar icon in the top left of the screen and then select, or de-select, only download on Wi-Fi with the toggle.

Where is the data generated in Nature Passport stored?
Unless you create an account with Nature Passport all the data you generate in the app, including pictures and audio recordings, are stored on your device only. If, however, you choose to create a Nature Passport account your data will also be backed up in the on servers through Cloud Sync.

How does Nature Passport affect my device’s data plan?
You can minimize impact to your data plan by only downloading new content packs when you are connected to Wi-Fi. If you have created an account with Nature Passport, use Wi-Fi when syncing your data to the cloud and when uploading photos to the Field Guide.

+ teams

Why does Nature Passport include teams?
We’ve designed Nature Passport to be a collaborative experience. By sharing the experiences outdoors, it improves the learning outcomes for children, helps build positive family together, and benefits the health and wellbeing of all involved. But you can also do the activities on your own.

How many people can be on a team?
There is no upper, or lower, limit on team sizes. But we recommend that the activities are best when done by between two and five people.

Who can be on a team?
A team can be made up of family members, classmates, or a group of friends. For each activity you do, mark which teammates were present and you’ll have an excellent record of who’s done what in your journal.

Why can’t I create my own user name?
Because Nature Passport is designed for children, there are extra precautions we’ve put in place to protect the privacy of minors. Keeping user names anonymous limits the privacy risk of storing your account information if you create an account.

Can I change my animal avatar or user name?
Absolutely! Hit the refresh button next your name to generate a new randomly assigned title. Keep going until you find one you like. You can also edit the picture to choose a different animal avatar from the list.

Why were those particular animal avatars chosen?
Each avatar represents a threatened species that is the focus of preservation work around the globe. We hope that in some small way the avatars may lead app users to find out more about threatened species and even contribute to their preservation.

+ accounts

Do I need an account to use Nature Passport?
No, you don’t need an account. You can set up a Nature Passport team, access all the Activities, use the Safari function, and create a journal of your outdoor experiences, without creating an account, for free.

Why create a Nature Passport account?
Creating a Nature Passport account allows you to access the Field Guide (a feature that sends your animal pictures to experts for identification), and Cloud Sync (backs up your account data and allows it to be downloaded onto multiple devices). To comply with the Child Online Privacy Protection act, we cannot give access to these features without ensuring an adult caregiver has given informed consent for them to be used.

Can an account be accessed on more than one device?
You can download your account onto as many devices as you like

Why is there a $0.99 charge to create an account?
We had hoped to keep every Nature Passport function free. However, because the Field Guide and Cloud Sync functions involve sharing potentially personally identifying information outside your phone (to our server and to the experts at iNaturalist) we are required under the Child Online Privacy Protection act to ensure the adult caregiver of children using the app has given informed consent for the use of these functions. Receiving a credit card payment, along with agreeing to our privacy terms and conditions, is deemed to comply with this provision of the act. To see more detail on the information shared through these functions, and on our privacy policy, see Terms and Conditions on the Create an Account page of Nature Passport. The one-time $0.99 fee is the lowest Apple have allowed us to charge.

+ expanded features

What is included in the free version of the app?
The bulk of the Nature Passport app is available for free. By downloading the app, you’ll have access to 1) a curated list of outdoor activities with new content added regularly, 2) a journal that records the activities you’ve completed, 3) the safari tool that organizes observations and photos of organisms you find, 4) a bookmarks section to save your favorite activities. Check out more information about each section below.

What expanded features are available for purchase?
For an additional cost of $0.99, you can have your data synced to the cloud and available on any device. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the memories you’ve captured through Nature Passport are backed up on the internet. Additionally, you’ll have access to the “field guide,” a service from iNaturalist that allows you to identify organisms that you’ve photographed through Safari.

+ safety

Is my data shared with any third parties?
Unless you create a Nature Passport account, all the data you collect through the app (pictured, audio recordings etc.) are stored on your device only and not shared with any third parties. After creating an account, any Safari observations (photos, notes, audio recordings, and location) will be shared with iNaturalist at the California Academy of Sciences so that their experts can help identify your animal sighting. In addition, all your account data will be stored on a server through Cloud Sync.

Can my children do these activities on their own?
The app is designed to be a collaborative tool that involves adults and children engaging both with the outdoors and with each other. However, it is at your discretion to decide if, when, where, and under what guidelines your child is safe to do activities on their own. Adult caregivers are responsible for the children in their care at all times.

Why am I asked to sign a safety waiver? Where can I review safety guidelines?
The activities in this app are suggestions only and it is important that users take responsibility for their own safety and the children in their care at all times. Never hesitate to modify or stop an activity due to safety concerns. Our safety disclaimer and safety tips reinforce always putting safety first. You can see the safety guidelines on the Families page of this website, within the Safety Conditions section of the app and by clicking on "Safety Tips" found at the bottom of the first step of each activity.

+ activities

Why are activities arranged into packs? What is a content pack?
Content Packs are just one of the ways we help you find the activities that suit you best. A content pack is a themed set of activities that is branded with the logo of the organization that created them. This way you know what kind of activities are inside and who created them. It also helps us to organize the app content as new activities are published regularly.

How do I find activities that are right for me and the child(ren) in my care?
There are two ways to find activities that are right for you. You can scroll through the content packs until you see a theme that you like and content creator you trust, and then look through the activities within the pack. Or, you can use the filter tool to narrow down your search and help you find the perfect activity. The filter tool can be found at the top of the content packs page and at the top of activities page within each pack.

What are the icons shown at the start of the activity? What do they indicate?
The icons at the start of each activity are designed to let you know the kind of location that particular activity is suitable for, what you will be doing during that activity (create, observe, move) and which Nature Passport Partner created it.

How often are new content packs available?
New content packs will be published approximately twice a month.

How do I know when new activities and packs are available?
A message will appear at the top of the Content Packs page when there is new content to download.

Do I need to complete all the steps within an activity?
No, you can skip any step within an activity. Steps you skip will not show up in your journal.

Who creates the activities in Nature Passport?
The activities in Nature Passport are created by IslandWood, Nature Play Western Australia, and our trusted partners.

Are the photos I take during an activity saved in my device’s camera roll?
Yes, photos taken during activities are automatically saved to your device’s camera roll.

Are any of the photos or recordings shared outside the app?
Photos and recordings can be shared through the Field Guide function with iNaturalist experts if you have a Nature Passport account. All of an account holder’s data is backed up to a server via Cloud Sync. If you do not have an account, none of your photos or recordings will be shared outside of the app.

What are badges? How are they organized?
Badges are rewards for completing all the activities within a content pack. There are also badges for completing some of the individual activities. You can see the badges associated with a content pack by clicking on any of the content packs.

Where can I see completed badges?
You can see the badges you have earned by tapping on the journal icon in the nature Passport compass page and then tapping on the badges at the top of the page to see everything you have earned, as well as greyed-out version of those you haven’t.

Why do certain activities have badges and others don’t?
The badges are not intended to be earned for every single activity. We want app users to focus on the intrinsic reward of being out in nature with family and friends.

Why does it ask which team members are involved in an activity?
We ask who is participating in each activity so that when you look back on your activities in the journal you can see who you did it with. Like all the steps in Nature Passport activities, you can always skip this if you want to.

+ bookmarks

What is the bookmarks section for?
The bookmarks section is designed to help you select and store activities before you head outside. To bookmark an activity simply touch the bookmark icon on the information page of any activity.

Are bookmarks shared across devices through an account?
Yes, bookmarks are shared across devices that have a single account.

How long do activities stay bookmarked?
There is no time limit on bookmarks.

How are activities be removed?
You can move an activity out of the bookmarks section by tapping into the activity and then tapping the bookmark icon again to de-select it.

+ safari

What is the goal of Safari?
Safari is designed to help users discover nature around them. When going on a Safari in Nature Passport, users are encouraged to find and record plant and animal sightings. Observations are automatically saved to your Journal.

What is the field guide? How does it work?
The Field Guide is a function that allows you to share your Safari observations with iNaturalist at the California Academy of Sciences for identification and contribution to citizen science. Through iNaturalist, your species observations are examined by naturalists who identify what you have seen. Once identified, your recorded observation will contribute to biodiversity science that helps biologists and land managers understand where organisms occur. See more at

Why do I need to create an account to use the field guide?
Because your observations may include personally identifiable information (like photos), it is vital that we have appropriate permission before we share them with iNaturalist. By creating an account you are required to agree to our full terms and conditions including our privacy policy.

What information is shared with iNaturalist?
Pictures, notes, and audio recordings made while using the Field Guide function are shared with iNaturalist along with the location where the observation was made. We reduce the accuracy of location records associated with your sighting before sharing them, so iNaturalist can see enough information to help identify your sighting without knowing the exact location. Location information is scaled back to a zip code level of accuracy.

Can I use Safari without an account?
Yes, you can use Safari without an account, you just can’t submit your sighting to iNaturalist through the Field Guide function.

+ journal

How is the journal organized?
The journal is organized chronologically with a date for each entry and a shoe icon to indicate activity entries or a camera icon to indicate safari entries.

What is included in a journal entry? How can I see the entire entry?
The journal automatically saves everything entered into the app while undertaking an activity or a safari. You can see the full entry by tapping on the entry placeholder title in the timeline.

Can I share my journal entries outside the app?
When you have clicked into a journal entry you will see a share button at the bottom of the entry. Touching this button creates a “postcard” that shows highlights of your experience and automatically saves to your camera roll. You have the option to share this postcard with family and friends at your discretion.

Where can I find the badges I’ve completed?
You can find completed badges by tapping on the Journal icon of the Nature Passport compass. Once inside the Journal, tap on the badges display at the top of the screen to see all the badges you have earned, as well as the ones you haven’t.

Why are some badges grey?
Badges you have yet to earn are shown in grey.

Why are there numbers next to some of the badges?
The number next to earned badges indicates how many times you have earned that badge. If there is no number, it means you have earned that badge once.

What’s the difference between a diamond-shaped badge and a circular badge?
Round badges are ‘Pack Badges’ that can only be earned by completing all the activities within one pack. The diamond shaped badges are ‘Activity Badges’ that can be earned by completing single activities. It is possible to earn an Activity Badge many times over, on different activities, but Pack Badges are unique and only connected to a single Content Pack.

+ general

What age of child is Nature Passport designed for?
Nature Passport is designed with children aged 7-10 as its primary audience. However, the activities can be fun for people of all ages. Younger children are likely to require more assistance and supervision, and older children may be able to do more of the activities alone or with their friends.

Can schools or after-school providers use this app?
Schools, early-learning centers, and after-school providers can use Nature Passport. For more information on how to get the most out of Nature Passport as an education tool visit our Educators page.