GeckoWatch - How to Participate | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

This Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotii) was observed and photographed by Glen Yoshida. This is the first L.A. County record for this species of gecko.

GeckoWatch Contact Information

General Inquiries
telephone: 213.763.3535

Richard Smart
Manager, Community Science
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
telephone: 213.763.3535

Greg Pauly
Curator, Herpetology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

You can also follow Herpetology Section happenings on Facebook at

Want to learn more about urban nature? Check out our Nature in L.A. blog

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How to Participate

It is easy to participate in GeckoWatch; all you need to do is follow three easy steps.

Step 1: Find geckos

Go out and find geckos anywhere in the continental US. Geckos might be in your yard, your neighborhood, or encountered on your travels (Bored at your motel? Go look for geckos! No really, we are not kidding; motels are especially good spots to search for geckos.).

Step 2: Take Pictures

Once you find a gecko, take at least one photo of it. Try to have one photo be close enough so that you or others can carefully examine it to confirm which species of gecko you have found.

Step 3: Upload Pictures or Submit via Email

Upload your gecko photos to the GeckoWatch Project on iNaturalist or submit them via email at Please include:

  • Date of observation.
  • Location. Because nonnative geckos are often found around structures, a street address can provide a very accurate description of the locality. Latitude and longitude are also very helpful and can be obtained with many newer smartphones and cameras, looked up on Google Earth, or specified using the map function on iNaturalist.
  • Approximate number of geckos observed. A single gecko might simply be a stowaway, but finding multiple geckos, especially if they are of different sizes, indicates an established population.
  • Type of site. Nonnative geckos tend to hang out around human habitations. So let us know if your observation was at a house, motel, building, highway rest stop, etc.


Please note that to upload your images to GeckoWatch on iNaturalist, you will need to create an account on iNaturalist or log in with your Facebook, Twitter, or one of your other social media accounts. There is also an iNaturalist app available for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices. Download the free iNaturalist app from your app store.

iNaturalist is a fun online community in which others can share in your find, comment on your observation, and even help identify the animal you photographed. GeckoWatch scientists should confirm and/or comment on your observation within a few days of you posting it to iNaturalist. We strongly encourage everyone to participate in GeckoWatch through iNaturalist.

For those who would prefer an alternative to submission on iNaturalist, we encourage you to submit your observations via email to We will then upload these photos to iNaturalist under a general account and act as stewards for these important observations. You will receive a confirmation email that also includes a link to the iNaturalist submission.