2021 Clements Update and Continual Concerns

I’ve taken care of atlases for splits #2, #15, #33, #41, #43.

I will note that there’s overlap between the species split#2 and split#41, and I think it’d be best if we just let the community reidentify countries of overlap because trying to atlas the erratic borders of Tanzania and Argentina states/provinces would cause more problems than solve.


Slight update: Ninox fusca will have to be split now (as there is now an observation of it).


This topic has gone pretty static. I’ve dealt with one of the two remaining splits still needing atlases; split #40. The only one still needing work is split #67 and I started that, but the species’ seem to exhibit high levels of movement in both breeding and wintering grounds so even if we get them atlases, we’re looking at a high potential of mislabeling observations.

@loarie I’m not sure what else is needed to get done but what timeframe are we looking at for getting these splits committed? Do you think we can get a majority of them done by new year’s?

Is there anything else that needs to be done (save for #67)? I have a bit more time now so might be able to help.

Nope, literally everything is done.

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#67 should be a two-way split only. Sylvia subalpina already exists on iNat, though will need updating to Curruca. @loarie. I’ll have a go at atlases, there is a lot of overlap but some areas only have one species

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Sorry to be a pester, but we’re starting the month of February and to the best of my knowledge, we have not moved forward in implementing the new changes. Do we have a timeline on when this will happen?


I have gone through the splits and done all the outstanding ‘non-splits’ ie raising subspecies to species, so I think all the splits are now complete. However, I have deleted rather than updated the ranges of the parent species. I also added English names to all splits.

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Have also activated all the new species, and added English names

As new subspecies are starting to be added haphazardly, have made a start on the subspecies. Have activated the completely new ones (ie species previously monotypic), and some of the others where there are no subspecies IDs in the range of the new subspecies. Have also inactivated a couple of recently added subspecies that might need a split. Not sure how best to deal with splits as detailed ranges are hard to obtain for subspecies

I noticed when the owl taxon splits were committed, some IDs didn’t update properly (they reverted to genus instead of species). These observations:
have large accuracy values, so maybe that’s why (even though there’s still only 1 species within the circle)? These observations:
however, have much smaller accuracy values and I don’t know why most IDs went to genus, especially since the observations around them weren’t affected.
I believe I found all the affected observations, but there could be more.

Remember to add the framework relationship so that way it shows up on the framework as a match with Clements. I’ve added a couple to subspecies you’ve activated.

It looks like everything has been changed over except for cormorant species with over 1,000 downstream observations, and the Ruby-crowned Kinglet swap. I have the change all ready for the kinglet, it just needs to committed.

Taxonomic Swap 106980 (Draft) · iNaturalist

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I see many Curruca observations are stuck after split, they have 2 new updated ids, but still not RG and are marked as inactive taxon until I add another id (while they should be ok without it).

I have to add my plea here to please be careful with subspecies common names and not apply common names used for subspecies-groups to individual subspecies.

Most North American bird subspecies do not have common names that are in widespread use (or made “official” by a taxonomic authority), whereas many subspecies-groups do. That naming issue has been a real headache in the past for some incorrectly assigned common names.


What’s going on with the common names? In the last 72 hrs I’ve found 6+ species with zero common name, all the storm-petrel common names replaced with alternate names, subspecies for numerous taxa all mixed up and matched incorrectly, etc.

iNat for some reason is automatically making alternative names as the “common name” after swaps and splits. I’ve fixed a lot of them over the past couple days for swaps I committed.

Not sure what is going on with the names but has been happening for all the bird splits. Wasn’t sure what you meant by subspecies being mixed up?

I agree, and haven’t been adding common names to subspecies except for clearcut cases.

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There may also be some genus splits needed eg for Phalacrocorax, Amazilia etc