I haven’t seen this addressed explicitly in any of the FAQs, but are observations on here supposed to reflect a general view of what is common in the ecosystem?
This is best explained through an example. I come across crows, pigeons, robins and mallard ducks quite often. I have posted all of those species. But after the first time seeing a common bird in a location, I am not going to keep taking pictures of every crow I see. On the other hand, if I see a bald eagle or a great horned owl, I am going to report it. Each and every time, even if it is a blurry or bad picture.
The problem with this is that if everyone does this, it might give a very skewed idea of species distribution. If there are as many observations of ducks as bald eagles from an area, that isn’t a very accurate census. It shows that both species are present, but doesn’t show that one is common, even comensual, while the other is quite rare.
And for some plants, it is even more of a problem. I have not taken any pictures of grass, because…well, I just can’t imagine going around taking pictures of turf everywhere I go. My botanical observations have been confined to things I find interesting. But in doing that, I am underreporting some pretty core parts of the ecosystem.
So I guess my question is, how much should we try to capture the entire ecosystem, or is taking records of the parts of it that are most of interest to us a fair thing to do?