Adding species to checklist should cascade up the geography hierarchy

For instance if I add a species to the checklist for the province of Ontario, that should trigger if it is not already listed there the species to be added to the checklist for Canada, which in turn should trigger if it is not already listed there that it be added to the North America checklist.

That makes sense and seems straightforward.

Can we assume that when the propagation happens, new checklist entries at higher levels would initiate with the default “Unknown” values for Occurrence Status and Establishment Means?

If not, we would need to think through which values could propagate upward and which should not. Just off the top of my head, for brand new checklist entries at higher levels:

  • Occurrence Status: Present, Irregular, Unknown, Doubtful, or Absent could propagate upward.
  • Establishment Means: all possibilities - Endemic, Native, Unknown, and Introduced could propagate upward.

If one wanted to get fancy (sorry, maybe beyond the scope of what you had in mind) –
where higher-level checklist entries already exist, maybe a new lower-level entry could still propagate as follows:

  • Occurrence Status: (at new lower level)
    • Present replaces (Irregular replaces (Doubtful replaces Absent)).
    • (Present or Irregular) replaces Unknown.
  • Establishment Means: (at new lower level)
    • Endemic replaces (Native replaces (Unknown or Introduced)).

Introduced should never propagate to existing higher levels, because it will in turn propagate to any additional lower levels currently at “Unknown.” (only learned that recently)

Probably missing a nuance here or there, but it’s a start…

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Having thought this through more thoroughly in the interim, I take this back – Introduced status should never cascade upward. A species can be Introduced in a local place, but still be native to it’s parent place.

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