Any idea how hundreds of observations appear deleted?

I didn’t want to put this in bug reports as part of me doesn’t believe this is real and I wanted to see if there was a likely explanation that I can check on. I’d started a box turtle collection project a while ago and I think we had more than 400 observations in it. Today there are only 76. I thought maybe something was goofy with the project filters, but going to explore and filtering to species and the project location did not help. See here and compare to the GBIF iNat records for the same general area.


Thank you. Sorry I’m obtuse, but I still don’t understand though. The second link you provided is filtered to genus Terrapene rather than T. carolina the species but appears to pick up only T. carolina records and T. carolina is one of the project parameters so…? And similarly, when I filter to T. carolina, in explore, those other records don’t show up.

from the first link:

just for example, look at this observation:


Thank you very much again and sorry I missed that. This seems bizarre to me as most of these were ID’d to full species and the full species was not affected in this area at all by this split. Is there any way that I or iNaturalist staff could batch change the IDs for these to species level? Yeah, I know, I can add genus Terrapene to the project for my needs but hundreds of valid IDs changed to genus level need fixing.

i think a curator will have to answer your questions here. @bouteloua usually seems to know the answer to these sorts of technical questions related to taxon splits and such. it does seem like Tallahassee falls only in the T. carolina range, but maybe there’s some sort of buffer of uncertainty that is applied for taxon changes?

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The three toed box turtle used to be considered a subspecies of the common box turtle (T. carolina sensu lato). It and some other species were split off into separate species, e.g. see

The ranges of that new, narrower definition of T. carolina (“sensu stricto”) does overlapwith T. triunguis in many areas on the atlases which were created prior to the taxon change being implemented. The ranges used in taxon changes are from iNat’s atlases, which are based on country, state, and county (sometimes just state and not refined down to county). So it’s a coarser system than the green and blue ranges in the image above. - maybe Florida could have been broken up by county / refined finer than state. I’m not sure / haven’t looked into the details of the taxonomy or species

To be safe, IDs of the old, broader definition of T. carolina (“sensu lato”, are bumped back to genus when it overlaps with one of the new species. Reassigning it to that newer refined version of T. carolina sensu stricto might create bad data in some cases, because some observations might actually be T. triunguis.


Thank you again for all of your help.

Thank you for the information. I don’t know about elsewhere but to my mind, if no tentative IDs of three toes, then all of the ones in our project formerly with research grade IDs should revert to T. carolina. Is there any way to batch change them?

Users batch adding IDs isn’t an option on the iNat website. You’ll need to go through each observation to restore the old IDs or add new ones:


I added a comment here though if you want to follow along:

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Sorry if I wasn’t clear but I meant is there any way, as in can iNaturalist staff do this for observations well out of range of three toes since iNaturalist changed them rather than my/our having to go through hundreds of observations just for my project and I’m guessing bazillions of others in FL? I could see if any of the IDs were three toed, but if full species or a non-three toed subspecies ID well within Florida, those should all be valid full species IDs still.

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You can follow that discussion at the link above