Big ol' backlog of taxon flags

Are you a curator with a bit of free time? There are a lot of
unresolved flags on taxa. Helping resolve these flags is one of many ways you can help out on iNaturalist.

Progress / Backlog

Date Resolved taxon flags Unresolved taxon flags
March 13th, 2019 13,440 2,224
June 21st, 2019 15,218 (+1,778) 2,823 (+599)
June 29th, 2019 15,375 (+157) 2,879 (+56)
July 6th, 2019 15,467 (+92) 2,970 (+91)
July 14th, 2019 15,605 (+138) 3,052 (+82)
July 21st, 2019 15,739(+134) 3,110 (+58)

Common issues are:

  • Add a missing species
  • Draft and commit a needed taxon swap, merge, or split
  • Remove a misidentified photo from the taxon page
  • Mark something as native or introduced in a certain place
  • Assign a common name to be the default for a certain place
  • Graft taxa that are floating out in space, not attached to the tree
  • Fix the link to Wikipedia which is displayed on the About tab

If you’re unsure how to resolve a flag, you can always just skip it, or try reading through the Curator Guide, or ask your question(s) on the forum here in the Curators category. As you’re resolving flags, you can also use or modify these boilerplate responses to common taxon flags to avoid typing the same thing over and over.

*If you’re not a curator but interested in getting the tools to help with some of the tasks above, read through the Curator Guide and shoot an email to the iNaturalist staff at Please provide them with your username and how you would exercise your curatorial powers, such as an example or two of a taxonomic change you would like to make that abides by the policies in the guide.


Ouch, worrisome trend for sure. Though I am impressed with the sheer number that have been resolved during those three months. A wonderfully relentless field season has kept me from pulling much of the weight recently, but fall and winter are coming… Thanks for the topic and heads-up for us all!

One thing I sometimes wonder is how many of these might be in locked taxa with only one or two overwhelmed curators, and whether another curator or two for those groups might be a good idea?

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I think one area where we could make a dent, if we could get consensus or a defined policy on how to deal with the situations is all the flags related to plant subspecies that POWO does not recognize.

There are a significant number of these (and many more which are not, but could be flagged) in the database, but there seems to be no guidance on how to deal with them.