Do I need to identify Podiceps cristatus (Great Crested Grebe) to subspecies level in Australia

Podiceps cristatus is commonly only identified in Australian bird field guides to species level (at least all the ones I own), but iNat also includes the australis subspecies as an option. Which is more correct in Australia, and does it really matter?

Advice would be appreciated.


I suggest IDing to the level you prefer. It is perfectly acceptable to ID only to the species level. It is my understanding that the Great Crested Grebe subspecies are determined primarily by range rather than visible characteristics; for such situations, I personally tend to ID only to the species level.

Subspecies can be a contentious topic and the same discussions tend to happen over and over each time a thread about subspecies is started. So anyone curious to know more about different stances on subspecies designations should search the many existing threads.

To name just a few:
Thoughts on Subspecies?
Subspecies. How useful are they?
Improve support / workflow for subspecies?
Question Regarding Subspecies Identification



I generally ignore subspecies. For example, a koala is a koala to me. Others ID them as Victorian koalas and Queensland koalas. I don’t know if there is any difference between them other than location, or if anyone can really tell them apart, so I just stick with the species.

Just ID to whatever level you like.


Hello all.
This subspecies IDing is really driving me nutz. However, as far as I know, according to the international nomenclature, geographical range alone is not a valid criteria for sub, or species level. The point is on ALONE!

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To clarify, I meant assigning a subspecies to an iNat observation is done primarily by range rather than visible characteristics, not that the subspecies’ designation/naming was determined by range alone.

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