Everyone agrees on ID but won't make it to RG

Hi, please take a look at this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43878274

Why it isnt a RG observation? Thanks in advance


In the Data Quality Assessment section at the very bottom of the page, several people have marked it as requiring future community confirmation/improvement. If you disagree with that assessment, you can check the box next to “No, it’s as good as it can be”.





This is because there are four accepted subspecies of Myiopsitta monachus and this one is not identified as far as it should be possible to take it.

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That brings up an interesting problem. Good practice to point out when IDs can be taken further, but results in solid species-level IDs not being research grade unless someone comes along who can ID subspecies even though that is not what happens when that box is ignored.

A comment / questions on this:

  • I’m not sure using that tool to mark something because it is not at subspecies is a great choice, especially since (currently) users get no notification it has been done. It also infers the end goal of every observation of a species with subspecies/varieties etc should be identification to that level and any one not there is incomplete. I’m not sure that is a standard we should be aiming for.

Given that many polytypic species have intergrade zones, and many others can’t be reliably identified to subspecies outside their known breeding ranges, I have to agree – ID to subspecies shouldn’t be the standard, since many individuals simply can’t be ID’d to that point.


The checkbox specifically says “can the community ID be improved” - that doesn’t suggest that a more specific ID is the ultimate goal of any observation, but it means that “it could be identified to subspecies” is a valid reason to say yes.

It also means that “the subspecies cannot be determined from the given evidence” is a valid reason to say no, even if there are subspecies of the current species-level ID.

If you believe you can ID it to subspecies, then enter the ID, but if you can’t then I don’t think removing it from research grade, especially given users are not notified is a good idea.

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Maybe it would be more effective to add a comment or something else, but it seems to be a perfectly valid use of that DQA item.

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