For a project that is limited to a set of specific taxa for a particular place, is there any search query possible to find which of those target taxa they (individuals, or the whole project) have not yet seen?
For a concrete example of this, over a century ago, Alexander MacKay, a Nova Scotian scientist, teacher, & school superintendent, had over a thousand kids across the province regularly collect specimens which were identified by the teachers. He then compiled & reported the results yearly in a local university science journal for over two decades. I have joined the iNat project to observe these same 58 taxa in Nova Scotia, which are all species or lower except Family Ranidae (Typical frogs), and Suborder Serpentes (Snakes). How can we tell when we have all of MacKay’s taxa?
See The Alexander MacKay Students Nature Project to read about the project & see the whole list of taxa.
Also, though tangential to my question, I think many of you may be interested to read the linked CBC news article reporting on how researchers are using MacKay’s data today. I had heard of this remarkable man because we have a school and a bridge named after him in Halifax, but had no idea exactly how awesome he was until I read this. That he was paying attention to early talk about climate change that started in the late nineteenth century, that he used his position as superintendent to harness the help of student citizen scientists across the province to collect all of this data to study it, and that he was very aware he was leaving a legacy for researchers today is such an amazing discovery to me. Respect.