How to check the rarest species that you've observed and also the species with the lowest total obersvations?

How to check the rarest species that you’ve observed and also the species with the lowest total obersvations?

Check the list of endangered species you observed (in filters) and look up those.

For the species with the fewest total observations, I couldn’t find an easy way to see them on the website so I wrote a script for it a few weeks ago for that “rarest species I’ve seen” thread:


Oh, now that’s useful! I tried it on my own observations and found that my species with the fewest number of observations was Thalictrum polygonum, and now I think I mis-identified the plant in the first place! Thanks for helping me clean up my mess!


would give both your observation count by taxon and total observation count by taxon across iNaturalist.

“rare” is hard to quantify across many taxa, since many taxa are not well-studied.

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Both those tools are fantastic.

Very cool!

One of my observations is the only one of the species on iNaturalist. However it needs confirmation by another expert to get to research grade.

Definitely! I have nine which are in the single-digits of observations. My species with the fewest is a gall midge, Neolasioptera portulacae, with just two observations, mine and one other.

Oddly, my species with the most observations is not exactly one that everybody would observe either: the fungal leaf spot pathogen, Genus Septoria, with 615 observations.

This is awesome! I’m struggling a little bit with using it though. Is there a way to make it sort by the “Taxon Ttl Obs Count” field from lowest to highest? That would be the most helpful for me personally but I can’t seem to make it work.

it’s possible to do this by changing the way the page works slightly, but i’m not going to do it because that page is really intended only to display the results of the API response in a human-friendly format, and the API itself does not offer a way to sort the way you’re asking for.

elias105’s tool does basically get all results from the API for a particular user and then sort the way that you’re asking for. so you could use that. it provides only scientific name and that total count across iNat. so if wanted to see more fields, you could ask elias105 to modify that tool to display additional fields.

alternatively, you could make a feature request to update the API to add an order_by parameter to GET /v1/observations/species_counts to return the results sorted by the total count across iNat. if the API had this additional capability, then it would no longer be necessary to jump through extra hoops to do what elias105’s tool is doing, and my page would automatically inherit the API’s extra capability.

in the meantime, you could just copy the results from my page into, say, a spreadsheet, and then just sort the records however you like.


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