How to exclude observations with certain annotations?

I’m trying to exclude animals that are annotated as Dead from my search. I find searching for animals marked as Alive is not very useful in this, because most people don’t annotate living animals at all; but dead animals are very often explicitly marked as Dead.

I saw here that you should theoretically be able to exclude searches by using the without_term_id and without_term_value_id URL additions, but they don’t seem to do anything. I’ve tried &without_term_id=17&without_term_value_id=19 because it sounded at first like you need to specify both the term and the value in the URL, but observations marked as Dead still appear in the search.

I looked around some more and found people saying that the system actually takes without_term_id to mean that the term isn’t annotated at all, making the two contradictory, so then I tried just using &without_term_value_id=19 by itself, but Dead animals still appeared in the search.

So how can I go about searching for all observations of a given taxa that are not explicitly marked as Dead?

See this bug report: Identify Filter “Without Annotation” not working properly.


If you are using the identify page, there is a clickable filter:

I tried reading the bug report post referenced above and I really couldn’t figure out what was going on there. This setting has always worked for me.

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Ah, I wasn’t using the Identify page; I forget it has different functionality than the Explore page.

Is it possible to use Identify to search a custom area (i.e. a box or a circle on a map)? I can’t seem to figure out how to do that. I tried pasting the URL data generated by an area-bound search in Explore into the URL for the Identify search, but many of the results I got seemed to be well outside the area I’m looking at (which is not a Place and doesn’t correspond to any interestingly distinct area that I’m aware of, it’s just a guesstimate of what’s in walking range for me of a particular starting point).

You don’t have to do that, you can make a search in Explore, then click on Filters and then click on Identify in the Filters pop-up. That should work.


Oh, neat! I didn’t know that was an option, that’s good to know. That seems to work perfectly.

Is it possible to go from the refined Identify search to a map view to get an overview of where the results are?

I know people have pointed out a different way to filter in the identify modal but I just want to address the original URL formatting in case someone else is looking for an answer to a similar question.

The reason it doesn’t work is that without_term_id=17 means there is no annotation about live or dead status. The term_value_id or without_term_value_id only works if it’s also given the term_id. Imagine that term_id is the name of a book and term_value_id is a page number, the page number doesn’t mean anything without the name of the book.

To get everything marked as “alive” or “cannot be determined” the URL should be

I have updated the wiki entry to make it more clear and used the above example.


when you have the Identify page open in your browser, change the URL by deleting /identfy in the URL string, and go that that new URL

that’s a good thread that covers the situation described here, but in my opinion, this situation isn’t really a bug. moderators / staff should consider closing that thread.

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