In Identify, add filter for species I have observed (or species I have identified)

In the “Identify” section, it would be helpful if I could filter to only show species I have observed. This would enable me to filter out species I do not yet have the ability to identify and help reinforce my learning of the species I have observed by identifying these species for others.

For example, I am new to birding. Every time I observe a new bird species, it takes me a while to figure out what it is. Once I have identified it and someone else confirms my identification, I like to go identify others’ observations of that species to reinforce my learning about the species. After a couple months of birding, I now know 45 bird species, which is great! However, there are many bird species I still do not know. In “Identify,” if I filter by birds, I can go through pages before I find one I can identify. Rather than searching by specific species that I know one at a time, I would like to filter by the species I have observed (or species I have identified would also be helpful) so that it will bring up species I am familiar with.

There might be a way to do that with projects linked to your life list. I think you would have to add ALL bird observations that matched a custom project list (i.e. your life list). That wouldn’t get observations of users who have opted out of addition to projects they haven’t joined and there would be a lot of people wondering what this project was and why their observations were in it.

However, I would caution against identifying observations unless you are familiar with all taxa in a group and region. I’ve found myself identifying observations of a particular species, only to find out there were other similar species that I wasn’t aware of. Then I have to go back and look through all the observations I’ve IDed to see if I misIDed any.


Actually you would think you could add your life list ID onto the URL with list_id= but that doesn’t seem to work. It would look like this for you:
But that just brings up all observations. It doesn’t do that for other lists, so maybe there’s something special about life lists?

I would ask here if that’s possible or why it isn’t:

Using list_id to search with Life Lists works as intended, it’s just that the intended behavior isn’t really what most people expect or want.
You can get more background info on how iNat counts taxa in Life Lists and elsewhere here, but the short version is that k_a_m’s Life List currently includes a number of species/genera, but also 3 taxa above genus: Order Passeriformes, Order Araneae, and Subphylum Angiospermae.

If you compare the results of a search on list_id=3177272 to a search just of those three taxa, you find that almost exactly accounts for what’s returned (the list_id gets a few more from the genera and species it additionally has).

If k_a_m is willing to get rid of the high level taxa from the Life List, then using it to search should work as I think people expect it to. The way to get rid of these high level taxa is either to manually delete each one (using the little x to remove from list) or to change the Life List rank restriction, reapply list rules, and reload from observations.


Manually removing them allows you to leave genera, but you may get more issues in the future as you add new observations. Changing the list rules means it will only ever contain species/subspecies and should be useful as a search parameter.

Edit: it’s probably worth noting that lists are about to get a re-vamp. I don’t know how that will affect these instructions. Also note that reloading your Life List is computationally intensive, so try to keep it to a minimum, especially if you have a lot of observations.


Great, thank you. This is helpful! I changed the rank of my life list to “only species” and used my life list for searching in “Identify.” It looks like I can still use the other filters too, so this works well. Thanks.


Is there an updated approach to accomplish this with the new life lists?

I replaced your life list at the end with mine and it worked, but my lifelist is incomplete. Is there a way to add everything on my dynamic lifelist to my lifelist?

I’m not sure I understand. What do you mean by incomplete? I don’t know a lot about life lists so I’m not sure I’ll be able to help.