Location Search for Wanted Species

Platform(s): Website

URLs: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/3-Aves (as an example, check out the bottom of the “Trends” category)

Description of need:
A way to sort “Wanted” species by location, if possible

Feature request details:
I think an interesting feature for the “Wanted” function of the Taxa Info area of the site would be a search bar where users could input a location when viewing the list of “Wanted” unobserved species. Such a vast list can often seem daunting and it can be hard to know where to start, and a search bar where users can narrow down such a list to a location (if applicable - I know some species have preset ranges already inputted into the site but not all do - see image below) would allow users to look at what still lurks around their own areas and may give them a starting point as to what to look for.

(This image shows iNat’s range for the Madagascar Pochard, a “Wanted” species with no identifications yet. My hope is that these preset ranges could be used in the location search - for species that even have such preset range at all.)
Hopefully, this feature could increase the number and rate at which new species are documented onto the site.
Below is an example I made of how this might work, made via Google Slides.

Please let me know what you think of this!

Great idea. Very creative. I think this would motivate a lot of people to keep getting out there and observing.


Given poaching concerns around rare species (there have been a lot of discussion threads about this already), I’d be wary of implementing this sort of function.

Additionally, often rare species are sensitive to disturbance, or are in restricted access areas. We don’t want to be encouraging people into those areas. It’s already a major problem in my area with some of the species I work with.


It depends. Many unobserved species are likely not observed because their range is so fragmented and in inaccessible area, so a location could impact their safety more. However, some species are just underobserved and giving a general location could help the species be found.


I agree. I’ve been seeing both sides of this story and I sympathize with both. If implemented, such a feature might require human sorting of unobserved species into stable and unstable populations - you’re absolutely right that some species should only be tracked by professionals out of concern for safety.

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I don’t get concerns voiced here, looking at the list you already get all the needed info about destribution from common names, where would you look for Sulawesi palm civet? Not in Antarctica. There’re many species people can find without trespassing preserves, the fact that the list for wanted species exists already goes against eveything you write about endangered species. Allowing users to see what can be found locally would be great, now everything you see is from some tropical forests.

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