Missing Observations in Life List

I am finding that fewer than about 40% of my observations of plants are showing up on my life list. My life list only lists 7 observations, some of which are only specific to the family or genus level, others to the species level. The majority of my observations are absent from my life list, even though inaturalist has recognized the species enough to add the scientific name of the species (or in a couple instances, genus) as I was uploading the observation. I can find no logic to why so e were added to the list and others not.

Any help/explanations would be welcome! Thanks.

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Lists are a very old part of the site and filled with bugs. On the list page near the top is a drop down marked tools. Run the 2 things there in order and it will try and refresh the list, but no guarantee how long it will stay in synch.


I did this, and lost 2 research-grade observations from my life list (sigh…) I do hope iNat tackles this.

Fwiw I run them in reverse order for it to work.

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This is also the way that I’ve been refreshing my Life List.

Thank you! I will try these!

And they worked! I did it in reverse order…

Thank you!


I think the life list is a very cool feature, and it frustrates me how it doesn’t work properly. I wish there were plans to fix it instead of people just repeating “oh that’s an old and nearly defunct area of the site.”

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Apparently lists are among the oldest pieces of computer code on the site, staff have commented in the past that fixing it is not realistic or viable, that it would have to be redone from scratch to use similar technology and approaches as the newer areas of the site.

So it is not a simple fix.

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The app already has a working version, yes? But you can’t view it on the website. Would it be so hard to import?
Screenshot_2019-06-23-10-19-41|281x500 ?

It’s likely not that simple. Programming for the web, and programming for a mobile device are 2 completely different things. They are usually done using totally different technologies and programming languages. You typically can’t just take something done for one and drop it into the other.

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@arboretum_amy what you’re showing in the app screenshot is functionally equivalent to the species tab in the explore view, and since (in the app) it can’t be sorted or filtered, it’s not all that useful anyway.

If I read the tea leaves correctly, what we’re used to calling “lists” will be covered by a reworked explore view. So a better effort on our part may be to voice specifics of what we’d like to see there. Speaking for myself, I’d like to see a working first seen/last seen feature, and I’d like to be able to display the species on my life list in a taxonomic view.


It never occurred me to put my own name into the explore tab, but you’re right, that’s basically what the app does. I also appreciate hearing about the recoding of the explore feature next year. Maybe they can do away with the life list entirely if the new explore makes a suitable replacement.

Everything is added to the Life List. What is bugged is whether it counts them as “observed” or “unobserved”. When something does not show on the calendar as being new, it is because the Life List considers it “unobserved”. To see the full list just make sure both “observed” and “unobserved” are visible, or use observation search to see all your observations with the species tally shown there.

Not in order - ‘Re-apply list rules’ which shows up last in the tools, has to be done first for it to work.

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