Offline list of RG species at a location to avoid duplication?

I’m thinking of re-visiting some locations at different times of the year, and I’m trying to think of an easy way to keep track of what I’ve already seen at each location when I’m in the field. If I already have a research grade observation of something I don’t need to get more every time I go. I’d prefer it to be offline, so I don’t have to rely on cell service. My first though was just to simply print out a full list, but it might be easier to have just a quick reference for the common things rather than a full list. So maybe just a checklist where I can tick off if I’ve already seen things, maybe the top 10 most common trees, shrubs, ferns etc. for the area?
Does anyone have any tips or tricks for re-visiting sites without wasting a lot of time on species you already have observations of?

One way to do this would be to go to GBIF and look at the records you’ve recorded (this would be only research grade and with the appropriate licenses)

You could then limit it to the location or area of interest using the ‘Location’ section of the search bar (usually on the left ← of the screen)

Then when you click download, you can download a species checklist or if you click on the ‘taxonomy’ tab of the results you can see the species ordered by the frequency that you’ve observed them!

Personally, I don’t mind re observing the same thing since I love phenology and thinking about how the things I observe change by the time of the year I’m there but I would use this method if I was concerned about too many observations of the same thing or wanted to try to find new things.

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You can download similar file from iNat too, but you’re never wasting your time if you observe same species, every specimen matters, and often you can skip something new thinking it’s something old, so consider it!


As @marina_gorbunova says, iNaturalist doesn’t mind if you observe the same species over and over, so maybe it will help to try to think what your personal objectives are. If you just want to compile a species list for that site, your checklist idea sounds OK. Personally I keep an eye out for especially good views of familiar stuff: a new shoot, ripe fruit, nice fall foliage, winter seed pods, pollinators, etc. That keeps the interest fresh.

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This sounds very much like the focus is primarily lifelist building, which is a perfectly valid use of iNat.

I think just an explore search, filtered by your own user ID, which is essentially “your observations” I guess, and then switch over to the taxa tab, so that you have the list in order of most seen… Scroll down as far as you can be bothered to, and then print the page to pdf file and save that on your phone before you go. Then you can quickly check it before making an obs.

[Edit: not sure if it will print to pdf correctly, I will try it when back on pc… and you could also add the place to the filter, if you want to more accurately narrow the list down to what is likely there…]

If doing this, there wouldn’t be much effort needed to make a photoless observation in the app for all the ones in your “seen” list, if you would also like to continue adding data points of the common species, especially for the easy to identify ones.

Myself, I like to print out a species list for those not seen by me but by others, and try to target those… But then again I haven’t been out of the backyard much these days… and as I’m the only one who has seen all those, job done!

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Thanks for the thoughts. My main objective is to get as complete a survey as possible of all the species at each individual site. My plan is to visit each several times though the year, so as things bloom or change through the year hopefully I’ll notice and get observations of more things than if I just went once. Adding to my overall life list would be a secondary bonus. As a few of you noted I guess duplicating species isn’t really a problem… and I can definitely think of times when I got an observation of what I thought was one thing and it turned out to be something different, so maybe I would be better off trying to be as complete as possible at each visit to reduce the number of things I miss! I do look at the list of things I haven’t seen yet on my island for interest, but most of the specific sites I want to survey haven’t had many (if any) previous observations.


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