Percentages of taxonomic groups you observe

Do you keep track of the percentage of species of taxonomic groups you observe?

For me personally, I have percentages in regards to a 80 km radius around North Bay, Ontario. These percentages are accurate to about 5%.

Dragonflies 85%
Birds 75%
Butterflies 70%
Herps 70%
Plants 50%

Anything over 70% and it gets really hard to find anything new as you know. My percentages drop considerable when I broaden the scope to Ontario as I don’t travel much out of my area:

Dragonflies 55%
Birds 52%
Plants 12%


Interesting! Are you calculating these percentages with external resources or within iNat?

I’m sure it varies widely. I don’t pay attention to it. I did my master’s thesis (1991) on the vascular plants of the county where I live, but have found three new county records this year and one last year! However, I’ve never kept records of much else and am only starting to learn some groups like dragonflies. At age 67, I feel like some Europeans after World War II. That is, my specific records are not that important in light of a changing world that could easily wipe them all out. I just enjoy finding and learning now things and being able to try to identify anything. Am I a lister? Sure. I have a bird life list since 1966 and created four projects to document things in local parks. But I worry less about listing as I get older.

I do, although it is per year. Use this address but replace ‘yourinatusername’ with your actual user name.
For me the bulk is always plants and insects second.
Scroll down on the page to see sunburst chart:

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If you are logged in then the following link works without having to replace anything:


Those links don’t work for me image

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Also Brent was referring to the % of the known species in an area that you’ve seen, e.g. he has observed 85% of the known dragonfly species in an 80km radius around North Bay.

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Same error for me. Anyone knows what;s wrong?

The 2019 one gives the same result currently if I try to generate stats. I’m guessing the stats generation is broken currently. It works for last yer for me (I generated stats previously).

I have submitted a bug report:

I agree it doesn’t answer the question though. I’m not sure how to do what Brent describes on iNaturalist. What is possible is comparing a checklist for a place to your list list or to another list you have created (e.g. “Dragonflies in North Bay”). That would work for iNaturalist places but not I’ve no idea if it’s possible to do an 80 km radius.

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Curious how you define what to measure against. Is it simply everything ever seen in the area, so for instance is the bird list inclusive of that vagrant species seen once, or is there a threshold you use etc.

I created a project for the study area used locally which is effectively 50km. On that I’m less than 1/3rd of all species seen (it would be higher if I included things I’ve seen but not in that area) .

Being in southern Ontario we have a larger observer pool, there are 3000+ observers on the project, so that’s a lot of people to ‘compete’ with. The big killer for me is moths, which I don’t spend too much time on, if I excluded them I’d be at about 40 percent.

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Just saw some oddities that made me realize that at least the newly-added species graph is going by date submitted, not date observed.

Though I have the same bug as others said, here’s my percentages for my county in Oregon.

Birds: 59.4%
Mammals: 22.3%
Reptiles: 45.4%
Amphibians: 50%

Incomplete Species Lists:

Insects: 56.3%
Arachnids: 20%
Plants: 70.9%

If we increase the number to Oregon as a state:

Birds: 44.3%
Mammals: 15.3%
Reptiles: 19.4%
Fish: 6.5%
Insects: 6.5%
Arachnids: 7.4%
Plants: 7.1%

A post was merged into an existing topic: Error generating stats

I go by everything that is seen in the area when I have that information. For dragonflies, that includes everything from OntOdes, the Ontario Odonata Atlas and iNaturalist. For birds, it comes from a local seasonal checklist plus some accidentals I have heard about. For plants it is based on an approximation of the final tally of species in a vascular plant checklist I am in the process of updating – which includes iNaturalist, GBIF, MNRF data plus some other smaller sources. For butterflies, I used range maps to figure out how many different butterflies should be in my area.

I could do a percentage for moths from iNaturalist data but it would be far off. There has only been 382 species spotting in my area according to iNaturalist, when there is likely more likey 600 - 800 species possible. I would likely have to go to the Ontario Moth atlas to get a more accurate number.

If I based my percentages just on iNaturalist, they would be different, probably higher.

I’ve photographed just over 5000 species in the wild, so globally, in terms of species observed, I suppose that puts my percentage at just about 0%! I’ve got a lot more work to do…


5000 species is quite impressive. 20000 species is likely the upper limit anybody may ever achieve.

A few birders got over 90% of the world’s birds. Crazy expensive.


I would be interested in the percentages of species I observe as well, also maybe for the types of stages of species (the number of eggs/larva/adult for example)?

If you want to know percentages for a well known taxonomic group in a well observed area, iNaturalist should be able to give a reasonable estimate on how many species have been seen in an area. Combine that with your iNaturalist observations and those that are on there, and you can calculate a percentage. Failing that go look for existing checklists. Or visit GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, a website that combines data from citizen science portals with data from specimen colllections. With a bit of effort and tech savvy you can get totals for number of species in an area for a specific taxonomic group.

Ok, ty!

In our local study area, which is 50km, not 80 :

  • butterflies - 84 species reported - 64 seen (76%), I’ve seen 78 if including outside the area, several of the misses are 1 time southern vagrants
  • odonata - 100 species reported - 83 seen (83%) - all told seen 98 of them
  • mammals - 34 species reported - 14 seen (41%) - I’ve seen 19 in total, several of the records are questionable though
  • birds - 318 species reported - 262 seen (82%) - I’ve seen 314 in total, most of what I miss locally are 1 time visitors
  • reptiles - 13 species reported - 6 seen (46%) - in total seen 10
  • amphibians - 17 species reported - 9 seen (53%) - 13 seen in total, at least 1 of the species is clearly wrong
  • plants - 1421 species reported - 461 seen (32%) - not going to do the math to calculate, but estimate I’m around 55 to 60 seen in total
  • fungi - 354 species reported - 61 seen (17%) - estimate I’ve seen about 25 to 30 in total, any fungi stats on the site should be taken with a grain of salt, several of mine are not confirmed, other id’s may be wrong
  • total insects - 1431 species reported - 295 seen (21%) - I’d estimate I’m around 30% seen in total, moths kill me here

Please note my personal rule is to only count research grade records, both for my own and to measure against, so for example I have quite a few genus level etc records not getting counted.