Related to this thread: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/species-listed-as-introduced-when-they-are-not/5968
Curators currently have the ability to apply an establishment status to all descendant places, which will overwrite all existing statuses for that taxon.
If done incorrectly, this will modify a bunch of other statuses in a way that may be incorrect. Despite an obvious warning when trying to do so, this has caused issues several times. And it is not something that can be undone, even manually, without a record of what the previous statuses were.
The actual use cases for this ability seem to be extremely limited:
- When setting all descendants as native, this is rarely correct - a species can be introduced to a descendant of a place where it is native. To do this responsibly, a curator really needs to be looking into all existing statuses of “introduced” in descendant places - at which point it isn’t going to save much time/effort anyways. At least for plants - this option does seem a little more reasonable for animals where introduced populations within/nearby the native range are much rarer.
- When setting all descendants as introduced, this seems pretty unnecessary - all observations will display as introduced if any encompassing place is marked as introduced.
So open to discussion, but this option seems to cause more problems than it solves.
I think it should either be removed outright, or should only apply to statuses marked “unknown”, not any status. [There is text suggesting that this is how it currently works, but from testing this isn’t true - all statuses get overwritten].