Removing inactive taxa from checklist

Hi all,

I don’t know if something changed or if I’m just being dense, but I wanted to delete some inactive taxa from a checklist and found that only some of them have the little x that lets you do that (see image)

I’ve never noticed this problem before. Could it be a permissions issue? I think Scott helped me set up the original list about 8 years ago.

I also tried going through the “Edit taxa” tool, and most of the list isn’t even in there.



I was planning on asking the same question this week. I have also tried going through edit taxa selecting the inactive taxa and clicking remove and then clicking save. But when the page is reloaded the taxa remain.

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I’ve asked other questions about checklist issues in the past and from what I understand it’s sort of a legacy aspect of iNat and not well maintained. There is some long-term planning to severely overhaul it, but it’s low priority and may never happen.

Dont use the x button, not sure what that is for. There are 2 things to try

  • click the edit link under the record on the page that comes up towards the lower left is a remove from list link
  • at the top of the list there is a tools drop down.Run those 2 jobs, the reload from observations first then the reapply list rules

Not sure what type of list this is, a personal seen inventory, a place checklist etc so one or the other may be more appropriate to try first.

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welcome to the forum!

@astra_the_dragon Thank you!

@cmcheatle Thanks for the suggestions. It is a checklist for a place. (In my case, Guizhou, China.)

I have tried the first method but there’s no ‘remove from list’ (see screenshot).

The second method, I cannot see a tools drop down but I can click ‘Edit taxa’ and then get a list as in the next screenshot. I have tried various combinations of select, remove, save, update. It appears to disappear from the list. But then reappears when returning to the checklist.

Could it be because these records in particular were added by an admin?

The fact it is a place checklist complicates matters as they are more, although not fully automated. The species is on the checklist due to inheriting it from a range map. I’m surprised that range maps are not removed, or at a minimum inactivated after a taxa is deactivated.

I will see if I can remove the range map, but am unsure if I will be able to edit it due to birds being a locked group.


Ah ok, that makes sense. Hopefully it’s possible as it would help to clean up the list of suggestions when using the compare function. Also would help to avoid these taxa being proposed as IDs.

Let me reach out to the site about why the taxa ranges are retained. While it looks like I can remove them, before I do anything it is better to understand why they are retained.


Sounds sensible - thanks for looking into this.

Can you show how you get the compare tool to provide the inactivated taxa as a suggestion as you commented above?

I cant seem to replicate that. I rarely if ever use that tool, but in experimenting with it, I cant seem to get the inactive taxa as a suggestion.

Sure - as an example, consider this observation.
If you click compare, then select ‘checklist’ as source and ‘Yunnan, CN’ as place then the inactive Common Buzzard will appear.

Note that the inactive taxon do not always appear at the bottom - particularly if ‘sort by’ is set to taxonomy.

I think that should be classified as a bug.

Just to clarify, the first half of this is true, but we are working on a revamp of lists. In addition to being buggy, the way lists currently work create a burden on our infrastructure at our current scale.


It’s already been reported.


I wasn’t meaning to imply that no work was being done, just that there are so many things on the mod’s and dev’s plates that this isn’t necessarily top priority, and it may be a while before noticeable changes in that particular sub-system are made.


So, I take it that there’s nothing to be done about cleaning inactive taxa from checklists for the time being?

As indicated above, I did send a message directly to the site about this last week. As of now, I have not received any response.

I’m not willing to undertake effort to remove any until I know there is not some backend database process that will try to refresh the checklist that will not simply add it back, and I’m not willing to delete the range maps still associated with the inactive taxa until I get feedback that they are not intentionally being retained for some reason.

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