Sort by number of observations on iNat

I want to sort my observations by the total number of observations for that taxon on iNaturalist (e.g. I want to be able to see which species I’ve observed have been observed the most or the least without checking each observation/species individually for an observation count). Is there a way to do this, and if not, is this a feature that could potentially be added?


Go to the Explore tab.
Click on the Filters button and search for observations by Person.
Enter your username and update the search.
Along the top bar it will say the number of species you have observed. Click it and you will be able to see your observations (from most viewed to least viewed).

The filters can be a really helpful tool in iNaturalist. Hope this works for you!

I think they want to sort by the species’ popularity on iNat overall, not by how often they personally have observed the species. That filter only pulls their own observations.


The only methods I came up with are both going to require some work. (You could also do stuff with the API, but that would probably be quite a bit more work unless you’re somewhat familiar with it already.)

The method I would recommend is to download your observation data, and then re-upload the species into a list. Then use the list_id as your search term. This will give you a list of all the species you’ve observed, sorted by how many observations iNat has for them.

The other option is to use your Life List as your search term, but you’d first need to re-sync it to your observations, and then you’d need to manually prune everything except species/subspecies. For example, if Colubridae is in your Life List, it will pull in all ~1200 species, not just the ones you observed.

I can give you more details for either option if they sound like something you’re interested in.

That does sound quite complicated (and not very mobile friendly). If there is an easier way to do this that could be added as a sorting feature, I’m sure I’m not the only person that would appreciate using it.

I forgot that you can change your Life List to only include species. If you take a look at this thread, it’s not especially difficult.
Once your Life List is only species, will show you a list of species that you have observed, sorted in the order of total number of iNat observations.

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i don’t really understand what you’re attempting to do, and i can’t visualize what your desired end product would look like, but maybe this might move you towards your goal:

Is this really true?

That seems to be a screenshot of your Life List, you need to use Explore. But your Life List currently includes all birds, so Explore probably isn’t going to do what you expect either. If you prune your Life List to only species and use Explore, it will indeed be a gridded list of species that you have observed, sorted in the order of total number of iNat observations.

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Thank you. That might be easy enough to do. I’ll give that a try.

OK I think I got it now, I wasn’t familiar with the search-with-list option. Thanks. However, your link, and when I try it with my list, never finishes. Just the spinny circle until it times out. Will try again at another time, maybe the servers are too busy.

Your life list still has some high level taxa in it (e.g. Animalia), so the search is too broad for it to finish. It looks like you correctly reset the rank restriction. Did you then reapply list rules and reload from observations?

Oh, I always get apprehensive from the “use sparingly” warning. It works now, thanks.


If you are familiar with R, this should give you what you are looking for via the API.

When using the API to get the list of species observed in a region (“bounding box” or “place”), the number of observations returned for a species is the total number in the world, not in the selected region:
See “observations_count” field in the response.

How to get the number of observations for a species in the selected region?

Hm, I don’t think I understand what you’re asking for.
This is all the species in your place, with the number of observations in that place.

You want this same information, but returned via the API rather than on the page?

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Exactly. Thanks!

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The field “count” gives you all observations of that species in that area (including those that aren’t verifiable):

Super! Thanks a lot!

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