Thoughts on taxon ranges?

Hey all,

I’ve been looking at some of the CNC results, and I noticed one of the options to select when downloading data was “out of range”. When I downloaded the observations from my area, I noticed many species that I have seen frequently in the area for 15 years. This got me thinking about the ranges that iNat gives for species, which I had never really looked at before. Many of the ones I looked at seemed super arbitrary, with no consistency of how ranges are actually identified. For instance, the graylag goose range does not include the United States at all even though there are clearly a lot of observations, perhaps because it is not native. The european starling, however, is also introduced and has a range listed across North America.

Does anyone have thoughts on this issue? To me, these ranges don’t seem like a very useful metric for analyzing actual changes in species distribution as of right now, since there is so much inconsistency between taxa. (and some, like the ruff, are just plain screwed up.) I don’t know if this would be an easy thing to improve, but I feel like it would at least help to start out with a general protocol on how ranges are classified.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: What should represent a ‘range’ for a species in iNaturalist

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