Tracking species in a project/place when IDs change

I’ve volunteered to keep an updated species list for a project in iNat. I downloaded into a spreadsheet the project’s more than 700 species (or higher taxa, when observations haven’t been identified to species yet). When the project’s species count rises, as observations are made, I manually add new species to this sheet.

However, when the project’s species count drops, likely because of a changed ID, I’m stymied. If the change has happened in a recent observation, it’s sometimes possible to find and address it. But if the ID change has happened in a much earlier observation, I haven’t found a way to track it.

Has anyone found a way to deal with a situation like this? I welcome your thoughts.

You can compare the old list of species to the new list of species using the spreadsheet to see which species went missing. And then use this URL with the project ID changed to your project and the taxon ID (in both spots) changed to the species that is missing.

PS If you’re not sure what to write in the URL, give me the name of the project and the name of the species and I will write the updated version for you.


I’ll try that and see how it works. Thanks for the suggestion!

I tried that process out, but the manual comparison turned out to be very time-consuming.

Prompted by your idea, I think I’ve found a solution that will work: I can download a list of observations for the project and include “updated_at” as one of the columns. (New IDs are included in this, it turns out.)

Then I can sort observations by that column (most recent to least recent), and figure out which new IDs changed the number of species reported for the park.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

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I meant download a new list of species then use a function of the spreadsheet program to find the one that doesn’t match between the two lists

Your idea is probably better though if it hasn’t been very long (not too many other updates).

If you want to see the observations displayed on iNat ordered from updated most recently you can use this URL with your project name:

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