I’ve decided to add this to the blog so I’ve got the list staring me in the face every time I’m here. How’s that for motivation?
For those of you that don’t know what a species list is, it’s a list of all the different kinds of animals the Other Half and I have seen and positively identified. Some people also include plants, but our interests (for the moment) lie more in the animal kingdom.
Our list is a bit hard to make because we have some tough criteria (at least for us):
1. We both have to see the animal.
2. The animal has to be alive and in its natural/wild environment. If we find an insect in our house, it’s fair game if it’s wild, but not if it’s our neighbor’s pet hissing cockroach.
3. We have to have a picture of the animal. It doesn’t have to be a great picture as long as we have definitively identified the animal before we get home. We can also rediscover an old picture of a species we have both seen and then add it to the list, but it has to be a picture that one of us has taken.
This means that if only one of us has seen the animal and has gotten a picture, we have to wait until the other sees the species for us to add the picture to the list. It also means that animals in zoos or kept as pets don’t count, so even though I own a leopard gecko and a Missouri river cooter, those species don’t go on the list until I have a picture of one in the mountains of Pakistan or in a lake, respectively. The fact that we have to have a photo can be frustrating, because even though I see house finches all the time,
they’re not on the list because I seem to never have my camera around when I see them I finally got the little buggers!
Long story short, you can find our list at iNaturalist.org. If something’s mislabeled, please let us know. It wouldn’t be the first time (which is why we require pictures of everything). If taxonomy or helping with citizen science excite you, consider joining iNat!