species diversity

What is an observation?

We define any identification of a taxa element at a point and place, be it a trailcam picture, animal mark recapture, waterbird survey or an incidental sighting as an observation.  Some are very complex including hundreds of attributes.  For some it may be as simple as an historical observation of Bison in Cassia County in the 1880s.

In order to be able to query all of what we collect regardless of survey and protocol differences it is necessary to standardize every sighting into a core set of fields.  We call this our Core Observation Entity.

Observation Core Entity

  • Species
    • Species Confidence (0-100% with labels for certain thresholds)
    • Count (Integer)
    • Count Type (absolute, estimate, minimum)
    • Sex (unknown, male, female, both, not applicable)
    • Life State (unknown, alive, dead)
    • Life Stage (immature, yearling, nymph, flowering, dormant….)
  • Date Time (from – to range with timezone)
    • Date Confidence (In seconds with labels for certain thresholds)
  • Location (geojson… lat/lng also accepted)
    • Location Confidence (In meters with labels for certain thresholds)
    • Location Resource (text, how location was derived… GPS, Google Maps Click, Lat/Lng Entered)  {may be dropped}
  • Observer(s)
    • Full Name (some part of First or Last name required)
    • Occupation
    • Employer
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Physical address
    • Background (Long Text)
    • Observer Confidence (0-100% with labels for certain thresholds)
  • Observation Methods (seen, heard, scat)
  • Reporter (username)
  • Report Date (timestamp)
The following are also auto-calcuated for all observations:
  • County
  • GMU
  • Region
  • HUC6 (proposed)
  • 5km Grid (proposed)
  • 6km Hex (proposed)

Common Optional Components

  • Site
  • Survey
  • Project
  • Field Methods (under construction)


You can see these core observations and their default settings and user interfaces on our bulk import form https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species/observations/import (login required) or the basic observations form https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species/observations/add.

New Observations and Survey Upload Form

Do you collect lots of data?  Not about to sit down and upload your observations one by one?

We don't blame you!

Since our start, we've always encouraged our partners and collaborators to share their data with us, but there hasn't been an easy way to do so online. 

We've just changed that with our new Observations Import form.  While not fully automated, this form will allow you to attach your spreadsheets, databases or shapefiles while configuring some sensible defaults.  We'll take it from there and you'll be able to track the status of your import, follow a log of processing and answer questions about observation details we might come across.

You'll find the form here:


*Note:  If you have incidental and/or one-time survey data yet to be compiled into a spreadsheet, you also have the option of populating our MS Excel template which includes our core database values.  Click here to download a spreadsheet with built-in drop-down lists.  Click here to download a copy of the same spreadsheet, but without the built-in drop-down lists.


Idaho State Ranks - in need of Bird Data

We are assessing the state ranks (SRank) for various species to include in the upcoming State Wildlife Action Plan. Listed below is a list of birds where we could use additional information.  Please feel free to submit your entire dataset if it includes multiple species beyond this list.  

please direct any questions to Suzin Romin, suzin.romin@idfg.idaho.gov or Nikki Wade nikki.wade@idfg.idaho.gov.

Submit your data here, https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species/observations/import (login required)

If you have incidental and/or one-time survey data yet to be compiled into a spreadsheet, you also have the option of populating our MS Excel template which includes our core database values.  Click here to download a spreadsheet with bulit-in drop-down lists.  Click here to download a copy of the same spreadsheet, but without the built-in drop-down lists.

Common Name Sci Name SRank
Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea S1
Pinyon Jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus S1
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera S1
Scott's Oriole Icterus parisorum S1B
Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri S1B
Great Egret Ardea alba S1B
Virginia's Warbler Vermivora virginiae S1B
Common Tern Sterna hirundo S1B
Black Swift Cypseloides niger S1B
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos S1B
Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda S1B
Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus S1B
Blue Grosbeak Guiraca caerulea S1B
Black Tern Chlidonias niger S1B
Common Loon Gavia immer S1B,S2N
Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator S1B,S2N
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus S1B,S3N
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope S1N
Juniper  Titmouse Baeolophus ridgwayi S2
Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus S2
White-headed Woodpecker Picoides albolarvatus S2
Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis S2
Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata S2B
Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus S2B
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis S2B
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus S2B
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria S2B
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum S2B
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena S2B
Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys S2B
Merlin Falco columbarius S2B,S2N
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus S2B,S3N
Black-backed Woodpecker Picoides arcticus S3
Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus S3
Northern Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium gnoma S3
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus S3
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis S3
Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa S3
Black Rosy-finch Leucosticte atrata S3
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis S3
Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni S3B
Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor S3B
Flammulated Owl Otus flammeolus S3B
Sage Thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus S3B
Gray Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii S3B
Gray-crowned Rosy-finch Leucosticte tephrocotis S4B,S3N
Species currently not ranked    
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis  
White-tailed Ptarmigan Lagopus leucura SNA
American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica SNA
Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus SNA
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus SNA
American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus SNA
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus SNA
Yellow Rail Coturnicops noveboracensis SNA
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus SNA
Green Heron Butorides virescens SNA
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis SNA
Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla SNA
Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum SNA
Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida SNA
Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana SNA
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus SNA
Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre SNA
Hoary Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni SNA
Ancient Murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus SNA
McCown's Longspur Calcarius mccownii SNA
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna SNR


Observations, Idaho Species Catalog - Status Lists

TIP: Before you begin be sure to log into your IFWIS account to obtain all the functionality assigned to you.

The Idaho Species Catalog menubar provides three options. This blog describes the functionality of the Idaho Species Catalog (ISC) 'STATUS LISTS' option at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species/taxa . For an introduction to the ISC please view our background blog.

Status Lists allow the user to query and download Conservation Statuses for a species or a taxonomic group. Attributes included are United State Endangered Species Act, Species of Greatest Conservation Need, BLM Type, USFS sensitive species, and IDAPA classification.

Click "FILTER" after you have specified one or all of the criteria under Keyword, Category, and Idaho Classification.  Be sure to "RESET" the filter before you begin a new filter.

Downloading the Status List is easy.  Once you have filtered your species of interest simply click the orange .csv button at the bottom of the page.  The .csv can then be saved and opened in MS Excel.  To download a Status List for the entire state simply make sure there is no filter set and download the .csv.


Observations, Idaho Species Catalog - background

TIP: Before you begin be sure to log into your IFWIS account to obtain all the functionality assigned to you. 

Want to search for a species within the online system? Need a rank or status for a particular species?  Want to download a taxonomy list? Want to verify the species you saw before you enter an observations?  Do it all by exploring the Idaho Species Catalog at, https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species (simply remember "SPECIES" after the idfg url).

Take a Tour - provides background information about 'Observations'.

Start Exploring! - Opens the Idaho Species Catalog.  The Idaho Species Catalog is a great place to start if you want to query for a particular taxa and view the observations. 


The Idaho Species Catalog menubar provides three options.  Here's a brief explanation of each option. 

EXPLORE - the home page of the Idaho Species Catalog. Details on 'explore' can be found here.

STATUS LISTS -Filter and/or download taxonomy lists by species, taxonomy group, or IDAPA classification. Details on 'status lists' can be found here.

EXPORTS - User-defined custom queries on the taxonomy to lists based on a species, groups of species, various statuses, and ranks.  This can also be downloaded to a .csv textfile compatible with MS Excel. Details on 'exports' can be found here.