Hide extinct species by default

I would like to request to hide extinct species by default.
The majority of users is not interested in those I guess. (Maybe I am wrong.)
It is really difficult to sort these out.

Maybe I am too stupid. But to my knowledge it is not possible to get all child taxa from a higher ranking taxon.
i.e. all species belonging to a genus. The result list is littered with extinct species. There is no option on the left to sort them out.

Can you spot the extinct ones? Because I can’t.

That is a major problem for a lot of biodiversity researchers.

Hi Andreas,

While not available on the website, you can query species by extinction status in the API, e.g.


Note, however, that not all species have this information available, so the safe bet might be to simply exclude entries where isExtinct=true.

Perhaps @mgrosjean has other suggestions?

Thank you for your suggestion. In my view the question would rather be: Why include them in the first place? Per definition extinct species are not a part of biodiversity (as in : GBIF).

Also, using the API requires minimal programming skills and I don’t think the majority of users has those.

Also, using the API how would I get all extant families belonging to a kingdom? highertaxon_key would return everything down to species, no?

Sorry, I don’t want to sound too critical. I think you are doing a great job and GBIF is fantastic. I just wanted to bring my arguments forward.

@Andreas you’re most welcome to your opinion, and to share it—but to suggest that the world’s biological diversity is limited to extant species would seem to exclude research into evolution and phylogeny from the domain. For my part, I would view that as an extremely limiting if not extreme position.

Sorry, maybe I should have been more clear. Biodiversity is always the biodiversity in a given time frame, like a snapshot. That is at least what all the definitions I was looking up are suggesting.
I wanted to express my surprise that search results from a different period of biodiversity are mixed with results from the current biodiversity. I do not consider extinct species part of “modern” biodiversity. I am a ecologist.
I know evolutionary biologists are more like viewing that from the angle of: everything is in flow. And for them the search results are perfect. But there are other groups in biology (I suspect the majority) that have no use for extinct species and that is why I was surprised it is the default setting.

And yes, indeed there are some dictionaries that define biodiversity as “life on earth” or “existing biological diversity”, but I do not want to kick off that debate, so I back off from that position. No problemo. I just want to find a solution for the problem at hand.

For what it’s worth, I agree that being able to distinguish is definitely useful. I’ve created a suggestion for adding this feature to the UI: filter species by extinction status · Issue #3432 · gbif/portal-feedback · GitHub

Btw, you can change rank to FAMILY in a query if you only want results at that level, e.g.


That sounds like an argument best held over adult beverages, imo. May we be so lucky as to have the opportunity!

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