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Wildlife Lists -- Frequently Asked Questions


About Wildlife Lists




What is a Wildlife List?

In its simplest form, a Wildlife List is a list of the species you have seen over the course of your life. For wildlife observers, a Wildlife List can serve many functions, including:

• A permanent record of where and when you had each encounter with a new species.
• A dependable reference when you want to recall a specific sighting.
• A way to relive a favorite outing.

In addition, people create a variety of different types of lists, including:

• Species-specific lists, such as a list of Bird sightings, commonly referred to as a life list.
• Location-specific lists, such as Birds Visiting My Backyard.
• Lists for trips and outings, such as My Florida Trip.
• Yearly or season-specific lists of species sighted, such as Birds from Summer 2001

An eNature Wildlife List can be a simple list of names, or it can be an illustrated nature journal. Some people list every species they see. Others only record special or unusual encounters. You customize the list to suit your needs.

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What is included with a Wildlife List?

An eNature Wildlife List entry includes a photograph of the species, its name, and a place where you can write notes and record the sighting date. In addition, eNature provides a variety of useful tools for managing and customizing your lists, including:

• Multiple lists -- create as many lists as you like, including a title and description for each list.
• Viewing options -- view as a simple text list of names, or with images and notes.
• Sorting options -- arrange your lists by scientific (Latin) or common name, sighting date, and more.
• Printing options -- customize how you print your lists.

Whether you're into birds, wildflowers, butterflies, mammals or any other aspect of nature, you can create a Wildlife List to record your sightings. If you already maintain a list, whether scribbled in the margin of your field guide or tucked away in your memory, Wildlife Lists offer a great way to create a permanent, organized record.

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Can you briefly explain how to use the Wildlife Lists tool?

eNature Wildlife Lists allow you to keep track of species that you see by adding your sightings to a list. Once you create a Wildlife List, you can use the Wildlife Lists tool to add species, enter notes and sighting dates, and print your lists.

The Wildlife Lists tool is comprised of five tabs, each with a different purpose:

'Create a new list' tab
For creating additional lists.

'View your lists' tab
For viewing your lists, entering notes and dates, and deleting and duplicating species entries.

'Add species' tab
For adding new species to your lists.

'Print lists' tab
For printing your lists.

'Help' tab
For assistance when using Wildlife Lists.

Wildlife Lists offer several powerful list features. Please refer to this FAQ for additional information and assistance.

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Are my Wildlife Lists secure?

Your Wildlife Lists are backed up daily by eNature.com. Only those who know your user name and password can access your Wildlife Lists.

This site has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. Although eNature.com creates back-ups and archives users Wildlife Lists on a daily basis, Wildlife Lists could be lost or damaged in an extreme event. eNature.com is not responsible for lost or damaged Wildlife Lists.

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How do I create my first Wildlife List?

To create your first Wildlife List, visit the Wildlife Lists home page.
Once there, simply enter your e-mail address in the fields provided, then click on 'start.'

The entire process takes less than a minute.

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I already have a Wildlife List. Can I make another one?

Yes. You can have as many Wildlife Lists as you like.

Follow these steps, to create additional Wildlife Lists if you already have one:

1. Select the Log In button at the top of any page, then enter your user name and password. (Skip this step if you are already logged in.)

2. After logging in to your list, select the Create a new list tab to create a new list.

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What is a Default Species Group and Default List? How can I change these?

Default Species Group
All Wildlife Lists allow you to add species from any group on our site. (Birds, Mammals, Fishes, Trees, etc.) The Default Species Group is the species group you would like to see first whenever opening a given list. For example, if you select Birds as your default group for a list, the Bird group will appear first whenever opening that list. Each list you create can have a unique Default Species Group.

Default List
If you have more than one list, the list which you check as your 'Default List' will open first whenever entering the Wildlife Lists feature.

The Default Species Group and Default List selections can be changed at any time by selecting the 'edit list preferences' link, which appears at the top of every list.

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How do I access my Wildlife Lists?

To access your Wildlife Lists, select the Log In button at the top of any page, then enter your user name and password in the Wildlife Lists log in area.

If you are already logged in, select WildlifeLists under the LocalNature tab.

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Can I allow someone else to access or view my Wildlife Lists?

Currently, the only way you can allow someone to access or view your Wildlife List is to share your log-in information with them.

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How do I use the menus labelled 'lists', 'view as', 'show', and 'sort by' when viewing my list?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, these menus help you customize and better manage how your lists are displayed:

lists menu
Use this menu to choose which of your lists is displayed.
Select a specific list, or select view all lists to display multiple lists as a single, master list.

view as menu
Use this menu to choose how species entries are displayed and what can be edited when viewing your list.
  • images & notes -- entries are displayed with images, notes, & sighting dates. You can edit notes and sighting dates, and duplicate or delete entries.
  • images -- entries are displayed as "images only" view. You can only delete entries from this view.
  • text list -- entries displayed as "text only" view. You can only delete entries from this view.

show menu
Use this menu to choose which species group is displayed when viewing your list.
Select a specific group, such as Birds, to display only that group of species. Select All Groups to display all species at the same time.

sort by menu
Use this menu to choose how the species are sorted when viewing your list.
  • common name -- sorts species alphabetically by common name
  • scientific name -- sorts species alphabetically by scientific (Latin) name
  • family name -- sorts species in taxonomic order according to family
  • sighting date -- sorts species by sighting date, with most recent sightings first
  • recent entries -- sorts species by add date, with most recently added entries first

Important: the sort by menu works in conjunction with the a-z index. For example, if your sort by menu is set to 'common name' and you select the letter 'C', your list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

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How can I locate specific species that are on one of my lists?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, there are several ways you can locate a species on your Wildlife List:

Method A: using the text 'search' box
This method works best if you know part or all of the scientific, common, or family name of the species.

1. From the lists menu, select the list you are searching into, or select view all lists.
2. From the show menu, select the group you are searching into, or select all groups.
3. Enter into the search box, part or all of the scientific, common, or family name.
4. Select 'GO.'

Important: anytime you want to clear a search, select 'clear selection', which is displayed next to the search criteria text.

Method B: using the a-z index
This method works best if you want to display a group of species that all begin with the same letter.

1. From the lists menu, select the list you are searching into, or select view all lists.
2. From the show menu, select the group you are searching into, or select all groups.
3. From the sort by menu, select scientific, common, or family name.
4. Select a letter.

This search will locate all species where the sort by selection begins with that letter. For example, if your sort by menu is set to 'common name' and you select the letter 'C', your list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

Note: anytime you want to 'clear' an a-z search, select View All next to the alphabet.

Method C: using the 'sort by' menu
The sort by menu allows you to arrange your list in a specific order, and is useful for locating recent entries or setting up a list for printing.

Sorting options include:
  • common name: sorts the list alphabetically by common name
  • scientific name: sorts the list alphabetically by scientific name
  • family name: sorts the list in taxonomic order according to family
  • sighting date: sorts the list by sighting date, with most recent sightings first
  • recent entries: sorts list by add date, with most recently added entries first

Important note for those with multiple Wildlife Lists
If your lists menu is set to 'view all lists', the species displayed will be from all of your lists combined. Use caution when deleting species from a combined list, since it may not be apparent which specific list the species is on.

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How do I use the a-z index that appears on the 'View your lists' tab?

The a-z index is used in conjunction with the sort by menu to quickly locate species in your list. Here's how:

1. In the lists menu, select the list you are searching into or select view all lists.
2. In the show menu, select the group you are searching into or select all groups.
3. In the sort by menu, select scientific, common, or family name.
4. Select a letter from the alphabet.

This search will locate all species where the sort by selection begins with that letter.
For example, if your sort by menu is set to 'common name' and you select the letter 'C', your list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

Note: anytime you want to 'clear' a previous a-z search, select View All next to the alphabet.

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How do I edit my notes or sighting dates for an entry on my list?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, first set the 'view as' menu to images & notes.
Once viewing with images & notes, locate your species, enter or edit your notes and sighting dates, then select 'save notes/dates.'

For tips on locating specific species in your list, please read our 'locating species' FAQ.

Important note for those with multiple Wildlife Lists
If your lists menu is set to 'view all lists', the species displayed will be from all of your lists combined. Use caution when deleting species from a combined list, since it may not be apparent which specific list the species is on.

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How do I delete a species from my list?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, locate the species you wish to delete, then select the 'delete' link located under the sighting date.

For tips on locating specific species in your list, please read our 'locating species' FAQ.

Important note for those with multiple Wildlife Lists
If your lists menu is set to 'view all lists', the species displayed will be from all of your lists combined. Use caution when deleting species from a combined list, since it may not be apparent which specific list the species is on.

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How do I duplicate a species on my list?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, locate the species you wish to duplicate, then select the 'duplicate' link located under the sighting date.

For tips on locating specific species in your list, please read our 'locating species' FAQ.

Important note for those with multiple Wildlife Lists
If your lists menu is set to view all lists, the species displayed will be from all of your lists combined. Use caution when duplicating species from a combined list, since it may not be apparent which specific list the species is on.

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How do I move a species to a different list?

The Wildlife Lists move feature is currently in development. Until this feature is released, you will need to manually add the entry to the new list, then delete the old entry.

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How do I change the title or description for my list?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, use the lists menu to select the list you wish to edit.

While viewing the list, select the edit list preferences link to edit the title or description.

Edit the title or description, then select 'save list prefs.'

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How do I change the group that first appears when I open my list?

To change your Default Species Group for a list, first select the list from the lists menu, then select the 'edit list preferences' link.

Select a new Default Species Group, then select 'save list prefs.'

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I have multiple lists. How do I change the list that I first see when I access Wildlife Lists?

To change your Default List, first select the list from the lists menu, then select the 'edit list preferences' link.

Under Default List, check the box which reads 'View this list first whenever opening my lists.'

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How do I print my lists?

To print your lists, follow these steps:

1. Select the Print lists tab.

2. Customize your species list as you want it to appear for printing.

  • from the lists menu, select the list you want to print, or select view all lists.
  • from the show menu, select the group you want to print, or select all groups.
  • from the sort by menu, select how you want the list to be sorted.
  • if desired, conduct a search to locate a specific group of species.

3. Once your list appears as you want it to, select 'printer friendly view.'

4. Confirm that the printer view is correct, then select Print from your browser's File menu.

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If I delete a list can I ever get it back?

Once a Wildlife List is deleted, it cannot be restored.

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Why am I ask if I want to 'save my changes' when I'm in Wildlife Lists?

While on the 'View your lists' tab, whenever making changes to your notes or sighting dates you must select 'save notes/dates' before switching tabs, selecting a new page, or performing another task. If you forget to select save notes/dates, we will ask you if you would like to save your changes before continuing.

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How can I add species to my Wildlife List?

There are a two main ways to add species to your list.
Note: currently, only species that exist on the eNature site can be added to a list.

Method A: Adding species using the Wildlife Lists tool

1. Log in to your Wildlife Lists, then select the 'Add species' tab.
2. Locate the species you want to add. Tips for quickly locating a species.
3. Check the 'select' box for the species you want to add. (You may 'select' multiple species that are on the same page.)
4. When your selection is complete, click 'add selected species.' You will be asked to confirm your selection and your destination list.
Note: If you add a single species, you can also complete its notes/sighting date at this time.
5. After the species are added, you can open the list for viewing or editing, or add more species.

Tips for adding species through the Wildlife Lists tool.

Method B: Adding species directly from a search result or species page

1. Visit our Field Guides, or search for a specific species using the search at the top of any page on our site.
2. While viewing your search results, select the save to list button for any species. You will be asked to confirm your selection and your destination list.
Note: If you are not logged in, you will be asked to do so before the species can be added. If you do not have a Wildlife List, complete the 'Create your own WildlifeList now!' section to create a list prior to adding the species.
3. After the species are added you can open the list for viewing or editing, or return to your original species results page.

* Adding from a Field Guide species page: once you locate a species in our Field Guides, select the save to list button that appears on the species page. The procedure then continues as described above.

Important note -- adding species to your Backyard Wildlife Habitat site

Many eNature members have a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Site, which contains a Species List.
This BWH Species List is now titled, 'Backyard Habitat.'

To add species to your BWH species list, use any of the 'add' procedures described above, making sure to select 'Backyard Habitat' from the list menu in the confirmation page. If you do not have any other Wildlife Lists, the 'Backyard Habitat' list will be the only selection available.

More information on Wildlife Lists and Backyard Wildlife Habitat sites

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How can I use the Wildlife Lists tool to quickly locate species to add to my list?


While on the 'Add species' tab, there are several ways to locate species to add to your list:

Method A: using the text 'search' box
This method works best if you know part or all of the scientific, common, or family name of the species.

1. From the show menu, select the group you are adding from, or select all groups.
2. From the search field, enter part or all of the scientific, common, or family name.
3. Select 'GO'.

Note: anytime you want to 'clear' a search, select clear selection, which is displayed next to the search criteria text.

Method B: using the a-z index
This method works best if you want to add a group of species that all begin with the same letter.

1. From the show menu, select the group you are adding from, or select all groups.
2. From the sort by menu, select scientific, common, or family name.
3. Select a letter.

This search will locate all species where the sort by selection begins with that letter. For example, if your sort by menu is set to 'common name' and you select the letter 'C', your list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

Note: anytime you want to 'clear' an a-z search, select View All next to the alphabet.

Method C: using the 'sort by' menu
The sort by menu allows you to arrange the add list in a specific order.

Sort options include:
  • common name: sorts the list alphabetically by common name
  • scientific name: sorts the list alphabetically by scientific name
  • family name: sorts the list in taxonomic order according to family

Method D: using the 'show species' from menu
The show species menu allows you to only display species that occur in specific regions.

After conducting a search, select a region to restrict the add list to species from that region. For example, after searching for 'loons', select 'California' to only see loons from California.

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How can I avoid adding a duplicate species to my list?

The best way to avoid adding duplicates is to add your species through the 'Add species' tab within the Wildlife List tool. When species are added through the 'Add species' tab, species that already exist on a list are highlighted in red, making it easy to avoid duplication.

Note: many people prefer to keep multiple entries in their lists, recording each sighting separately.

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Can I add my own pictures or species to my Wildlife Lists?

Currently, only species that exist on the eNature site can be added to a list.

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How do I use the menus labelled 'lists', 'view as', 'show', and 'sort by' when adding species to my list?

While on the Add species tab, Wildlife Lists offer various ways to customize the appearance of the add list, including:

lists menu
Use this menu to choose which list you want to add to. (This is optional, since you can also select the list on the add confirmation page.)

view as menu
Use this menu to choose how the species are displayed in the add list.
  • images -- species are displayed as 'images only.'
  • text -- species are displayed as 'text only.'

show menu
Use this menu to choose which species group is displayed in the add list.
Select a specific group, such as Birds, to display only that group of species. Select All Groups to display all species groups.

sort by menu
Use this menu to choose how the species are sorted in the add list.
  • common name -- sorts species alphabetically by common name
  • scientific name -- sorts species alphabetically by scientific (Latin) name
  • family name -- sorts species in taxonomic order according to family

Important: the 'sort by' menu works in conjunction with the a-z index. For example, if your 'sort by' menu is set to 'common name and you select the letter 'C', your add list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

More information on adding species to your Wildlife Lists

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How do I use the menu labelled 'show species from' when adding species to my list?

The show species from menu can be used to limit the add list to species from a specific region. After conducting a search, select a region to restrict the list to species from that region. For example, after searching for 'loons,' select 'California' to only see loons from California.

Note: the regional information for a species only includes where it most typically lives. Species are often sighted outside of these regions. If you do not find a species after selecting a region, try expanding your search to all regions in order to locate the species.

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How do I use the a-z index that appears on my 'Add species' tab?

The a-z index is used in conjunction with the sort by menu to quickly locate species to be added. Here's how:

1. In the show menu, select the group you are searching into, or select all groups.
2. In the sort by menu, select scientific, common, or family name.
3. Select a letter from the alphabet.

This search will locate all species where the sort by selection begins with that letter.
For example, if the sort by menu is set to 'common name' and you select the letter 'C', the add list will display any species with a common name beginning with 'C.'

Note: anytime you want to 'clear' a previous a-z search, select View All next to the alphabet.

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I accidentally added a species to the wrong list. How can I move it to a different list?

The Wildlife Lists move feature is currently in development. Until this feature is released, you will need to manually add the entry to the new list, then delete the old entry.

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Why am I asked if I want to 'save my changes' when I'm in Wildlife Lists?

While on the 'Add species' tab, whenever selecting species to add to your lists you must select add selected species before switching tabs, selecting a new page, or performing another task. If you forget to select add selected species, we will ask you if you would like to save your changes before continuing.

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I have a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site. Do I need to create a separate Wildlife List to keep track of my habitat species?

No. When you create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site, an empty species list for your habitat is automatically created and titled 'Backyard Habitat.' Whenever adding species to your online habitat, make sure to add them to this Backyard Habitat list. This list is viewable either in the Species List tab of your online habitat, or through the Wildlife List feature.

If you have a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site that was created prior to the release of Wildlife Lists, your existing habit species list has been titled 'Backyard Habitat.' Whenever adding species to your online habitat, make sure to add them to this Backyard Habitat list.

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When I created my Backyard Wildlife Habitat site, I received a Wildlife List titled 'Backyard Habitat.' What is this?

When you first create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site, an empty species list for your habitat is automatically created and titled 'Backyard Habitat.' This list allows you to keep track of the species that you see in your habitat.

To add species to your online habitat -- visit the Species List tab in your Backyard Wildlife Habitat site for complete instructions, or read our 'How to add species' FAQ for helpful tips.

Whenever adding species to your online habitat species list, make sure to add them to the Backyard Habitat list. If you do not have any other Wildlife Lists, the 'Backyard Habitat' list will be the only selection available.

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