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Compromised account[edit]

Just a heads-up that User:Koavf's account was compromised and granted admin rights to 3 users at another WMF wiki. I went through his edit history and action log and did not notice anything. But it's possible that the hacker used his Checkuser rights.

@Dan Koehl: and @Faendalimas:, as the remaining 2 CheckUsers on this wiki, please check the CheckUser log and ensure Koavf's account did not run any Checkuser actions over the past few days. CheckUser logs are not available for other admins/bureaucrats/users to view except by other CheckUsers.

For other admins and users, I know that feeling when my account was compromised and temporarily locked 3 years ago. But unlike this time, the hacker didn't do anything malice to my account and only posted a message saying that they managed to log into my account. It's a good time to make sure that your password is not shared with any other accounts to avoid being compromised. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:28, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Thanks fpr the headsup @OhanaUnited:, and I have noticed todays intensive debate on securing accounts, and will wait for further recommendations. On behalf of the account of @Koavf: a total of 5 CUs were made, 4 user names and 1 IP, just after noon, during apr 4 minutes, on 2018-10-20. No further CUs since then... Dan Koehl (talk) 22:51, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Ok, thank you for that info. That sounds like whoever gained his account ran 5 CheckUser requests. I'll notify the Ombudsman for the privacy breach. OhanaUnitedTalk page 23:35, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, 5 different CheckUser requests. Dan Koehl (talk) 23:38, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Hm. Thanks all. Account has been reset. —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:19, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Even though your account has been restored, I'm uncomfortable with your access to CU until it's established that the attack-vector has been eliminated and you continue to have the confidence of the community. There's a lot of questions lingering (for better or for worse). Someone used your account and ran 5 CU checks. That's totally not ok especially when we don't know which 5 users were looked up. We also don't know how long the hacker had access to your account. Even though you used unique password (and I don't blame you because it sounded like a sophisticated attack), there are other tools like email notification for "login from an unfamiliar device" option that could have flagged this problem quicker. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:30, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
This episode is worrying but please no victim blaming. Andyboorman (talk) 10:23, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Garrinae + Bagarius[edit]

Please could an ichthyologist check Talk:Garrinae#Validity? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:43, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

And Talk:Glyptosterninae#Bagarius. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:23, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I have made a start fixing this. The taxon appears in Fishbase here. They are correct Garrinae is not valid, but we can rename the page to fill the currently not created tribe of a similar name. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:58, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
(a) Garrinae is in fact CyprinidaeLabeoninaeGarrini.
(b) Bagarius belongs to: SisoridaeSisorinaeBagariini and not as presently stated.
I don't have the time to make the changes, I hope someone here will take on the corrections. Mariusm (talk) 10:01, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Potentially useful article? Circeus (talk) 10:58, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes it is, for (a). Mariusm (talk) 13:52, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Vernacular Names[edit]

Can anybody tell me how to edit the VN section when this procedure is being used. {{#invoke:VN|main}}{{VN}}. Most opaque and not helpful for a mere editor not a coder. Can the author tell us the rationale and why it was not bought to the pump before now? Andyboorman (talk) 09:28, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Got it now go to WD. Still think it is a bit of tail wagging dog. Cheers Andyboorman (talk) 13:31, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
First: This link automatically gets old and new vernacular names of Wikidata.
Second: Here automatically connection with the hidden Category:Pages with vernacular names. Cheers. Orchi (talk) 16:23, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

600,000 pages[edit]

We've now reached the 600,000 article-mark! The 500,000 mark was reached on 7/January/2017 – we've done 100,000 pages in one year and 10 months. Mariusm (talk) 14:41, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Congrats to all of us!--Hector Bottai (talk) 19:46, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
If my number is right, the 600,000th article is Duangchai Sookchaloem, written by MILEPRI. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:59, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Lots of †††'s to come[edit]

Human activity has reduced species counts by 60% in the last 40 years according to the new WWF report, overexploitation and agriculture being the main causes. Get ready to use up lots of †'s in the future edits ... Mariusm (talk) 16:11, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

@Mariusm:, agree on this, but just want to suggest that IUCNs report are maybe more valid than WWFs? And according to IUCN, I think a species is declared offically extinct after noone has seen an individual, during the last 50 years? Im not sure how we shall inform about this in the most correct way, but at least I vote for IUCN as a better source for extinction, than WWF? Dan Koehl (talk) 17:52, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
The Living Planet Report is not focused especially on species extinction, but rather is dealing with species decline, i.e. with species getting rare because of human pressure. In my opinion, that's the even bigger problem. Decades or even centuries before a species is going extinct, it has ceased to play its role in its former ecosystems. --Franz Xaver (talk) 19:17, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think 60% is accurate count. I agree with IUCN, and some species thought extinct are being found. Tasmanian tiger, thought to be extinct almost 100 years, is still being argued over. I could not bring up WWF, so I could not assess their reasoning. Many times such figures include only tetrapods, and gloss over invertebrates. I do know frogs are in serious decline, and many bird species. They are more visible than insects and spiders, and more photogenic. Neferkheperre (talk) 23:55, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Some days ago, I read that this was claim is not true, they have mixed a mean number with total number in order to present sensational sumbers, in order to scare people to donate money? Thre is still atragical decline, but WWFs number and claims are not true? Dan Koehl (talk) 09:47, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
As far as I see, people just don't read the WWF report and simply reproduce their own views, claiming that WWF would have told this or that. If you have a look into the summary of the report (linked above), you can read: "Populations ... have, on average, declined in size by 60 percent in just over 40 years". However, an overall decline of population sizes does not mean, that a single species would have gone extinct. Anyway, misrepresentation is going on, and it seems, that everybody is only seeking confirmation of own views. By the way, decline of population sizes for a majority of species, is just, what can be observed, when you have open eyes. Of course, there exist also species, which have increased their populations during the last 40 years, but the recent recovery of Ciconia ciconia would not outweight a decline in population sizes of dozens of species inhabiting extensivly used grasslands, e.g. Alauda arvensis, Perdix perdix, Anthus pratensis, Vanellus vanellus etc. --Franz Xaver (talk) 14:28, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Editing News #2—2018[edit]

14:17, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Bull. Soc. Fouad I. Entom.[edit]

Wikidata has an item labelled "Bull. Soc. Fouad I. Entom.". Does anyone know the full title, ISSN, URL, etc? Do we have a corresponding page? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:52, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Bulletin de la Societe Fouad 1er d'entomologie ISSN 0373-3289 Voganaa (talk) 20:34, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:39, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

I think that this discussion is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, don't hesitate to replace this template with your comment. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:39, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Native distribution areas[edit]

Since the "Native distribution areas" section is being added to lots of botanical species, I decided to start adding it also to my own zoology edits. At any rate, I think that the hidden format the botanists use, utilizing the template {{nadi}} is not adequate (see for example Vaccinium laurifolium). I'm using the more straightforward format (see for example Stenus cicindeloides).

I think that the "Native distribution areas" is indeed a very important piece of information and I wish we reach a consensus on the format we should employ. I wish to hear your comments on the best format to employ, eventually to be followed with a ballot. Mariusm (talk) 10:30, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Template {{nadi}} uses an accepted hierarchical format, rather than a straight forward list. To do away with nadi would result in numerous re-edits, probably a case of bolting the stable door, as it is now so well used in botanical pages. However, as a botanical database WS is more or less unique using this particular format. See these other examples
Modifying the {{nadi}} template will suffice to do away with the hidden mode. No need for "numerous re-edits". Mariusm (talk) 11:04, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
OK, the template {{nadi}} could easily be changed, but in some cases this would give rather bulky results, e.g. in Thespesia populnea. So I am content with it, this it is a collapsible box. Anyway, for wide-spread species I feel the need, that distribution data need to be given some structure. This here certainly is no good solution presenting distribution data. So, the existing TDGW scheme, which also is used by WCSP using different format, see e.g. Arum, and similarly by GRIN (e.g. [2], seems to be useful. However, it hardly can be used as a general way to present distribution data for animals, as it is not applicable to marine organisms. (Plants are mostly terrestrial. The few marine species are coastal.) Moreover, it also would not work very well for migratory species. So, probably for animals a different scheme needs to be developed. Which format to use, seems to be the least important problem. --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:10, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
On Cirripedia, I have been using Distribution:, using information based on original descriptions and reviewers/checklists. Unfortunately, many species are reported only from type localities. Neferkheperre (talk) 13:49, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Franz Xaver: The TDGW scheme is broadly used by botanists, so template:nadi is very useful for plant taxa. Additionally a map can be added, e.g. for Chenopodium spinescens. Animals or non-benthic marine organisms would need a different scheme to show their native distribution. --Thiotrix (talk) 13:58, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Another important consideration: the possibility of using [[China]] and [[Category: China]] for countries the same way we use [[DBSNU]] and [[Category:DBSNU]] for repositories. This way we can facilitate the production of lists of species per country. Mariusm (talk) 14:00, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Is there consensus to add this? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:23, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Do you mean "Native distribution areas" as a discrete section in the same way as Name or Synonym? Andyboorman (talk) 18:20, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Good question @Pigsonthewing: Soon we will be adding description, behaviour..etc. There are several qualifications for a native zoological species: breeding? vagrant? accidental? introduced? extint in the territory? Which would be the reliable and approved source for the information? Working only with neotropical birds, I find so many taxonomic outdates to work on...why adding new features when the basic is not yet well done. Not in favour, to me not a good idea.--Hector Bottai (talk) 18:41, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Distribution is different from description, diagnosis, material etc. It appears in the most terse species-catalogues and is one of the most important features of a species. Many papers are being written just to report a record of a certain species in a country where it wasn't seen before. The botanists here have decided long ago to incorporate it in WS without getting an approval from the community, so this became a de-facto section. I don't see a sweeping objection here to adding the distribution section but it would be appropriate to cast a vote on this. Mariusm (talk) 09:47, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Agree with a vote for zoological species given botanist have widely accepted. Good explanation @Mariusm:, thanks.--Hector Bottai (talk) 11:50, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

[undent] As to adding general distribution information, I am firmly against. No matter how you look at them, distributions are not taxonomical information. They do not belong on Wikispecies, period. I could buy maybe sorting for type location only, but that's not all that useful when for many older species, the original location is from cultivation. Circeus (talk) 23:47, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Of course, distribution is relevant for taxonomy. Certainly you know these theories of en:Allopatric speciation and en:Sympatric speciation. Moreover, species receive their ecological significance by the fact, that they occur somewhere. --Franz Xaver (talk) 00:22, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Franz. Distributions are useful, but not essential, to taxonomy and therefor can belong here. They can be part of the why in the same way as a reference. In conclusion, adding distributions is a case of desirable, but not essential data in the same way as VN and images. Just my opinion of course. Andyboorman (talk) 08:32, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
@Circeus: WS is defined as a "species guide" (see the Charter) or a "species directory" (see the main page). As such, the distribution is an integral, essential and important part of this directory. The ideal of "pure taxonomy" is an unattainable one. Mariusm (talk) 09:59, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Historical distributions[edit]

Are we talking about broadly accepting this? I forsee a potential problem in that some species have changed their distributions as a result of glaciation events or even extinction. Extinct species have no distribution at present. That is, are we talking about giving "present distribution" with a specific date, or will we be able to give information about native distributions for species now extinct? Even living species may have had enormous changes over time as a result of major climatic changes during the Pleistocene.

We need to consider not only the spatial aspect of distributions but the temporal aspect as well. The current model doesn't even come close to addressing that. --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:10, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

The usual way for showing extinctions is the dagger symbol, as for example is practised by WCSP in the case of Betula nana in Italy. --Franz Xaver (talk) 20:08, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Of course. Surely no problems, except for the species/genera no longer extant in once accepted locations! Andyboorman (talk) 20:25, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
So, does that mean that fossil species have no distribution information? Surely knowing the distribution of fossil taxa is relevant? And how do we coordinate distributions where the taxon is there now but also known there as fossils? How do we indicate in which stratigraphic layers the fossils have been found? --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:20, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: For extant species the "distribution" is to include only living specimens. For extinct species, the distribution section is not applicable, "Type locality" subsection being adequate enough. Mariusm (talk) 09:33, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
That's where I disagree, and so do some of the comments above from others. If we can't determine a simple question such as applicability, then there is no way we'll be able to make use of this section. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:29, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Fossile are generally given both location and horizon, for the type, anything else is descriptive. Horizon is its stratigraphic position. Personally I am not keen on all this as it is a detraction of what we are about. However, as I said below I tentatively support this, but we need to get it to work. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:48, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

List of native countries[edit]

Would be this example list at IUCN the model? Tachybaptus ruficollis Are we going to use "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" or just "Macedonia" as an example of many others. Borders were created by man sometimes yesterday, species exists millions of years. Everybody knows about species showing in some country list just because a dead specimen was found decades ago in some beach, how we are going to lead with that. This have no sense. We are getting into a swamp.--Hector Bottai (talk) 00:57, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

@Hector Bottai: in the case of a widespread species, there's no sense in specifying each and every country of occurrence. It would be more sensible to specify for your example of Tachybaptus ruficollis: "Widespread across Europe, much of Asia down to New Guinea, and most of Africa". However this isn't the case with the majority of species which are restricted to a very specific area (with birds being an exception, I suppose); for example Tachybaptus pelzelnii is restricted only to Madagascar. Mariusm (talk) 09:26, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
For recording plant distributions, the International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases For Plant Sciences has made up a system of "botanical regions" and "botanical countries" (see en:World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions), which are somewhat independent from actual political borders. Maybe zoologists have similar approaches for distributions of animals? --Thiotrix (talk) 10:58, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Depends on the group of species, largely animals are listed either with maps or with political distributions. For example it may say Brasil: Amazonas, ie country and state. In descriptions they only list the type locality specifically with a geo-coord the rest is done as descriptive distribution. I remember looking at the Botanical system once before it would be difficult to adapt it to animals. Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:45, 17 November 2018 (UTC)


This is a preliminary poll, to gauge the acceptance of the "distribution" information among WS users. In case it is accepted, another poll will follow to determine the format of the information. Mariusm (talk) 16:52, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Do you support the inclusion of "Native distribution areas" section in WS?

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Mariusm (talk) 16:52, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Dan Koehl (talk) 17:33, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Andyboorman (talk) 19:21, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Franz Xaver (talk) 19:47, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support RLJ (talk) 19:51, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Thiotrix (talk) 21:10, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Neferkheperre (talk) 23:16, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Orchi (talk) 08:52, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose unless a sensible way to tackle historical distributions can be enacted. --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:11, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Hector Bottai (talk) 23:48, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support -- tentative-- I support this in principal, however a good way needs to be formed for the how. I will also comment that distribution is not nomenclatural data as was stated earlier. However, I do feel it is useful information if presented well. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:05, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

redundant disambiguation pages and categories Template:Disambig and Template:Disambiguation[edit]

We currently have two different but redundant templates: Template:Disambig and Template:Disambiguation. The former has well over 1,000 incoming links, is connected to other similar templates through Wikidata, and automatically places entries in Category:Disambiguation pages while the later is used on less than 500 pages, and places pages in additional, and apparently redundant category trees: Category:All disambiguation pages and Category:All article disambiguation pages. I think {{Disambiguation}} should be merged into {{Disambig}}, although I am not certain if it's as easy as creating a redirect. And is there a reason to have three different disambiguation pages with little or no distinction? I think it would be useful to separate taxonomic disambiguation pages (e.g. Agarista) from authority pages (e.g. Smith), but the current category tree should be clarified before the mess gets any messier. Thoughts? -Animalparty (talk) 20:49, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

And for context, I note former discussions dating back years regarding disambiguation (e.g. here, here, and here). Seems like lots of discussion, little meaningful action. -Animalparty (talk) 20:59, 18 November 2018 (UTC)