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Search results can be refined at a couple of different points in the process of searching for the biodiversity information you’re looking for. This article focuses on tailoring your results after you’ve performed your initial search. If you’d like help performing an initial search see our search by species article for searches centered around the name of a species, or the search by location article for searches focused on finding groups of species in specific geographic areas.
Search results can be filtered by many different record attributes, these are known as facets.
There are many different facets within each filter at the ALA, see the table below for a comprehensive list of filters and facets.
Scientific name (unprocessed)
This will allow you to search by the name that the record was submitted with
Identified to rank
Name match metric
Common name (processed)
Raw identification qualifier
Taxon identification issue
Isotype, Holotype etc
Original name usage
State conservation (unprocessed)
Parent Event ID
State or Territory
Local Government Areas
IBRA 7 regions
Interim Biogeographic Regionalisations for Australia
IBRA 7 Subregions
IMCRA Meso-scale Bioregions
Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia
National Dynamic Land Cover
Coordinate uncertainty (in metres)
States including coastal waters
Default selected (Human observation, preserved specimen, etc)
Outlier for layer
Outlier layer count
Has user assertions
Assertions by user
Within each filter there will be facets that you can filter by. Some of these will be reasonably universal for all searches, for example, “State or Territory”. However, others will be greatly dependent on your search, for example, scientific name.
Customising your results
Let’s run through a case study example, you’ll then be able to apply this to find the specific data you need. Here we’ll show you how to filter by conservation status.
We are going to do a search at the genus level rather than at the species level so we can refine it using filters. This will also work well with any search, including a location-based search such as Explore your area.
- From the ALA homepage, type Eucalyptus into the search bar
- Select Eucalytpus L’Hér, and then view records. You now have all Eucalyptus records for all of Australia.
- We are now going to select the “Customise filters” button in the top left-hand corner of the page so that we can adjust the “Narrow your results” options. Because we want to filter by conservation status – this isn’t selected as a default option.
1. In the customize filters pop-up, in the occurrence section select State conservation and Country conservation (See table 1 for all the filters). These filters will now appear on the left-hand side of the page:
2. Now select the choose more option in the state-based conservation filter and select Critically Endangered followed by “INCLUDE selected items” You could select multiple facets here, or exclude certain facets:
3. You’re now left with 36 records, if you were to select the choose more option in the Scientific name filter you’d see the only 2 species remaining are Eucalyptus recurva and Eucalyptus imlayensis.
This was quite a strict filtering process, leaving us with very few records, not all the filters and facets will remove this many records but it’s helpful to understand how heavily you can filter the data.
If you started with an explore your area search, this process might have left you with a list of all (in any) critically endangered species in your chosen area. This could be a useful dataset to work with!