Thursday, 7 February 2013

Citizen science

What's this? No posts for a couple of weeks, then 2 posts in one week! What's going on I hear you ask? The answer is simple, I'm off work sick at the moment after I damaged some muscles in my upper back/neck area. The tablets the doc has put me on have this tendency to knock me out, so I can't drive and have to spend the time cooped up in the house. I have an office to install but can't as I have to rest my neck, which is really annoying and frustrating. So, here I am blogging and catching up with some little bits and pieces I've been meaning to get around too. So, on with the blog.

I know that I've probably brushed on this topic before, but recording our flora and fauna really is important for our environment. Through the keeping of records we can monitor change and when we see that there is change, it causes us to look at the situation closer to see what is causing the change and whether it's through natural development or human intervention, is it for better or worse. If it's spotted soon enough, maybe procedures can be implemented to halt the change or address the situation if need be. Citizen science is the new in thing and can do so much to help our fellow living organisms (yes, you're an organism too) and it doesn't cost a penny to be involved. You can even involve your kids and get them looking and investigating the living world. You don't even have to leave your own house, many things can be found in your own back garden, in some cases, the darkest corners of your home.
There are websites all over the place that specialise in various species from the Bat Conservation Trust's Big Bat Map to the Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme.
So, below is a list of links to the various websites where you can record your sightings or get involved in a project. All you have to do is click on the name and a new page will open direct to the website.

Bat Conservation Trust Big Bat Map Seen a bat, log it down here.

British Trust for Ornithology There's a whole list of various types of bird surveys here.

UK Ladybird Survey So many different ladybirds.

Buglife Surveys Again, there's a variety of things to survey here.

Bat Detective This is ideal if your house bound or for when the weather is just awful.

Galaxy Zoo Another one for being stuck indoors, some lovely images here too!

Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme No good for arachnophobes, sorry.

Soil and Earthworm Survey You'll be surprised how many different types of earthworm there are.

Bumblebee Survey Didn't realise there were so many different types of bumblers either.

Invasive Alien Species Survey This is one for those of you based or holidaying in Norfolk.

Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group People are needed to help frogs, newts and toads cross the road during the mating season.

Butterfly Conservation Nothing better than looking for butterflies.

Garden Moth Scheme Just make sure that you have a 'human name' for their records.

iSpot This is also very good for ID'ing unknown wildlife you may have seen whilst you were out and      about

The Big Seaweed Search What can I say, it's seaweed.

Snail Search I'm sure everyone who has a garden can help with this.

OPAL Explore Nature Survey Many various surveys for everyone here.

Conker Tree Survey Mainly involves looking at what's attacking our conker trees.

Dragonfly Habitat Survey Our big buzzy friends.

Hedgehog Survey This one has just started and needs your help.

National Mammal Atlas Project Recording mammals in the UK

Tree Health Survey Monitoring the health of our trees.

The Garden Bioblitz Find out what's living on your very own back door step.

Big Spawn Count Looking out for frog spawn,

And don't forget, even if you don't want to join a particular survey/project but still like seeing what's out there, please send your sightings into your local Biological Recording Centre. A list of them can be found here.

This is just some to get you out there looking. I'm sure there are plenty more surveys out there and if you are part of one or know of one that isn't listed here, please let me know so I can add it to the list and allow others to partake in them as well.
Don't forget, also check your local wildlife groups, be it bats, badgers or toads, there's something for everyone and everything that's done is of use to the environment as a whole.
Being involved locally, helps the environment globally.

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