What is it, why is it important and how do we go about it?
Biological recording is making a note of the plants and animals we see, as well as where and when we saw them. In its simplest form, a record consists of a date, species name and location.
What makes this information crucial is all about change:
- How can we know if a species really is rare or threatened if we don't have an accurate picture of where they are and how their population or range is changing over time
- Today's common species may be tomorrow's rare species; we won't know its happening and won't be able to help, if we don't know where they are
- Monitoring species can also help us detect other kinds of change, such as climatic change
- Above all, recording gives you the perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy the countryside!
In this electronic age, it has never been easier to get involved with recording and never fear, whatever your interest, you can guarantee someone wants to know!
You can submit records to us using the online form. However, if you have more than a few records, you may prefer to send us a species list; click here to download a recording form.
When recording, we use the British National Grid Reference system to accurately record the location. If you are not sure how to take a grid reference, then fear not, as help is at hand! Click here and let the computer do all the hard work!
If you are not sure what you've seen, you can send us a photo of your plant or animal and we'll try and identify it for you. Why not improve your ID skills? Check out our Links page for further sources of information and training course providers.
If you'd like to get more involved with recording in Montgomeryshire, why not consider joining (or starting up) a local group? The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust Bird Group has a regular series of events and talks; for more information click here.
There are also the following independant groups in the area:
Montgomeryshire Moth Group
Montgomeryshire Barn Owl Group
Montgomeryshire Field Society
Montgomeryshire Bat Group
If these animals are not your thing, why not consider setting up a local group of your own; the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust would be glad to help.
What happens to my records?
In every vice-county, across the UK, there are people who are give up there spare time to maintain a database of records of those plants or animals in which they are interested. This information can then be used to help protect species, enhance & create habitats, produce distribution atlases and monitor change. Many of these vice-county recorders are specialists in their subject and are keen to engender this interest in others.
In Montgomeryshire we have vice county recorders for the following taxa:
- Lower plants & fungi
- Dragonflies & damselflies
If your record relates to any of these, it will be sent on to the relevant vice county recorder, who will verify the record before adding it to their database. If you would prefer to contact the recorder direct, click here.
If your record is of any of the other animals not covered by a recorder, it will be submitted to the local record centre for Powys; the Biodiversity Information Service (BIS).
Either way, rest assured that your record will be put to good use; you can make a real difference.