Landmark for wildlife recordings

One million wildlife records have now been gathered in the North-east by volunteers and experts.

At the beginning of 2012, the Records Centre tally stood at just over 860,000. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the NE Scotland Local Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership (NELBAP) and the NE Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) set up a “Wildlife Counts” programme, with the target of reaching the landmark one million mark by the end of the year. The one-millionth record was a red squirrel seen in a garden near Laurencekirk in August.

The Records Centre has been collecting data from volunteers since 2000. The wildlife records that volunteers collect are valuable. For those studying wildlife, records show changes in numbers and spread across the area – so recent records of comma butterflies suggest this southern species is moving north – perhaps due to climate change. Records of red and grey squirrels can help show how effective control of the introduced grey squirrel has been.

Rose Toney, the NELBAP co-ordinator said: “We had a great turnout at some of our family wildlife recording days, despite the weather, and lots of people have been steadily adding new records. That is one on the great things about wildlife recording; with a little practice, anyone can contribute.