ups and downs and other interesting facts about biological recording

the other thread got all too comfusing and muddled and hard to follow so I have done a new one so that people can understand it and take part in the interesting topic as i intended. 

this is a place where people can share any interesting facts they know from recording wildlife. aswwll as  there experiences with recording Wildlife and also what they have learned from recording  which also means any ups and downs they have learned about it  that they know is also part of recording wildlife aswell   

let me first start with the things I know from doing my part in it I record the species iv seen by sending them off to my county recorder usualy with photos. but if identifiable without a photo then I send a record  without.

 but a photo acompanying a observation is usualy the prefered option with alot of county recorders and recording schemes when they recieve records. 

the ups

of recording wildlife is that it helps county recorders and recording schemes record biodiversity and helps them map out there current distributions. weather it has changed or not or still pretty much the same and what species are changeing distributions  amd what species hasnt

the down is

maps can become out dated as years go by until new distribution maps from all the records are published by a county recorder or conservation charity 

An under recorded species is a species county recorders and recording schemes  dont have enough records for to get anidea of its distribution therfore unable to produce a acurate picture and weather it needs help or is just under recorded until they get more records with not enough records they dont have enough information to know its true distribution and conservation status of a certain  species until they get enough records to create a picture of its distribution and trends 


but when awareness is raised people start to look out for  under recorded species more and so get more records compared to previous years.  it can help with conservation. exspecialy the recording of either new and undiscovered species or just rare or endangered species aswell not just under recorded species, 

plus people can discover a species new to scence with or without being aware if there lucky when twkeing photos and/or recording. 

 there is a couple of reasons for why species can go under recorded 

some species of wildlife are more popular with most people than others. for instance butterflys are more popular than moths cause butterflys tend to be colourful whereas most moths are made for camafauge rather than haveing the warning colors butterflys have. then of course there is spiders. spiders are under recorded cause most people dont take an interest in them or are scared of them due to the myths and misconceptions surpunding spiders they were grown up with as children or cause they are hairy. then of course another reason is some species can be easyer to spot thsn others.

there are of course other examples of wildlife that go under recorded aswell. for instance its not just certain familys. some species within a particular family may be more popular in biological recording than others but there are also certain species within certain familys that can be challangeing to identify fir instance certain types of beetles can be easy while others can be more challangeing and in some cases can require looking through a magnifying glass or needing to see if its male or female under a microscope before being reliably seperated from another similar looking species causeing them to be less popular due to being so similar and challangeing to identify for most people causeing those species in that family to be under recorded in biological recording. and therfore resulting in not enough records to get sn idea  of distrubtion for county recorders and recording. that and certain species in some familys can be less well known than others 

another reason species can be under recorded is there may not allways be a recording scheme quiet yet for a particular species a soecies is not known yet only just been discovered by science but there are other reasons aswell

this post will be interesting to people new to recording wildlife but for other people aswell  cause its an interesting topic to talk about. anyone in the community regardless of weather there new or old here can contribute to this thread. 

you can add anything new  you learn from recording wildlife and not just things you have already learned.

  • Don’t forget some very rare birds should not be made public because of possible disturbance and sometimes publicity is not sdvised. You get a lot of the annual possible breeding birds every year in November in the British Birds Joitnsl. The best resource for any serious birdwatcher. But the annual subscription is not cheap. But a useful resource you can read every British Birds Joitnsl going way back to first edition published before 1910.



  • Don’t forget some very rare birds should not be made public because of possible disturbance and sometimes publicity is not to be advised

    I know. but for anyone who maybe new or dont remember or know it is helpful for them that you have memtioned it so for anyone that doesnt know will see the infomation. conservation wise for those species it is important they are protected.

    it is even more important and particularly the case when a rare species is not just rare but so rare as to be close to exstinction where numbers are not just very low but so low as to only have a very few pairs like only 3 species left in the wild  2. in a worst case scenario. even the slightest disturbance can hinder  any conservation efforts to helping it recover. with these species not publiciseing such a small population can also help conservationists re establish a population or give a popoulation the space they need to recover again

  • somethimg I forgot to memtion that might be interesting not everyone nesaceeily knows this simce there is of course visitors or new members not just long term members or ones that have been here for a year or two like me

    even though some species are on the red list or in decline that doesnt nesaceeily mean that they arent a common species take Hedgehogs for instance even though there in decline theres still sightings and they can still be found in gardens or crossing a road going from one place to another. another good example is Starlings they are on the red list for conservation concern. Herring gull populations are also in decline even though they are so commonly sighted by observers. Black headed gulls are also in decline 

    there also birds that arnt in decline as such but have been put on the amber list the woodpigeon which is very common in gardens.

    Starlings even though there in decline unlike the woodpigeon both are also commonly seen even though they both have different status.

    birds commonly seen and commonly sighted and recorded may not nesacerily be doing well at the same time they may well be. so how common it is to see a bird isnt allways a indicator of how well there population is doing in the long term.

    although most people must admit that it is very easy to think a species is doing ok or doing well just cause we see them alot. it is also true that if a bird used to be commonly seen and it is no longer commonly sighted that cam be a sign that there popularion may be afected or there population isnt doing well in the long term aswell

    even though even common birds are declining it is alot more obvious to people in species that we once used to see alot but over the years have started to decline but in a noticable way due to drops in sightings or no longer commonly sighted in this sense 

    species that are in decline can get to that point but it ismt allways nesacerily noticeable at first that a soecies is declining until it has reached to point of being obvious to observers. both common and rare birds exsperiance decline and some can be declining without you being aware of it

    at the same time other Species of birds are commonly sighted and doing well 

  • Iv done the writing in bold in case it might be difficult to see for some people figured that would be better than larger writing otherwise it might look like im shouting or something 

  • The red amber and green is not just for UK But international. I’m sure you know that!




    This is status of birds in the UK etc from 2002-2007. I haven’t had it all myself. Much and in more detail. But saves me having having out all those words mysel. There are later lists. But won’t allow to send at present as the British Birds Journal will allow subscribers to send articles from about 15 years in the past, Buf depends on the article.