The Society headquarters holds the Island’s main species database where all records are aggregated. This, calling on a system of distributed databases, holds many thousands of Island records of plant and animal species. The records are kept up to date by field observations each year and help to inform policy concerning conservation issues. They are the principal source of information about the biodiversity of the Isle of Wight and we supply, through an agreement, the majority of the records relied upon by the Local Records Centre of the Isle of Wight Council.
One of the important roles of the Society is to hold comprehensive and ongoing records of species occurring on the Isle of Wight. We do this by working with Recorders who are specialists in their particular group. The duties of Recorders are to receive and verify records and hold data about those groups for which they have responsibility. Increasingly, this information is held electronically. Recorders are local experts in their field and they are a mine of information. Everyone is encouraged to send any records of interest to the relevant Recorder.
The Isle of Wight is vice-county 10. For information about the vice-county system click here.
Sending in your records
Below is a list for those wishing to send in records to the Society, showing who deals with each group of species. In some cases we lack a specialist Recorder and general enquiries can be sent to the Local Records Centre, where they will try to help. When sending records please try to include as much detail as possible ; this makes them far more useful. Please include if you can :-
- Species = name of species
- Recorder = whoever saw the species (and identified it?)
- Date = as nearly as possible
- Location = name of the place from a map
- OS grid ref = if possible
- Comment = anything you like!
Submitting your records online
Several of the recording groups have standard recording forms, and to improve data input efficiency many are now encouraging individuals to enter their data directly on line. You can submit records on-line to:
- Butterfly Conservation
- Bird Track (also accepts Dragonfly records)
- iRecord: You can also submit all species records on line to iRecord. You will need to log on to use the site but the advantage is that you can attach photographs and your records are made available both locally (to the LRC) and nationally.
- iSpot: If you are unsure of the identification of a species, you can put the record onto iSpot with a photograph, where you can expect to get feedback to help you with identification.
The Society has a central database of all species records, held electronically using a specialist biological recording program. Emphasis has been on the collection and digitisation of up-to-date modern records but the library also contains many paper-based records, particularly historic records, and these are being digitised so that they will be easily available in the future.
Information about the distribution of species and records of species can be accessed through the NBN search facility or by enquiry of the Local Records Centre. Specialist enquiries are probably best addressed to the Society itself when they cover more than just the last twenty years or rely upon cross-group analyses, complex data retrievals or historical information.