compiling biological records

Biological Recording - Compiling Records

A simple biological record is made up of four parts:

The name of the animal or plant - many species have common names, but to avoid confusion please try to include the scientific name
The name of the place and the island. The Ordnance Survey map grid reference will help us locate the exact site
The date, preferably day/month/year, but month/year is acceptable
Your name and contact details. If you have asked another person to confirm your identification (a determiner), we will need their name and contact details

Biological records often include other information: age and sex; numbers; habitat; behaviour and method e.g. field observation or trapped, photographed, these details are very useful, but not essential.

Traditionally a notebook is used to record wildlife observations, although some recorders prefer to use a printed record sheet or electronic devices such as smart phones or tablets. Whichever method you choose it is important to ensure that all the key pieces of information are recorded for each observation. To give an accurate location you will need an Ordnance Survey map and/or a hand-held GPS. A digital camera is also useful for taking photographs of unfamiliar species.