Last year when our ability to move around the islands was limited by the Covid pandemic we wanted to encourage everyone to stay engaged with nature and invited you to record the wildlife in your gardens. We have had some fascinating results and once again we would like to ask you to record the insects, invertebrates, mammals, wild plants, fungi and lichens which you encounter on your doorstep. You can decide your level of participation and you can start now.
It doesn't matter if you garden is small or what you grow, you will be surprised to discover how much wildlife it supports. Gardens are important biodiversity havens as you will discover if you read Robin Sutton's inspiring article on the wildlife in his garden on Hebridean Nature Notes
You can discover more about the project and how to participate on the Garden Watch pages.
This report summarises the number and diversity of biological records which have been which were submitted to OHBR in 2019. It is rather more than a dry statistical report, it is beautifully illustrated with photographs and clearly shows the diversity of the islands' animals, plants and fungi. As in previous years, we have highlighted specific groups of species, this year there are preliminary distribution maps for butterflies and dragonflies, and an account the mosses and liverworts. The report is a tribute to the work of our resident and visiting biological records, and whilst it documents their achievements, it also points out that there are still enormous gaps in our knowledge and we still have a great deal of work to do.
The reports on biological recording in the Outer Hebrides in 2017, 2018 and 2019 can be viewed and downloaded from the publications page.
A complete list of the contents of all of the volumes of the Hebridean Naturalist is available on the Outer Hebrides Bibliography website.
Unfortunately the launch of this survey in March 2020 coincided with the corona virus pandemic. Nevertheless some of our recorders managed to participate and you can read a preliminary report of the results on the Hebridean Nature Notes website. We will be running this survey again in 2021 and we would like you to help us track the arrival of Spring through the islands by telling us when you first see or hear any of our 9 target species - 3 wild flowers, 3 birds and 3 insects. The arrival of spring in the Outer Hebrides is always unpredictable so it is important to measure the variation from year to year so that we can begin to understand the effect of climate change on our wildlife. It is designed to be fun and easy, so join us and help make a difference.
You can discover more about the project and how to participate on the Hebridean Spring Project pages.
In this age of globalisation living on a remote off-shore island is not a safe refuge from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It is important that we all follow the latest government advice to try to limit the spread of the virus and safeguard our communities.
Our programmes of joint fieldwork and training are currently suspended. We will be organising some new surveys for 2021 which will be suitable for new and experienced recorders and help and advice on identification will continue to be be available by e-mail or through the OHBR and Curracag Facebook groups. Information on our new surveys and identification resources can be found in the wildlife projects and biological recording sections of this site.
Interacting with wildlife and enjoying our natural environment is good for our well-being so we hope that you will continue to to record the plants and animals you encounter and send us your records.