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 primary concern is your well-being and we have therefore cancelled our summer programme of fieldwork and training activities. We have organised three new surveys which can all be carried out in your garden or during your regular walks from your home and, most importantly, without breaking the social distancing rules. They are suitable for new and experienced recorders and help and advice on identification will 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.
For those of us who habitually wander around the islands it will be frustrating to be confined to our home territories, but this is an opportunity to look at the wildlife on our doorsteps, discover a little more about the diversity of our wildlife communities and to learn new skills. Interacting with wildlife and enjoying our natural environment is good for our well-being, even if it is restricted to watching the bumblebees in the garden.
This is the first of our new wildlife surveys for 2020. 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.
Robin Sutton has compiled a beautifully illustrated review and summary of the biological records submitted to OHBR in 2018. The information on the numbers and diversity of animals, plants and fungi recorded throughout the islands are presented in an easily accessible style accompanied by maps and a selection of wonderful photographs. It is a tribute to the continued and unflagging enthusiasm of our local, amateur biological recorders and enriched by a series of observations from members of the local community and visiting naturalists. Whether your interest is in butterflies, frogs, dragonflies or microscopic algae, this report will reveal why the wildlife of our islands is so special.
The 2018 report on biological recording in the Outer Hebrides is now available and can be viewed and downloaded from the publications page.
This revised and up-dated list is based on the list produced by Peter Skidmore in 2008, supplemented by species listed on the NBN Atlas and records in the scientific literature. The taxonomy has been up-dated so that it is consistent with the latest version of the UK species list (Chandler 2019). The list now includes 841 species (11.7% of the British species) from 64 of the 107 families present in the UK and is accompanied by a bibliography of sources.
The checklist and bibliography are both available to view and download from the species checklist page.
A complete list of the contents of all of the volumes of the Hebridean Naturalist is available on the Outer Hebrides Bibliography website.