Outer Hebrides Biological Recording  Outer Hebrides Biological Recording
OHBR wildlife surveys

Surveys and Wildlife Recording Projects

OHBR wildlife surveys

Documenting the biodiversity of our islands, recording our wildlife to help monitor climate change, mapping the distribution of our wildlife and encouraging everyone to engage with nature and enjoy our wonderful natural heritage are all part of the work of OHBR. We are all amateur naturalists with a wide range of interests, skills and experience. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, if you enjoy watching wildlife you can help us put our plants, animals and fungi on the map.

Anyone can take part, you don't need to be an expert and your time commitment can be as much as suits you - you don’t need special skills or training as we will provide you with all the information you need to participate. If you would like to get involved in wildlife recording but are not to sure where to start, why not look at some of our projects.

Discover more about recording wildlife
Cinnabar distribution Outer Hebrides
OHBR Cinnabar and Six-spot Burnet Survey 2024

Our records show that the six-spot-burnet is widely distributed in the southern islands, but apparently scarce further north. The cinnabar is a more recent arrival and appears to have become established in the lower region of South Uist.

In 2024 we would like to carry out an extensive survey of these two moths and their caterpillars, to try to confirm or otherwise that the absence of records from Harris and Lewis is “real” and not just a consequence of fewer active recorders in the north.

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fox moth caterpillar
On the Trail of the Hairy Caterpillars 2024

Recording the larvae of moths is a good way of mapping the diversity and distribution of moths in areas where there are very few moth traps in operation and for species which are not attracted to light.

It is an fun and accessible way to begin to learn about moths and whther you are just in your garden or out and about in the wider countryside.

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insect sampling
Signs of Spring 2024


Hebridean Springs are notoriously fickle, so we are using nature to help us track the arrival of spring through the islands from year to year.

This is an easy and fun project - the perfect introduction to wildlife recording

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Wildlife on the Map

For the last 12 years we have have been surveying the islands' wildlife to discover what species of animals, plants and fungi are present and mapping their distribution. This general survey work will continue, targeting some of the less well known species and by visiting the more remote and inaccessible parts of the islands.

We can also learn a great deal about our communities of animals and plants by focusing on smaller, more local areas and recording on a more regular basis. We would like more people to participate in our wildlife projects and we are running two surveys, Garden Watch and My Patch, to enable you to tell us about the wildlife you see in your garden, on your croft, when out walking or beachcombing. Wildldlife recording is not just for experts or specialists, everyone can take part and help us learn more about our natural heritage and preserve our biodiversity.

Give it a try - you can make a difference

Garden Watch My Patch
sping flowers, birds and insects