The FSC BioLinks Project

FSC BioLinks is an exciting new biodiversity project for FSC, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive.  BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification!  It will bring together new volunteers with existing volunteers who have skills in invertebrate identification and recording. The aim is to build and strengthen the biological recording community by providing training, learning opportunities and digitial tools for people involved in biological recording and those that wish to become involved.  Training opportunities will be given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to progress and consolidate their skills and experience. 

Shropshire Invertebrate Group 2019 Programme

The 2019 field and indoor meetings programme for the Shropshire Invertebrate Group has now been published. All welcome! For further details and contacts please download the programme.

Spangle galls

Into the future: new FSC QGIS Plugin features

British and Irish Hectad records from a single sourceToday we released a new version of the FSC QGIS Plugin (version 3.2.0 released 27th Feburary 2019). This feels like a real milestone for the FSC QGIS Plugin for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's packed with new features including the ability to handle Irish as well as British grid references, the ability to link directly to a Recorder 6 database as a source for the Biological Records tool, the addition of a new 'Add Grid Refs to layers' tool and many more. Secondly the release is a collaborative effort with a major contribution, on the Recorder 6 feature, from Ian Carle of the Hertfordshire Environmental Records Centre. Thirdly we have announced new governanace arrangements for this open source project into the future.

International Day of Women in Science

Worm womenIn celebration of the International Day of Women in Science, I thought I’d celebrate some of the women who’ve been involved in BioLinks so far, all of whom have contributed in different ways to a successful first year of the project.

Why, sometimes, we need to collect invertebrates and our code of conduct for doing so

Collecting invertebrates using sweep nets during an FSC BioLinks course, 2018

New blog by Holly Dillon. Collecting is essential for the study of most invertebrate taxa because most of them are so small they require microscopic examination to accurately identify them to species level. Many people think this seems a bit backwards because we have to kill things in order to study them and, in the current biodiversity crisis, surely killing things is the last thing we should be doing? This is not necessarily the case when it comes to invertebrates.

Latest Identikit developments

Screenshots of Identikit's mobile-first interfaceFSC Identikit is an open-source platform for building online ID resources, including multi-access keys, driven by spreadsheets of taxonomic/morphological knowledge. 2018 has been a year of intensive development of Identikit and Esmée Fairbairn’s support has enabled us to completely restructure the software ‘under the hood’ to add the capacity to deliver ID resources in the field – even where an internet connection is not available.

Nomenclature Glossary for Invertebrates

Glossary for InvertebratesBioLink's TCV trainee, Holly Dillon writes: "One thing I’ve realised from attending the Biolinks courses over the past few months is that it’s not always the collection of specimens or microscopic examination that puts people off invertebrate ID, some people seem to almost have a mental block and feel out of depth whenever any binomial names (or Latin/scientific names) are mentioned. Binomial nomenclature is a formal system for naming species and it was put in place to avoid confusion, not cause it."  Check out Holly's new glossary that explains some more of these commonly used Latin and Greek words and their translations.  

Data flow - The journey of a record

Data flow diagramData flow can be a controversial and confusing topic within the biological recording sector. So where should you, as a biological recorder, submit your record? Keiron Brown discusses his thoughts on what to consider when deciding who to submit your species records to.

The joy of recording

London Recorders Day 2018Guest blog by Maria Longley. London Recorders’ Day is a 1-day event to celebrate wildlife recording in London happening on the 10th of November 2018. It is collaboratively organised by GiGL, FSC, and NHM. Our keynote address this year will be from David Lindo who many of us know as the Urban Birder. As a keen birder and someone with many years of experience of wildlife recording we thought he was the perfect person to kick start the day of celebrating recording in London.

BeeBlitzes, Bumblebees and other Bizarre Adventures

Guest blog by Rosa Pietroiusti. A young person’s tale of gaining expePhoto (c) Henry Uptonrience in conservation with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and what she found along the way…

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