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. 

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…

Looking for a career in conservation?

Katy Potts leading a BioLinks coures

Guest blog by Roger Morris. There is fierce competition for jobs in conservation, so the big question is ‘how to make yourself stand out from the crowd?’ The answer is to put yourself in the shoes of the team tasked with sifting all those applications. I used to do this job as part of recruiting new staff, and it was incredibly difficult.

 

FSC BioLinks Open Lab Days

Identifying and recording invertebrates often involves the use of both a microscope and identification books and keys, which can sometimes be a barrier to recorders. To complement the training courses that the FSC BioLinks project runs, we are also providing the opportunity for local invertebrate recorders to use our lab facilities and resources at three of our training hubs. 

Open Lab Day Infographic

Great finds on BioLinks courses

Attendees on a BioLinks courseWe’ve seen some fantastic species during the BioLinks training events we’ve had so far this summer – some rare, some stunningly beautiful, some common as muck, but all completely fascinating.  We've also had our fair share of Nationally Notable species.

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