Blogs

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.

 

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.

For the love of flies

Marin Harvey teaching on a Learn to Love flies workshopGuest blog by Martin Harvey. The BioLinks project has taken a fresh look at how we can encourage people to follow a pathway towards expertise in some of the more neglected insect groups. This pathway starts with the “Learn to love ...” courses, which give people an introduction to a species group and its natural history, without going too far into complex technical terms and concepts.

QGIS - is there something missing?

QGIS Screenshot

The FSC QGIS Plugin has been helping UK biological recorders to visualise and analyse their records since November 2014. FSC BioLinks will provide ongoing support for the plugin until, at least, the end of 2022. We want to hear your ideas about how we can improve and extend the functionality of the plugin to make it even more useful to you. Do you have ideas? However trivial or outlandish you think they are, we want to hear them. There's every chance that the thing you've always wanted QGIS to do, as a biological recorder, could become part of the next major release of the FSC QGIS plugin.

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