Quantocks Wildlife Watch

Wildlife Watch

Already three years old and stronger than ever, Quantocks Wildlife Watch is the biggest Quantocks wildlife survey ever undertaken. Everyone who visits the hills at any time is encouraged to take part by recording the plants and animals big and small that catch your eye.

All you need is a smartphone and the iNaturalist app. You don’t need to be able to identify anything – the app will do that for you. This citizen science will help prioritise the future management and wildlife conservation of the Quantocks.

Exploring Observations on iNaturalist

It’s possible to see what other people have seen and recorded on iNaturalist.  It is a great way of getting to know what you might find in different areas, and also to plan exactly where you might go if you are particularly interested in a particular species or taxon.  

If you use the ‘Explore’ option, this will default to the show a map of observations around the area you are currently in. You can then move the map to another area if you would like to or simply click the ‘pins’ to see the observation. You can also view images of the observations that have been recorded in the area using the tile view.

See the latest observations that have been recorded in Quantocks Wildlife Watch.

If you would like to see the observations made within the Quantocks Wildlife Watch area in the app:

  1. Select the ‘Projects’ option
  2. Search for Quantocks Wildlife Watch
  3. Join the project and it will appear as a joined project in your projects folder
  4. Select the project and all of the observations will be shown

Making Observations on iNaturalist

There are two different ways you can make observations:

  • Take your photographs and upload to iNaturalist later – through the app or website
  • Open the app and take your photograph within the app

We would recommend you take your photographs first, edit them if necessary, and then upload to iNaturalist using the ‘photo library’ option when adding your observation.

After you have uploaded your images and selected the “what did you see?”, iNaturalist will make some suggestions as to what it might be. If you are unsure you can select the “i” button to read more information about the possible species, see more pictures of it and also it’s distribution.  

When you think you know what species it is you can select it. iNaturalist will add the exact time and location information, you can add a comment if you wish, Geoprivacy will default to public so you can change this if you wish and select share. Your observation will automatically get added to the project if it falls within the defined geographic boundary.

Tips for Taking Photographs for Observations

This isn’t a photography competition, but the clearer your pictures are the more likely you are to get a species suggestion and user confirmation of what you have seen, which enables them to become research grade observations. However, if you think you have seen something interesting or important, recording it is more important than a beautifully framed photograph.

You may have taken a photo of a bee on a flower, but 99% of the frame is flower and only 1% bee, so try and zoom in on what you have seen, or edit your photo before uploading it.

For plants it’s good to show both flowers and leaves. You add more than one photograph.

For butterflies, in the ideal world try and capture both an open and closed wing photograph as some species are almost identical on the open wing view and their identification can only be confirmed from the closed wing view. (We know this is an almost impossible task, so don’t get too hung up about it!)

Rhodo Watch

As a spin-off from our Wildlife Watch project we are asking the public to help track the invasive spread of Rhododendron with the same iNaturalist app.

Data gathered like this will be invaluable when planning action to clear Rhododendron.