A Year of Quantock Wildlife Watch

This month sees us one year in to our ambitious Quantock Wildlife Watch citizen science project.  To date we have 446 people who have recorded >1,800 species through a total of c7,500 observations and the numbers are growing all the time.

We have identified new species previously unknown on the Quantocks e.g. brown hairstreak butterfly, new locations for others e.g. adders and much more that can help inform land management and conservation.

We are using the information to protect SSsI’s on the Quantocks from new invasive species e.g. skunk cabbage, where individual plants are then identified and removed, whilst trying to manage other invasive species that are more established e.g. Rhododendron. Our Rhododendron mapping is a newer project and we would love you to get involved, we currently have over 600 observations but we know there is a long way to go. Find out more…

Remember all of this information is also available to you. You can browse out of interest what may have been recorded near you or in a specific area, or you might be interested for example in butterflies or fungi or in a particular species and want to use the information to go and see for yourself. More information on how to use the data in this way is included on our website.  

If we take a look at our most commonly recorded species our top ten might not be what you think (excluding Rhododendron which is the most commonly recorded due to the project we are undertaking)

  1. Common frog
  2. Fly agaric mushrooms
  3. Speckled wood butterfly
  4. Green hairstreak butterfly
  5. Parasol mushroom
  6. Tormentil
  7. Common bird’s-foot trefoil
  8. Meadow brown butterfly
  9. Gatekeeper butterfly
  10. Turkey tail mushroom

These  may not be the most abundant species on the Quantocks but it certainly shows the species that catch our interest of our observers the most. This is not a problem, we want as much frequency and diversity of observations as possible; over time this information might show important changes in distribution, seasonality etc. so every record helps, even if it is something that has been recorded before either the location or when it is recorded will be different and therefore useful.

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