Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BioLinks: what do botanists think?

Have you heard about BioLinks, a new project from the Field Studies Council? Keiron Brown tells us more about it below and asks for feedback from botanists. Over to Keiron:

"This year the Field Studies Council (FSC) has been developing a new biological recording training project to follow on from the work undertaken in previous projects such as Biodiversity Fellows and Tomorrow’s Biodiversity. BioLinks is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and hopes to develop invertebrate identification skills within the biological recording community.

In addition, the project will also look to build tools to benefit the wider biological recording community, including botanists. Plans include:
  • Developing online guidance for biological recorders of all taxa to help simplify some of the tricky aspects of recording, such as data flow and gaining permissions from land owners.
  • Creation of an online Field Notes database that allows naturalists to record ecological observations, such as behaviours and species associations.
  • Production of an online Biodiversity Training Signpost tool that will allow recording schemes to promote their training events and provide a ‘one stop shop’ for naturalists to find training courses.
  • Field recorder days, good old-fashioned field trips where recorders can enjoy and identify all kinds of wildlife together.
  • Regional recorder conferences that bring together recorders to share their finds and feedback on the outputs of the records that they have collated. 

As part of the development for this project we have tried to listen to what the recorders want, and as a result we’ve surveyed hundreds of biological recorders. The data collated from this survey will be shared publicly with other biodiversity organisations, groups and schemes so that others can use this information to support funding applications for biological recording and biodiversity training projects.

And now we need help from the botanists! Our online survey takes around 15 minutes to complete and asks questions about biological recording and how you think the BioLinks project can help strengthen the biological recording community. So far, the survey has been filled in largely by invertebrate recorders and we want to make sure the views of botanists are represented within our survey.

The online survey is open to anyone and can be filled in here."

Many thanks to Keiron for telling us more about BioLinks.