Ecoscope Ltd. are looking to recruit an exceptional and experienced Senior Ecologist to join our team. Your role will include the management of projects across a range of developments including a number of exciting new rewilding projects. You must have a pragmatic approach to habitat and protected species surveys and be proficient in writing technical reports efficiently to tight deadlines.
For more information follow the link or contact Stuart on 07714 820 140 or by email.
Please e-mail your C.V. with a covering e-mail to Stuart to apply.
We’re pleased to announce that our database has recently reached 5 million records. This is a significant milestone and an opportunity to thank the thousands of people who have contributed to this over the past 15 years.
Our new total of 5,089,874 has come around much quicker than was expected, taking less than 12 months to accumulate the last million records. When you compare this to the first million, which took nearly 4 years, the pace of change has definitely increased. This is partly because we are better connected to where the data are stored and the army of experts and recorders who collect or manage the data. It is also because an increasing amount of data are held digitally, with more and more being submitted online. Our Data Management Team, (Aisling, Catharine and Jen), should also take some credit, as they have adapted to the pace of change by developing efficient methods for receiving, processing and managing the data. This dramatic accumulation of records wouldn’t have been possible without those who love wildlife continuing to submit their records. Over the past year this has not always been easy, and it will be interesting to see in years to come if we detect a COVID trend in the data, as we did in 2001 with Foot and Mouth Disease.
It was difficult to pick a few stories to illustrate the change in our database, but three immediately sprung to mind.
Around 5 years ago we distinctly remember looking at the numbers and wondering why bird data featured so little, less than 10%, in the database. Thanks to online submission through BTO’s Birdtrack, massive recording effort to create the North Wales Breeding Bird Atlas and the ongoing collation work carried out by County Bird Recorders, today bird data accounts for over 40% of the database, which is probably about where it should be considering the effort made to record these species.
It wasn’t many years ago that the submission of a Pine Marten record was met with some suspicion. At the time many recorders were going to great efforts to prove they existed in North Wales. Following reintroduction in other parts of Wales, we soon detected increased sightings and were delighted in March 2016 to have our first reliable sighting from trail cam footage. Since then the number of records, especially with photographic or video evidence has increased. Even though the number of records in the database still only stands at less than 150, the most recent one submitted in June, showed fantastic video footage of a Pine Marten in one of its strongholds, demonstrating how the species is starting to take hold in North Wales.
We’ve known for some time that invertebrates have been poorly represented in our database, with much of the data heavily skewed by moth records. In 2020 we began work to source more invertebrate data, so that it could be used to identify invertebrate assemblages on protected sites. With focused effort we successfully gained access to large quantities of invertebrate data, meaning that by the end of 2020 invertebrates had overtaken birds in the number of records in the database. This demonstrated to us that there was still much data that we were not accessing, but with a concerted effort people were happy to share new data with us.
Cofnod needs to respond to the large volumes of data being generated and stored digitally, or new ways of making records such as trail cams or eDNA. We also need to seek out more obscure data to ensure that we continue to build the most comprehensive species database in North Wales. Thank you, to all of you who continue to contribute records and we wonder whether 10 million records is too ambitious a target for our next significant milestone.
Species Focus Purple Hairstreak butterfly (Favonius quercus)
Following the recent spell of fine weather, we thought it would be a good idea to promote butterfly recording this month. However, with so many charismatic species to choose from we decided to ask Andrew Graham (Vice-County butterfly recorder for Merionethshire, Caernarvonshire and Anglesey) for a species suggestion.
Andrew suggested Purple Hairstreak, since it is an abundant species which is rarely recorded because of its highly arboreal nature. It lives high up in the canopy of oak trees and rarely descends to the ground. Fortunately, Andrew mentioned a few useful field tips to help observe this species.
He recommends observing from a hillside where you can look down on an oak tree canopy, and that the species is often more active at dusk. Binoculars are also useful to record this species by scanning the oak canopy for small greyish butterflies making short flights between perches.
Andrew notes that this species is scarce in Anglesey due to the infrequency of oak trees but can be very common in parts of Snowdonia. So, here’s your August challenge – to find and record Purple Hairstreak butterflies in North Wales. Please submit your records via the Cofnod ORS or by using the LERC Wales App.
This issue of Glas (number 162) could be dedicated to Owen Edwards. There are two articles based on our discussions as we tease out some facts from ‘between the lines’ of this 200 year old farming diary. It is written in rich and refined Welsh and gives a glimpse of daily life on a farm in process of turning a sandy estuary into the farmland we see today.
BIS, our sister LERC covering mid-Wales, with LNP Cymru support is giving recorders the chance to be entered into a prize-draw for NHBS vouchers!
All you have to do is submit (before the end of September) a minimum of five records from any of the under-recorded 1 km squares they have identified.
Some of the squares are within easy reach if you live in southern Denbighshire. Please visit their website to find out how to enter.
Cwm Nant y Benlog Bioblitz results can be viewed here:
Here is your latest issue of Glas, the Llên Natur Bwletin in its newest guise.
The Welsh Poppy: a treasure or a weed?
How perceptions change: 20C, 8 June 2021 and no-one noticed!
The Morfa Bychan garfish
If the stones could only speak….! (the Newbourough warren ruins)
The evolution of our magazine since 2008
Sun halo seen from everywhere - 27 May?
The second Covid spring
Blood letting - a one-time medical procedure
Clwb y Llygaid Bach: Identifying the Owls
This year's Big Butterfly Count will take place between 16th July and 8th August.
Click here to find out how to participate.
On June 30th the Welsh Government formerly declared a nature emergency.
Click here to see how the decision was made.
We’ve recently been getting interesting records of two unusual garden spiders coming in to Cofnod.
Misumena vatia is a large crab spider which sits on flowers and captures bees and butterflies. If the female spider is sitting on a white flower her colour remains white, however she can change to bright yellow if she moves on to a yellow flower!
Nigma puella, the Bleeding Heart Spider was recorded for the first time in North Wales, but there must be more out there! This is a small (3 mm) white spider with pink and green markings that sits on garden foliage.
Please submit your records of these two species, with photographs, to Cofnod using the ORS or the LERC Wales App and help us map their distributions.
Cofnod, Intec, Ffordd y Parc, Parc Menai,
Bangor, Gwynedd. LL57 4FG