Terrestrial recording (including freshwater)
This is the collection of records from a variety of habitats throughout Northern Ireland in land and freshwater environments, for example, woodlands, open countryside, bogs, lakes and rivers.
The records collected from these habitats are made available to CEDaR (from a variety of sources), and these are ultimately stored on the Recorder database. There are currently 1.8 million biological records held on Recorder.
Records have been sourced from a number of individuals, groups and societies. These contributors may hold their data on different software or as paper cards. The computerised records (data sets) have been exported from the source databases and then imported into Recorder. Sometimes, because of the volume of the data stored in the source database, only basic information (key fields such as site name, grid, date, species, etc.) has been exported to CEDaR.
Data can be exchanged in a variety of formats, for example, Microsoft Excel. However, as long as text files can be constructed, data can be transferred between databases. CEDaR is constantly making data set information available through the Information Request Form (Information Service). At an international level, the entire DragonflyIreland data set has been made available to the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford.
Local, national and internationally important terrestrial and freshwater data sets are collated by CEDaR. These are subject to regular backup. If you have a specific query, then please contact us to discuss.
Who to contact
If you have a specific request relating to a particular group, contact the Record Centre Manager, Damian McFerran. All enquiries regarding mammals including bats should be directed to the Vertebrate Officer, Lynne Rendle. Contact +44 (0) 28 9042 8428.
Local & national recording schemes
Cuckoo recording scheme
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s ‘It’s in our Nature’ campaign has joined forces with CEDaR, National Museums Northern Ireland and the RSPB to call for help from the public in recording what is for many the distinctive sound of Spring – the call of the cuckoo. A recording card may be downloaded from the Habitas website.
LichenIreland is initially a four-year study (until 2010) to determine the status and distribution of lichen species throughout the island of Ireland. LichenIreland is supported by National Parks and Wildlife Service, National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the National Museums Northern Ireland.
The project will engage new and existing recorders, collate existing lichen data and undertake field recording from sites and habitats throughout Ireland.
OrchidIreland is initially a four-year study (until 2011) to determine the status and distribution of orchid taxa throughout the island of Ireland. OrchidIreland is supported by National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, National Museums Northern Ireland and National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
The project will engage new and existing recorders, collate existing orchid data and undertake field recording from sites and habitats throughout Ireland.
Glens Red Squirrel Group
The Glens Red Squirrel Group is established to monitor and report on the presence and location of the red squirrel in the Glens of Antrim. The Group actively encourages the public to record red and grey squirrels in the area, and to assist with the conservation of the red squirrel.
Northern Ireland Fungus Group
The Northern Ireland Fungus Group is a voluntary group whose aim is to promote the conservation of and interest in fungi in Northern Ireland. The Group organises fungal forays, and helps with identification and how to record. Interesting new records are posted on their web site.
Butterfly Conservation (Northern Ireland)
The main aim of Butterfly Conservation is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. The Northern Ireland Branch is one of 30 local branches of Butterfly Conservation in the UK. The Branch is active in recording the butterflies and moths in Northern Ireland, and increasingly in disseminating the information. The Branch provides input into national recording schemes such as the Millennium Atlas, annual reports which summarise records, field events and training courses.
Irish Whooper Swan Study Group
This Group records and monitors Irish sightings of whooper swans, together with details of flock sizes, habitat use etc. Contact Graham McElwaine firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group
The Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group is an organisation that exists to promote the knowledge of raptor biology and populations through volunteer field-based research, in partnership with landowners, industry, non-government and government organisations. The Group counts and studies populations, and rings young nestling raptors.
Northern Ireland Bat Group (NIBG)
The Northern Ireland Bat Group carries out a number of activities related to the conservation of bats, education, training in bat handling and identification. The Group collates bat records for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Birdwatchers’ Association (NIBA)
This group works to improve knowledge of the population and distribution of Northern Ireland's birds. NIBA is open to all birdwatchers. Records are assessed and compiled, and an annual bird report published. NIBA also runs Flightline (028 9146 7408) – a local rate phone line where bird watchers may report interesting bird sightings, or obtain knowledge of such sightings.
Copeland Bird Observatory
Copeland Bird Observatory lies off the County Down coast of Northern Ireland at the southern side of the mouth of Belfast Lough. It is one of the British Bird Observatories and is directed and serviced by the British Trust for Ornithology. Its main aim is the collection of data on migratory and breeding birds, which may be used for their general conservation. It is operated on a part-time basis by local amateur ornithologists. Visitors, including newcomers, can observe or participate in the trapping and ringing of birds. Apart from the birds, the Island is available as an ecological study centre and as an educational resource for all levels of student.
Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club
The Belfast Naturalists' Field Club is a focal point for both amateurs and professionals interested in the natural sciences, the built environment and their histories. The Club has four sections - Archaeology & History, Botany, Geology and Zoology - which are open to all members. The Club runs periodic introductory courses and workshops on the identification of plant and animal groups, fossils, rocks and minerals, as well as a regular programme of field trips and lectures.
Belfast Geologists’ Society
The Belfast Geologists’ Society, founded in 1954 is Northern Ireland’s premier geological club. The Society runs a winter series of lectures and a summer programme of excursions to localities of geological interest. The content of the lectures and excursions is of interest to both amateur and professional geologists. The Society has around 90 members from diverse backgrounds, all of them united with a passion for geology. Further information about the Society can be found on: http://www.habitas.org.uk/es2k/breaking_news/latestnews7.html.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
The RSPB is a UK charity working in a wide variety of ways to secure a healthy environment for birds and other wildlife, by conserving species and the places in which they live. The RSPB runs a number of UK wide surveys for the public such as the Big Garden Birdwatch.
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
The British Trust for Ornithology is an independent, scientific research trust, investigating the populations, movements and ecology of wild birds in the British Isles. Its speciality is the design and implementation of volunteer wild bird surveys.
Botanical Society of the British Isles
The BSBI is the leading scientific society in Britain and Ireland for the study of plant distribution and taxonomy. The society runs national surveys of plant distribution, and field meetings and training events for botanists. The Irish Committee represents botanists in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland is devoted to the study of molluscs in its widest aspects for the benefit of the public. Snails, slugs, sea slugs, bivalves and most seashells are molluscs, as are octopus, squids, chitons (coat-of-mail shells), and limpets. The Society promotes the study of molluscs and their conservation, through meetings, workshops, publications and distribution recording schemes. The Society runs a terrestrial recording scheme which covers Britain and the entire island of Ireland, and projects which cover Britain and the entire island of Ireland.
Invertebrate and other national recording schemes
There is a further variety of national species recording schemes and study groups in the UK for invertebrates and other animals. A list is provided by the Biological Records Centre based in Wallingford, England.
iSpot is a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature.Once you've registered, you can add an observation to the website and suggest an identification yourself or see if anyone else can identify it for you. You can also help others by adding an identification to an existing observation, which you may like to do as your knowledge grows. Your reputation on the site will grow as people agree with your identifications.
If you have a terrestrial or freshwater recording scheme in Northern Ireland that you would like to be listed here, please contact Julia Nunn on +44 (0) 28 9042 8428.