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GUIDE TO RECORDING MAMMAL RECORDS IN SOMERSET

Wildlife recording is vital to nature conservation. Biological records can help detect changes in abundance and distribution, which can be used to show how a species is being impacted by pressures such as climate change or habitat destruction.
Records can also be used to identify where resources should be focused to achieve the most positive conservation outcome and to monitor the effectiveness of any actions taken.
Somerset Mammal Group’s recording area encompasses Bath & North East Somerset, Mendip, North Somerset, Sedgemore, South Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset.

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WHAT IS A BIOLOGICAL RECORD?

A biological record is a record of the presence of an organism at a specified time and
place by a named individual. This can be a direct sighting of a species or a sighting of a sign that it has left behind, such as footprints or droppings.

 

WHAT SPECIES SHOULD I RECORD?

 

The simple answer is all species. Mammals are among the most under-recorded taxa in Britain and, with one in four native mammals threatened with extinction, records are more important than ever.
It is just as important to record sightings of mammals that might be thought of as more common, such as Rabbit or Hedgehog, as it is to record rarer species, as these species are often under-recorded so changes in their abundance or distribution may go unnoticed.

WHO CAN SUBMIT A RECORD?

Anyone!

HOW CAN I SUBMIT A RECORD?

USING A SMARTPHONE APP

Various apps are available for submitting wildlife records, each offering varying degrees of complexity and interactivity.

  • Mammal Mapper is a great app for beginners looking to start recording mammals or those unfamiliar with a particular taxon group. The app includes image-based ID guides to aid species identification and you can upload photos to enable your sighting to be verified.

  • For intermediate to expert recorders, iNaturalist and iRecord are great ways to record mammal sightings. Both allow for greater flexibility over your records, including the ability to edit your observations on the iNaturalist or iRecord website, and to visualise your data
    alongside those of other contributors on interactive maps.

  • Mergin Maps is a good option for those further on in their recording journey. The app allows users to create customised surveys using QGIS, and to collect and edit data in the field.

Providing the records meet certain criteria, records submitted via these apps will be verified by expert county recorders and added to the nationwide datasets held by the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and the Biological Records Centre (BRC).​

ONLINE TO THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL RECORDS CENTRE

Local Environmental Records Centres (LERCs) are not-for-profit organisations that collect, collate and manage information on the natural environment for a defined geographic area. Submitting records to the LERC is a good option if you’re looking to submit a handful of records every now and then. The two LERCs for the Somerset area are:

EASILY CONFUSED SPECIES

There are a number of species that can be easily confused, particularly as you may only get a fleeting glimpse. To enable your record to be verified, it’s a good idea to attach a photo and/or some additional information, such as habitat, behaviours or field signs, in the notes section when a submitting record for any of the species listed below:

  • American Mink Neovison vison

  • Bank Vole Myodes glareolus

  • Brown Hare Lepus europaeus

  • Common Seal Phoca vitulina

  • Common Shrew Sorex araneus

  • Field Vole Microtus agrestis

  • Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus

  • Hazel Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius

  • House Mouse Mus musculus

  • Pine Martin Martes martes

  • Polecat Mustela putorius

  • Pygmy Shrew Sorex minutus

  • Red Deer Cervus elaphus

  • Sika Deer Cervus nippon

  • Water Shrew Neomys fodiens

  • Water Vole Arvicola amphibius

  • Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus

  • Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis

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