What is Biological Recording?

From mosses, lichen, fungi and plants to birds, mammals and invertebrates, ERCCIS is keen to hear about any wildlife you’ve seen, whether in your garden, on the coast or in the countryside.

FrogletWhy record wildlife?

All wildlife records are important as they help us to understand and conserve the natural history of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Information about the wildlife that exists in an area can guide conservation management, influence planning decisions, help measure the condition of the environment and monitor changes over time. Recording is also a great way to explore our rich and diverse terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments and learn more about the wildlife you encounter along the way.

It's key to make sure the information you collect are put to work for the better conservation of Cornwall's natural environment, the best way is to share your sightings with your Local Records Centre. Here your record is processed following national standards and made available to other recorders, researchers and both local and national decision makers. Make your sightings have an impact and share with ERCCIS. 

What is a wildlife record?

A wildlife record is an observation made by a person at a given location and on a particular date. The species can be common, unusual or rare and you don't need to have seen the creature itself; perhaps you’ve identified mammal droppings or a bird song.

How do I record wildlife?

Anyone who is interested in wildlife and the environment can become a biological recorder, no matter what your age, skills or experience. You simply need to provide details of WHAT you saw, WHERE you saw it, WHEN you saw it and WHO you are. ERCCIS has lots of resources to help with identification and you can also contact the Wildlife Information Service with a description and good quality photograph if possible. In addition, specimens are useful to confirm identification which can be sent to ERCCIS or the relevant County Recorder for verification.

Share your records

Sharing your records with your Local Environmental Records Centre or national recording scheme is the most important part of biological recording. This ensures your data is available for the better conservation, sustainable development and research. 

You don’t even need to have seen the organism itself; perhaps you’ve identified mammal tracks or a bird song. Just remember to make a note of anything you think may be relevant or interesting - and of course make sure to submit a record to ERCCIS as your Local Records Centre for safe storage. We never pass on personal details without permission but we like to get in touch to offer feedback, such as for records of notable or interesting species in the information that you submit, or to offer recorder support.

Download the ERCCIS Wildlife Recording Form

Orks logo strap and web 2015.pngAn easy and direct way to submit a record is via our bespoke online recording tool at ORKS (Online Recording Kernow and Scilly). Here, you can accurately pinpoint the position of your wildlife record and easily add the details you think might be relevant. Uploading a photograph can be useful to aid the verification process and to help other recorders. Records can be added without logging in, but if you register a username account you will also be able to access many other facilities on the site, such as viewing the records recently submitted in your area.

We can accept information in any format, as long as the key information is there. Just get in touch through the Contact Us page and we will make it as easy as possible if you have paper records, habitat or earth science information, or other electronic data. ERCCIS staff are recorders, professional ecologists and professional data managers and are always here to help with friendly advice or information for the recording community. You can find more general advice on recording by visiting our Wildlife Recording pages.

Once received, your records will checked and verified, ready to be added to the ERCCIS databases for safe storage in perpetuity. You will then be already making a difference to nature conservation locally and globally.