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Biological Recording

Biological Recording

What is a biological record?

Blue Fulmar Blue Fulmar Zoom A biological record is simply an observation of a species. It must contain four pieces of information: 

1. Which species was seen?

Scientific and/or common name.

2. Where was it observed?

A 6 or 8 figure grid reference is best for us, but a place name or address may be enough. 

3. When was it observed?

Ideally this should be the exact date, but the month, year or a date range may also make a useful record. 

4. Who recorded it?

Full name and address of the observer. 

When submitting a record, try to include any other relevant information e.g. habitat details, the number, sex, age or even behaviour as this might also be useful.

Why do we keep biological records?

Building up a good database of records is important to Shetland as it helps us to: 

  • Establish where important wildlife sites are, and help us to safeguard them.
  • Find new sites for important species.
  • Monitor changes in species populations and habitats.

Who can contribute?

Grey Seal Grey Seal Zoom We encourage everyone to get involved with recording Shetland’s biodiversity. It is easy to make useful records with no specialist knowledge. We are always interested in receiving your records of plants, insects, mammals, birds or anything else which you think might be interesting.

For more information on how we can help you to get involved, check our Resources page

If you are unsure of something's identity we may be able to provide the answer. A photograph will often enable us to do this.

How can you get involved?

It’s easy to contribute to our database. Either complete the online recording form, or send your records to the postal address on the contact us page.

Alternatively, you can pick up (or download) one of our survey leaflets and send them back to us once you've filled them in. If you're interested in biological recording and you don't know where to start, check out our resources page to see what we can offer you or come and visit us in our Lerwick office.