- Explore community
I've recently taken on a challenge that I read about at a different site (http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/general-wildlife/108512-1000-1-...), and thought some of you might be interested in trying it as well. The idea is to record a thousand species in one year from a single l km grid square.
Experienced recorders will know how much of a challenge this is, but newcomers perhaps won't. The problem isn't finding l000 species, but identifying them - and accurately. It is very easy to look at a popular guide book and say, "yep, it looks like that one," but for this purpose that's not enough - the aim is to get reliable species identifications, and if you follow the trickier discussions on here, you'll know exactly how hard that can be.
In order to get to l000, you will have to get to know some of the more diverse groups of organisms - beetles, flies, fungi or lichens, for example. I know Hemiptera very well, but of the l200 or so species that I could be confident of identifying, I'll be delighted if I can find 250 in my one grid square. As a result, it's forcing me to learn about other groups - at the moment I'm looking in some detail at rove beetles, for example, and starting to branch into flies and lichens, and learn more about flowering plants. It's a great learning experience that can only serve me well for the future...
For beginners, l000 is probably a bit steep, even with the help of the iSpot community, so perhaps aim for l00 reliable ids first. In some areas you can reach that with birds alone, but it's a start. 500 would be a very good target for a novice, and will need you to learn a great deal nonetheless. Or you could work in groups - for example, set out to record the thousand species in the grid square that includes your village. It's entirely flexible, but I hope some of you will dive in and give it a go - I know some of the other mentors have. In the end, it doesn't matter whether you get to a thousand (I suspect I won't) - it's the learning process that counts.
If you do have a go, please try to share your results as a list rather than posting each species as an observation on here. I've put my ongoing list up on the web using Google Drive:
This will be updated randomly when I get around to it. :o)
Good luck, and please post links to your own lists here as well if you can.