Blogs

I spied-a spider: Microscope work isn’t as daunting as it appears!

Lorna is a PhD student at Cardiff University studying the variation in the diet of British Otters.  She won a place on the "Tomorrow's Invertebrate Recorders" course - a week long residential programme for young people run by the FSC BioLinks project  and A Focus On Nature providing an introduction to surveying invertebrates.  She tells us about her experience with spider identification. Since the course Lorna has bought a USB microscope to continue improving her identification skills so she can record invertebrates in her area. 

FSC Year End Book sale

The FSC Year End book sale 2019 is now on! Browse the full list at FSC Publications.

Running from 18 November to 8 December, there's up to 25% off the usual price of a range of our books and charts. A great Christmas gift for the wildlife enthusiast

Tomorrow's Invertebrate Recorder: Liv Cairns

Team Earthworm 2019 (c) Keiron Derek Brown

Liv Cairns’ passion for the natural world was instilled when she was awarded the Field Studies Council Young Darwin Scholarship in 2013. Beginning with a week long residential, she has since attended an FSC course annually and gained a space on the FSC BioLinks/A Focus On Nature ‘Tomorrow’s Invertebrate Recorders’ .

Bushy Park Open Lab Days

These days are perfect for beginners to practice their identification skills, especially for those who don’t have access to microscopes or ID resources at home and for those wanting to get “into” a new group who can use the days as opportunities to test out the ID keys available first. Likewise, they’re proving to be useful for more experienced entomologists and recorders, who use the days as an opportunity to meet up with other recorders, to work on their own collections of specimens and also to make use of our resources. 

A new identification guide to British beetle larvae

Front cover of RES Handbook to British Coleoptera larva Over 40 years in development, the RES Handbook to British Coleoptera larva is due for publication on 1 August 2019. You can order the book online for a special pre-publication discounted price at FSC website.

Who's who in the world of biological recording?

Britain is very lucky to have a rich history in biological recording. As a result, the UK has a well developed network of organisations involved in biological recording. Getting your head around what these recording organisations do and how they can help you can be confusing, so we hope this will provide some clarity!

What is a biological record?

The FSC BioLinks project provides training to develop the skills of existing biological recorders and to create new recorders. We're doing this to build and strengthen the biological recording community…but what is a biological record?

Into the future: new FSC QGIS Plugin features

British and Irish Hectad records from a single sourceToday we released a new version of the FSC QGIS Plugin (version 3.2.0 released 27th Feburary 2019). This feels like a real milestone for the FSC QGIS Plugin for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's packed with new features including the ability to handle Irish as well as British grid references, the ability to link directly to a Recorder 6 database as a source for the Biological Records tool, the addition of a new 'Add Grid Refs to layers' tool and many more. Secondly the release is a collaborative effort with a major contribution, on the Recorder 6 feature, from Ian Carle of the Hertfordshire Environmental Records Centre. Thirdly we have announced new governanace arrangements for this open source project into the future.

International Day of Women in Science

Worm womenIn celebration of the International Day of Women in Science, I thought I’d celebrate some of the women who’ve been involved in BioLinks so far, all of whom have contributed in different ways to a successful first year of the project.

Why, sometimes, we need to collect invertebrates and our code of conduct for doing so

Collecting invertebrates using sweep nets during an FSC BioLinks course, 2018

New blog by Holly Dillon. Collecting is essential for the study of most invertebrate taxa because most of them are so small they require microscopic examination to accurately identify them to species level. Many people think this seems a bit backwards because we have to kill things in order to study them and, in the current biodiversity crisis, surely killing things is the last thing we should be doing? This is not necessarily the case when it comes to invertebrates.

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