The state of pan-species listing at the end of 2016

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 31 December 2016 09:14

Well, 2016 has been the worst year and for a multitude of reasons, I am very glad it's over. Natural history was kind to me though, with the find of my career landing in front of me whilst the rest of the pan-species community were having the annual field meeting up at Holm in Norfolk. A meeting I was not able to attend as I had too much freelance work to do wandering hundreds of miles around winter wheat fields when it jumped out in front of me. Oh the irony. Have I mentioned Calosoma sycophanta by the way? Yes? Sorry, didn't think I had.

Anyway, this is my annual post about the PSL community (couldn't help gripping everyone off one last time there). So, last year I wrote this post a few months late after grabbing the data in Tasmania of all places. I'll follow the same format, so here is the top ten from the rankings and the changes that have took place in the last year.

2015 2016 Change
1 Jonty Denton 12240 12399 159
2 Dave Gibbs 11110 11327 217
3 Mark Telfer 7172 7478 306
4 The late Eric Philp 6878 6878 0
5 Simon Davey 6513 6722 209
6 Brian Eversham 6271 6650 379
7 Nicola Bacciu 6074 6515 441
8 Graeme Lyons 6029 6398 369
9 Malcolm Storey 5915 6230 315
10 Matt Prince 5840 6142 302

So there are no actual changes in the top ten rankings order. Last year I added the 100th lister which was Rowan Alder on 903. Now it's Adam Harley on 1183. He might not of updated for two years or more but it shows that the top 100 listers have all seen 1183 species or more, a jump of 280 species! That's really great stuff.  Our youngest lister remains 12 with a new recruit in the form of young lad from Northern Ireland and our oldest is 72. Thanks in part to James McCulloch's excellent article on PSL in Wingbeat about him reaching 2000 species, we had a wave of under 20's joining the rankings with 10 people listed now! The average remains 38 with 75 people having submitted their age now. We have 381 users on the website (up from 300) with 192 on the rankings (up from 154). The facebook group has been quieter this year but it works fine with 288 people (up from 261).

So, what about the site rankings?

2015 2016
1   Wicken Fen 8674 Wicken Fen 8674
2   Esher Commons 7945 Esher Commons 7945
3   RSPB Minsmere 5928 RSPB Minsmere 5928
4   Thorn Moors 5052 Thorn Moors 5052
5   RSPB Abernethy 4735 RSPB Abernethy 4735
6   RSPB The Lodge 4290 RSPB The Lodge 4290
7   Hatfield Forest 4184 SWT Rye Harbour 4274
8   SWT Rye Harbour 3540 Hatfield Forest 4184
9   Northwich Community Woodlands 3118 SWT Ebernoe Common 3708
10   SWT Iping & Stedham 2800 Northwich Community Woodlands 3118

The changes are in bold. The only changes here have been those made by myself in the last week by updating the Rye Harbour list with Chris Bentley and adding the Ebernoe Common list, this is still a part of PSL and the website that hasn't really taken off. My recent work on pan-listing the whole of Sussex Wildlife Trust's reserves is hoped to help reinvigorate this by showing the benefits to maintaining site PSL lists. Watch out RSPB the Lodge, Chris Bentley will have that 6th place slot by the end of 2017!

And now for the top taxa listers. Again changes in bold.

2015 2016
Algae Jony Denton 288 288
Slime Moulds Malcolm Storey 51 51
Protists Jony Denton 24 24
Lichens Simon Davey 1195 1228
Fungi Malcom Storey 1391 1391
Bryophytes Simon Davey 467 480
Vascular Plants John Martin 2205 2278
Sponges Richard Comont   8 12
Comb-jellies Lee Johnson   2 3
Cnidarians Richard Comont 37 44
Molluscs Jonty Denton 216 222
Bryozoans Richard Comont 23 27
Annelids Richard Comont 48 51
Platyhelminth worms Brian Eversham 17 18
Sea-spiders Richard Comont 4 4
Arachnids Jonty Denton 492 493
Myriapods Keith Lugg 71 77
Crustaceans Brian Eversham 98 99
Springtails Richard Comont 35 44
3-tailed Bristletails Mark Telfer   6 8
Odonata Mark Telfer, Dave Gibbs 48 48
Orthopteroids Mark Telfer 41 41
Hemipteroids Jonty Denton 850 861
Hymenoptera Dave Gibbs 792 809
Coleoptera Mark Telfer 2562 2632
Diptera Dave Gibbs 3123 3146
Butterflies Seth Gibson 62 62
Moths Tony Davis 1617 1628
Remaining small  Jonty Denton 194 195
Echinoderms Richard Comont 19 19
Tunicates Richard Comont 17 22
Fish Richard Comont 95 97
Reptiles Dave Gibbs,  Richard Comont   9 9
Seth Gibson, James Harding-Morris, Simon Davey  
Paul Clack  
Amphibians Jonty Denton 13 13
Birds Dave Gibbs 519 527
Mammals Mark Telfer 64 64
Other animals Jonty Denton 36 36
TOTAL 16739 17051
So lots of new records broken there! It feels like PSL is really starting to reach a wider and much younger audience and this has to be a good thing, I wish I had had PSL when I was 12 I can tell you! It's been so rewarding to see this unfold and to know that I've personally been so involved at making the website happen and promoting the movement etc. 

This year I've done a talk on PSL in pub in Brighton. I'd had two pints before I started and I have to say it's so much more fun doing talks when you can swear like a trooper! It turned in to stand up by the end but I got the message across. I must make an effort to get out more to do natural history for fun, almost all of my ticks this year have been through work again. This is hugely rewarding and I think is when PSL works best but it's not a good way to stay in the top ten!

Anyway, I will try and make the field meeting this year rather than working (did I mention I saw Calosoma sycophanta during the last field trip?) so I can finally meet some of the community, in the meantime, happy listing and let's hope 2017 is a better year than 2016!

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