The 10,000th species on a Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve was...

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 20 February 2018 09:52

Last year you may remember that we pan-listed all the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserves. You can read about this in more detail here. With the first draft we were tantalisingly close to reaching 10,000 species. More recently though I have been quiet about it, that's because I wanted to wait until Adastra (the Sussex Biological Recorders' Seminar) to reveal who the finder of that 10,000th species.

But firstly, Adastra! Wow, how lucky are we in Sussex to have this? Well, actually it's not luck; you make your own luck. It's the coming together of a huge collective passion and hard graft coupled with some of the most biodiverse counties in the UK. There were some fantastic talks on Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Knepp, flies and much much more. It was also the launch of this fantastic publication. So much awesomeness in one day was difficult to take in!

I gave a talk on the species list on the reserves and announced the finder of the 10,000th species BAFTA style. The winner was James McCulloch and the species was the leaf-mining fly Phytomyza ranunculivora recorded at Graffham Common last year. This species is identifiable from its mines and can be seen above in James' photo of a buttercup leaf. The distribution of the larva's droppings in the mine are enough to clinch the ID. A huge well done to James for finding the 10,000th species. Here he is receiving the prize.

James is also a pan-species lister and I had a look at his profile to write this blog. James is currently ranked as 51st place and has seen 2787 species. What's remarkable about this is he is 14! I put my total together before pan-species listing had a name at age 32 back in 2010. My list then was 2748! So James has beat my by 18 years. This is an incredible achievement. The prize was some NHBS book tokens and I am informed James will be acquiring some books on rove beetles. Well done James!

The species list on the reserves has already shot well beyond 10,000 after the review. In fact we are on 10,094 with the addition of the spider Steatoda grossa that Chris recorded at Rye Harbour in the last few days (thanks for the photo Chris). So what's next? Well, we'll keep adding to the list. I'm about to review all the species recorded at Seaford Head that have conservation status for the management plan. I'd love it if someone who was in a position to, were to approach me to help pan-list another wildlife trust out there, if we could do them all it would be a hugely powerful tool.

2 Response to "The 10,000th species on a Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve was..."

Hilary Melton-Butcher Says:

Hi Graeme - it's brilliant to read your posts ... particularly as I'm no longer in Sussex. I've sent a copy of the book to some friends in Seaford ... which I'm sure they'll enjoy. Congratulations on 10,000 species - amazing ...cheers to you all - Hilary

Graeme Lyons Says:

Many thanks Hilary! I hope you had a good read of it first.

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