I recorded more species in 2018 than I saw in the first 32 years of my life!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 3 January 2019 20:01

I was going to do my top ten of the year but got a bit daunted by doing doing it yet again, so I thought I would do something a bit different inspired by Andy Musgrove. So, to start with here is my number one natural history highlight of 2018. Quite simply stumbling across a Large Tortoiseshell at Woods Mill on the first warm day of spring on the 15th March. Right, that's out of the way. Here is some data...

I thought I would have a look at my breakdown of records in 2018. I entered 11,568 records. This breaks down into 2752 species. This is four species more than my first attempt at my list eight years ago at age 32!!! I can't believe that I saw AT LEAST as many species in the last 12 months as I did in the first 32 years of my life. It's not like I was messing about for a lot of that, I'd worked for the RSPB for seven years and Sussex Wildlife Trust for two years at that point, as well as a further 20 years of natural history recording for fun! So what does this mean? The answer: pan-species listing. This is the impact that this approach to wildlife recording has had on my life. So why not sign up to the website and get involved?

Here is my breakdown from 2018. Note that I will have seen a lot more species that I have not yet recorded (such as quadrat and moth-trapping data that takes a lot longer to find its way into Recorder). That's 1872 invertebrates. A total of 2752 species would put me in 56th place overall and  211 would be joint 9th place for arachnids. It took me years to get to 400 beetles so I am pretty pleased with 605.

Beetles 605
Vascular plants 481
Moths 297
Bugs 283
Arachnids 211
Hymenoptera 162
Birds 144
Diptera 136
Fungi 99
Bryophytes 75
Molluscs 70
Butterflies 40
Other invertebrates 28
Orthopteroids 20
Mammals 20
Dragonflies 18
Crustaceans 16
Myriapods 11
Annelids 7
Springtails 6
Reptiles 5
Fish 5
Amphibians 4
Slime moulds 3
Lichens 3
Platyhelminth worms 2
Seaweeds 1

I am itching to get out there recording again but it wont be for a few weeks at this rate. Let's hope 2019 is an even more amazing year!

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