Buttefly recorders

Chris Raper triocomp at dial.pipex.com
Sun Sep 27 18:50:34 EDT 1998

On 25 Sep 1998 12:02:11 -0700, michaelgwalker at lineone.net (Michael
Walker) wrote:

>Chris Raper wrote -
>"I get a little worried that, in our eagerness to sign up
>recorders, we are giving the impression that it is all very easy. In
>reality a recording scheme is only as good as its recorders and many are
>not carrying nets either because they have been told it isn't
>necessary or for fear of being branded a 'collector'."

>I take Chris' point but that is where the projects network of regional
>co-ordinators step in.  Each County or group of Counties has someone who
>enters all the data received onto computer who can check out any odd
>records that come in from time to time.  

True - an obviously dubious record can be picked out by a skilled
person but I am worried about the not so obvious ones. Small/Essex
Skipper is a classic where populations of each species seem to be in a
state of flux. Another is Brown Argus vs. Common Blue (female).

In our area (South Oxon), both of these pairs of species _could_ be in
any recorder's patch and careless identification may be very difficult
to filter out. Individual butterfly populations can collapse very
rapidly (eg. Wall Brown in central England) so it is very important to
get good quality sightings.

>In general I find that most of the new recorders tend to note down the few
>species that they find in their immediate neighbourhood - often the first
>records for the area of any species at all!  

Mmm - I understand the problem. There just aren't enough recorders out
there to cover the ground. 

>a few of which will no doubt use a net to confirm
>the species seen, a method I have absolutely no problem with.

Its good to hear you don't discourage the use of nets. I differ in
that I would positively encourage their use (to the point of making
them mandatory) - for confirming IDs, not taking specimens.

Best wishes,
Chris R.

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