By Bob Foreman
One particular project for which we would very much welcome records is the new national atlas of grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs and cockroaches. Environmental changes are affecting these insects dramatically, with some extending their existing ranges, and some showing concerning declines. The Grasshoppers and Related Insects Recording Scheme of Britain and Ireland (www.orthoptera.org.uk) has been mapping the distributions of these species for nearly 50 years and is working towards this new atlas to be published in 2018. There is one more year to contribute sightings, up to the end of 2017. If you get you records to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre we will ensure that they get to the national scheme for use in the atlas.
Getting your records into “the system” has never been easier and grasshopper recorders are particularly well served; if you have a smartphone then there’s the “iRecord Grasshoppers” app which not only makes grasshopper recording really simple, it has a very useful identification guide including recordings of their chirping and a "bat detector" function which can be useful for making quiet and high-pitched chirps easier to hear. For more general biological recording, if you haven’t come across it before, check out iRecord (either at: http://www.brc.ac.uk/iRecord or now as a mobile app) the incredibly useful online biological recording website for all species groups. The data that is collected by the Grasshoppers app is stored in the same database that iRecord uses so all your records are seen and get to be used by the organisations that need it such as the Sussex Biological Record Centre, national recording schemes and the National Biodiversity Network. Finally, if none of the above are your cup of tea then please send your records directly to me at the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre – all I need for a complete record is: what, where, when and who saw it? – I.E. Species name; location name (and ideally, an Ordnance Survey Grid Reference – as accurate as possible); and your name. Other useful information would be an indication of the number of individuals seen, what life-stage, who identified it (if it wasn’t you) and anything notable about its behaviour or habitat.