The period where we move further from harsh, cold winter days and closer to the flourishing spring is a time of true anticipation. Now is the time amphibians’ wake from their slumber and head for your pond. Once the night time temperatures are regularly over 5 degrees they know it is time to slip out of their hiding holes in preparation for the spring mating season. oolala.
This year, Somerset Wildlife Trust is gathering data to monitor changes in both the diversity (the variety) of wildlife species we have in the county and the abundance (the quantity) of species we have across the county to help them to track the health of the habitats and ecosystems that exist to support them (and us), as they come under increasing pressure from changes in our climate.
They are asking for our help as Citizen Scientists – that’s us, our friends and our grandchildren, to participate in the big Toad & Frog Spawn Count which is being held from now until March 31st.
Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) currently holds over 3 million data records but the majority are about protected or rare species mostly within good quality habitats. There’s a real gap in our knowledge about how we perceive (though not necessarily true) the more ‘common’ species are doing on a wider scale across the county.
The Great Somerset Wildlife Count, supported by you as our eyes and ears on the ground, will help us ensure that we don’t miss important wildlife trends, and can identify ways to protect species and their habitats before we lose them forever. Get counting!
They have created a website and an App where you can record your findings once you’ve made an account which they’ve detailed below.
So what are you waiting for?
Go to www.inaturalist.org
Click on the Sign Up button. Create a username and password specifically for iNaturalist or sign in with a social media account. That’s it! (You’ll then see a welcome message).
If you want to just take part in the Frog & Toad Spawn Count for now, using the search bar, search for it and then click ‘join’ the project. If you think you might like to see all the counts we run during the year, search for and sign up to the Great Somerset Wildlife Count project as well as this will host all of our counts in one place.
Download the app on your phone and you can be popping in your sightings on the go (It might even get a little bit addictive if you spot other wildlife on your travels!)
We would love some of our ponds to be a part of this conservation effort and urge any of our customers who are interested in doing so to go outside and not only make the most of your pond but contribute to citizen science.