Information Systems for Conservation


Information is vital to help conservation organisations work out the status of animal and plant species that they are trying to conserve. In the UK there are a number of websites that are useful to conservationists and also to those of us who enjoy watching wildlife in our own time.

I am a keen birdwatcher and always enter my bird records onto Birdtrack. BirdTrack is a partnership between the BTO, the RSPB, Birdwatch Ireland and the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club , that looks at migration movements and distributions of birds throughout Britain and Ireland. BirdTrack provides facilities for observers to store and manage their own personal records as well as using these to support species conservation at local, regional, national and international scales.

If you’re not sure about your bird identification, the RSPB website has some very useful resources to help you learn more.

If the seashore is more your thing, then you can add records the The Shore Thing. This is an initiative of MarLIN, the Marine Life Information Network, working with schools and volunteer recorders to collect information on the marine life of rocky shores around Britain. All the information collected will be made available online and will help to build a picture of how things are now to measure change in the future.

I-Spot is a brilliant venture from the Open University where anyone interested in nature can share their observations. Beginners can ask more experienced naturalists for help in identifying species and a result better records are available of the nature in this country. 

Scotland has a network of Biological Record Centres that are always happy to receive your records of wildlife sightings. The BRISC website gives details of how biological recording works in Scotland and contact details for local record centres. You may want to contact your local centre to find out which types of records they are most interested in.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the government body charged with looking after Scotland’s natural environments. You can now search their wealth of data and information on SNHi.

These are just a few of the available resources in the UK. So whether you work in conservation, watch birds in your spare time or are just interested in how different organisations use information systems they’re worth checking out.

Do you know of other useful wildlife recording information systems in the UK?


4 Responses to “Information Systems for Conservation”

  1. Carver Says:

    Great information about birdwatching groups in the UK. I’m in the U.S. but I always find it interesting to learn about organization around the world.

  2. RamblingWoods Says:

    This is a great post on how to participate in Citizen Science. I need to start collecting information on programs outside of the US and Canada. Very timely for Nature Notes…Michelle

  3. julietwilson Says:

    HI Carver and Michelle
    Thanks for visiting this blog, glad yhou found the article useful!

  4. Wildlife Recording and Identification | Focus on the Water of Leith Says:

    […] may also be interested in reading this article I wrote for The Information Officers Support Group […]

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