2019 PSL targets

I always like to set myself a target for each pan-species listing group. It gives me something to aim for, and makes sure I’m not becoming too specialised yet (I’ll try that in a few years!). I usually make around half of the targets I set; surprising myself by far exceeding some, and falling well short of others I though would be easier! 

The more species you’ve seen, the harder it gets to see new ones, so each year my overall goal for adding species is reduced. However, I’ve kept things ambitious this year, as I’ll be spending the first 9 months on a placement in the Scottish highlands; a relatively undiscovered area by me, where I’m surrounded by new habitats! 

So here’s a table of my targets per group. I’m going to aim for 800 new species in total, which may be too much given that I’m already on over 5000, and will be working! 

Group 2019 Start 2019 Target
Algae 81 100
Slime Moulds 2 3
Protists 0 1
Lichens 101 170
Fungi 325 375
Bryophytes 314 365
Vascular Plants 1100 1200
Sponges 2 3
Comb-jellies 2 3
Cnidarians 17 20
Molluscs 129 150
Bryozoans 5 6
Annelid Worms 21 25
Platyhelminth Worms 4 5
Sea-spiders 1 2
Arachnids 156 200
Myriapods 58 61
Crustaceans 63 73
Springtails etc. 6 7
3-tailed Bristletails 3 4
Odonata 31 38
Orthopteroids 25 27
Hemipteroids 352 400
Hymenoptera 138 175
Coleoptera 695 815
Diptera 203 260
Butterflies 39 42
Moths 714 800
Remaining Insect Orders 49 80
Echinoderms 8 10
Tunicates 3 4
Fish 58 60
Reptiles 6 7
Amphibians 6 7
Birds 302 317
Mammals 44 47
Other Animals 1 2
Overall 5064 5864

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while is having a little side target; a small group where seeing all UK species in a year is plausible given my fairly busy schedule for the year! It won’t be at all easy (perhaps pretty much impossible), but I’ve decided to try and find as many of the UKs Sphagnum species as I can! For those unaware, Sphagnum is a genus of mosses whose members are known as bog-mosses. They are very important in peatland habitats (peat is formed from Sphagnum), and species often require quite specific ecological conditions to grow, making them good habitat indicators. Until recently, there were 34 species known in the UK, but with a couple of recent discoveries and several probable species splits, the number is potentially 41! I have currently recorded 17 species, all of which I will try to see again at some point in the 2019, on top of finding the ones I’ve never seen! It will certainly be a learning experience…

Here are some pretty Sphagnums of various shapes, sizes and colours… Happy new year!

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