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|
|Remaining Insect Orders||49||80|
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!