Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 31 December 2016 09:14
Well, 2016 has been the worst year and for a multitude of reasons, I am very glad it's over. Natural history was kind to me though, with the find of my career landing in front of me whilst the rest of the pan-species community were having the annual field meeting up at Holm in Norfolk. A meeting I was not able to attend as I had too much freelance work to do wandering hundreds of miles around winter wheat fields when it jumped out in front of me. Oh the irony. Have I mentioned Calosoma sycophanta by the way? Yes? Sorry, didn't think I had.
Anyway, this is my annual post about the PSL community (couldn't help gripping everyone off one last time there). So, last year I wrote this post a few months late after grabbing the data in Tasmania of all places. I'll follow the same format, so here is the top ten from the rankings and the changes that have took place in the last year.
|4||The late Eric Philp||6878||6878||0|
So there are no actual changes in the top ten rankings order. Last year I added the 100th lister which was Rowan Alder on 903. Now it's Adam Harley on 1183. He might not of updated for two years or more but it shows that the top 100 listers have all seen 1183 species or more, a jump of 280 species! That's really great stuff. Our youngest lister remains 12 with a new recruit in the form of young lad from Northern Ireland and our oldest is 72. Thanks in part to James McCulloch's excellent article on PSL in Wingbeat about him reaching 2000 species, we had a wave of under 20's joining the rankings with 10 people listed now! The average remains 38 with 75 people having submitted their age now. We have 381 users on the website (up from 300) with 192 on the rankings (up from 154). The facebook group has been quieter this year but it works fine with 288 people (up from 261).
So, what about the site rankings?
|1||Wicken Fen||8674||Wicken Fen||8674|
|2||Esher Commons||7945||Esher Commons||7945|
|3||RSPB Minsmere||5928||RSPB Minsmere||5928|
|4||Thorn Moors||5052||Thorn Moors||5052|
|5||RSPB Abernethy||4735||RSPB Abernethy||4735|
|6||RSPB The Lodge||4290||RSPB The Lodge||4290|
|7||Hatfield Forest||4184||SWT Rye Harbour||4274|
|8||SWT Rye Harbour||3540||Hatfield Forest||4184|
|9||Northwich Community Woodlands||3118||SWT Ebernoe Common||3708|
|10||SWT Iping & Stedham||2800||Northwich Community Woodlands||3118|
The changes are in bold. The only changes here have been those made by myself in the last week by updating the Rye Harbour list with Chris Bentley and adding the Ebernoe Common list, this is still a part of PSL and the website that hasn't really taken off. My recent work on pan-listing the whole of Sussex Wildlife Trust's reserves is hoped to help reinvigorate this by showing the benefits to maintaining site PSL lists. Watch out RSPB the Lodge, Chris Bentley will have that 6th place slot by the end of 2017!
And now for the top taxa listers. Again changes in bold.
|Slime Moulds||Malcolm Storey||51||51|
|Vascular Plants||John Martin||2205||2278|
|Platyhelminth worms||Brian Eversham||17||18|
|3-tailed Bristletails||Mark Telfer||6||8|
|Odonata||Mark Telfer, Dave Gibbs||48||48|
|Remaining small||Jonty Denton||194||195|
|Reptiles||Dave Gibbs, Richard Comont||9||9|
|Seth Gibson, James Harding-Morris, Simon Davey|
|Other animals||Jonty Denton||36||36|
So lots of new records broken there! It feels like PSL is really starting to reach a wider and much younger audience and this has to be a good thing, I wish I had had PSL when I was 12 I can tell you! It's been so rewarding to see this unfold and to know that I've personally been so involved at making the website happen and promoting the movement etc.
This year I've done a talk on PSL in pub in Brighton. I'd had two pints before I started and I have to say it's so much more fun doing talks when you can swear like a trooper! It turned in to stand up by the end but I got the message across. I must make an effort to get out more to do natural history for fun, almost all of my ticks this year have been through work again. This is hugely rewarding and I think is when PSL works best but it's not a good way to stay in the top ten!
Anyway, I will try and make the field meeting this year rather than working (did I mention I saw Calosoma sycophanta during the last field trip?) so I can finally meet some of the community, in the meantime, happy listing and let's hope 2017 is a better year than 2016!