the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Verification: We Need Your Help

Lyndsey Cox, GiGL Records Officer

Hoverfly © PennyFrith

Are you enthralled by Ephemeroptera? Can you tell a Baetis rhodani from a Cloeon dipterum? Do you find fungi fascinating or think slime mould is sensational?

If so, then you may be just the person we are looking for.

GiGL receive species records from a wide variety of sources; expert and amateur, first time recorders and seasoned surveyors. To ensure that we have confidence in the data we hold, we must verify all records within our database.

Verification is the process of ensuring the accuracy of the species being recorded. This generally involves checking the species in question against the recording location and date which highlights mistaken identifications and flags records which require further investigation. Records are tagged with a verification status, in line with the NBN verification working group recommendations.

Just as there is a bias to which taxa are recorded, see our species page for an illustration of how this plays out, so there is a bias to which taxa are verified. Often, these biases are due to the difficulty of positively identifying some of our more weird and wonderful species. However, we do hold records of some of these species so we know that there are experts out there.

Our earthworm records have recently been verified, thanks to our contacts at the Earthworm Society as have our Odonata records.

Some taxa are measured in single records within the database, others in the thousands. Verifying larger datasets may seem a little daunting but they can be broken down so that they are more manageable. The timeline for verification is always flexible, and we are happy to work with the availability of the individual verifier.

If you are a local expert with a great knowledge and understanding of a particular taxa and would be interested in finding out how you can help, then please see the GiGL website volunteer page.

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