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Biology.ie Submitting Revamp

Submitting a Sighting is the most important section of Biology.ie and now it has revamped this procedure to make it as painless as possible. The five steps

involved are laid out in sequence over five pages. 'This makes the procedure as painless as possible' says Paul Whelan, who heads up the Biology.ie team. ' Collecting data from the public and returning the results immediately through the View and Playback pages has lead to the continued success of Biology.ie. Biodiversity awareness is as essential for the survival of the planet as the three 'Rs' (Reading. wRiting aRithmathic) were to the success of the Industrial Age. The contribution that Biology.ie makes to this awareness is not just on the pages of a web site, but in helping people look at the natural world around them and then make a recording of what they see on Biology.ie'.
Paul, who now works as a lichenologist (see www.irishlichens.com or lichens.ie) revealed future plans for Biology.ie. 'We are attaching a filtering system to the Biology.ie database to allow users to view their own sighting. This essentially means that anyone with regular sightings can see their own data separate from everyone else's. This is a way of saying thank you to regular users.'
Paul went on to say 'Biology.ie can never have enough users, actually 'users' is the wrong term here, I should say 'observers' of Ireland's wildlife. Everyone can make a contribution regardless of their level,. The most repeated question dished out to Paul by professional wildlife experts is 'how do you validate your data?'. 'Well, how do they validate their data? The data that comes into the site with a valid email address is accepted as much as a filled out form that is signed. The email address allows us to follow up unusual sighing; this is a validation checking procedure. A good example here is the recent realization that the distribution of Pine Martens was far wider than the experts gave credit. This observation arose from the NPWS Road Kill survey which showed Pine Martens as far south as Valencia Island - further south than previously realized. While every item of data is important, it is the overall trend or picture produced that is more important. A few rogue records will not upset that. Data that arrives on the web site may not be any more accurate because it comes from a professional. It should be, but we all make mistakes. A ten year old child that knows how to identify an Orange Tip butterfly or Bee Orchid will do it as accurately as an expert!.

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