2020 New Year Resolution ?

Why not make collecting and submitting records of whales and dolphins in Irish waters your NEW YEAR RESOLUTION !!

The core work of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group involves collecting sighting and stranding records of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Irish waters (https://iwdg.ie/recording-schemes/).

These records are essential for determining what species occurs where and when; are they increasing or decreasing, occurring earlier or later in the year. these sightings also support marine tourism operators who provide the opportunities for people to go out and see them.


More than 30,000 records………….

Since the IWDG was established in 1990 over 30,000 sighting records and 3,000 stranding records have been  submitted to the IWDG. In the early days many of these records were submitted on paper, a standardised recording form that was filled in and posted to the IWDG.

This form is now on-line and some fields are compulsory; you must fill them in or the record cannot be submitted. This is to provide enough information to link the record to the recorder and to enable the IWDG to validate the record.

This is the key to a good recording scheme that generates data which can be used to support conservation actions and policies. The data must be believed or it has no credibility. The IWDG validation procedure is rigorous and if there is doubt about the species identification reported then it will be downgraded unless more information (e.g. images) can be supplied.

Here the IWDG Outreach and Education Officer Sibéal Regan talks you through how to submit a record.

Recording schemes that try and dumb-down the recording process and do not allow robust validation should be avoided as the data will never be used for anything important as it wont stand-up to scrutiny. The IWDG are Strategic Partners of the National Biodiversity Data Centre http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/ and we adopt best practice.

Bookmark the submission page on your computer or mobile phone and do please support our schemes.

Hope you have a happy and exciting 2020 – the start of a new decade !

Dr Simon Berrow