The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas Isle of Man reached a milestone this month, with its one millionth wildlife record released online.
NBN Atlas Isle of Man is an online tool that educates and informs people about the natural world. It is supported by the Manx Biological Recording Partnership, a wildlife conservation partnership of organisations and individuals focused on collating terrestrial and marine Manx data, led by Manx National Heritage, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture and Manx Wildlife Trust.
Much of its data comes from surveys carried out by the lead organisations but also includes records from individual wildlife recorders and several specialist groups including Manx Bat Group, Isle of Man Fungus Group, Manx Basking Shark Watch and Manx Bird Atlas.
Commenting on the project, Laura McCoy, Manx National Heritage Curator of Natural History, said: 'NBN Atlas has revolutionised access to Isle of Man’s biodiversity data, helping improve biodiversity knowledge, opening up research possibilities and transforming the way in which the Island’s environmental data is stored and managed.
'The database builds on the success of NBN in the UK, where it has been championing the sharing of biological data since 2000, with the aim of improving the availability of high resolution and high quality data to provide the evidence base for all environmental decision-making.'
Jo Judge, Chief Executive Officer of NBN Trust, said: 'To see the NBN Atlas Isle of Man reach the million records mark, in less than two years is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted to have helped facilitate this. It’s not only about the data itself though, the dedication of the volunteers collecting the information, verifying it and logging it is the reason we have reached this milestone and that is equally, if not more, important.'
Laura continued: 'Overall there are more records per square kilometre from the Isle of Man than any other country represented on the National Biodiversity Network Atlas website, putting the Island ahead of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in terms of the data we’re making available. This would not have been achieved without the work of our volunteers to whom we gratefully acknowledge their work and commitment.'
NBN Atlas Isle of Man is being further enhanced by an MNH-led volunteer project to transcribe over 45 years of daily logs from the Calf of Man Bird Observatory, which are currently held as paper records in the Manx National Heritage Library and Archives at the Manx Museum.
Thanks to a small but dedicated team of volunteers, more than 130,000 bird sightings have so far been transcribed, validated and published on the online resource.
Advice on how you can get involved in supporting the project or recording wildlife on the Isle of Man will be available during Manx Wildlife Week, which takes place in May 2020.
Alternatively, if you have collected a biological record that you would like to submit, records can be submitted at https://isleofman.nbnatlas.org/submit-a-record/