There were a few questions from the ERIC workshop run by Fiona Greenwold that she did not have time to answer during the Tees Nature Conference Friday 19th of June. The questions from the workshop and answers provided by Fiona are below.
1. How can you identify animal poo?
The best way to learn is with someone who already knows and can help you ID it. The next best way is by using online resources and books.
If you think you might know what it is, then google for pictures to compare it with. Often the pictures come up on pest control websites but they can still lead to an ID.
Some books that are useful:
Field Studies Council Mammal Tracks and Signs Field Guide
Hamlyn Guide Animals Tracks, Trails and Signs
Collins Guide to Animal Tracks and Signs: The Tracks and Signs of British and European Mammals and Birds
2. Do you recommend any of the recording apps?
iNaturalist – good for beginners as the community helps to identify species. Once you submit a photo, others can confirm its identity which is really useful when you’re learning and it’s very easy to use. Records submitted to iNaturalist don’t come through to Local Environmental Records Centres like ERIC North East.
The worldwide biohunt, City Nature Challenge, usually running at the end of April is organised through iNaturalist.
iSpot – similar to iNaturalist as you can get help identifying species.
iRecord – once you have a bit of knowledge you might consider submitting your records here. Records are verified by experts and are made available to national recording schemes and local records centres, such as ERIC NE. If you’re keen on a particular group of organisms, it might be worthwhile joining a local group for example, if you are interested in Bats you could join the Cleveland Bat Group or Northumberland Bat Group. Local groups can point you to recording schemes running locally or nationally and you’ll have experts on hand to help with identification.
Remember you can always submit casual records directly into our ERIC recording portal
3. Can you record dead animals such as roadkill?
Yes you can record dead animals, no matter how they were killed.