Lincolnshire’s records centre was founded in 2007 and is a not-for-profit service which gathers and distributes information about the wildlife and habitats found across the county.
Wildlife records are important as they allow changes in the populations of species to be monitored, which may occur due to climate change, pollution, disease or habitat change. Wildlife records are also needed to find and protect valuable habitats for wildlife - especially those supporting protected species.
The wildlife sighting which took the records centre over the one million mark was a white admiral butterfly (Limenitis camilla), spotted in Chambers Farm Wood in the Lincolnshire Limewoods in July 2009.
This beguiling black and white butterfly is found widely across central and southern England, extending to the eastern counties of Wales and as far north as Mid-Lincolnshire. It is also present across central Europe, throughout Asia and as far east as Japan. The white admiral resides in woodland glades and glides between bramble patches, where it feeds on the blossom’s nectar, and honeysuckle upon which it lays its eggs.
This striking butterfly has suffered a steep population decline in the last 20 years for reasons that are not yet known, and is now classified as a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species.
The white admiral isn’t alone in its downfall - many butterfly species are rapidly declining, largely due to habitat loss and intensification of land management practices. Butterflies are very sensitive to subtle changes in the environment, making them valuable indicators of the health of the countryside. Without records centres, declines in the populations of our wildlife may not be detected until it is too late for species to be saved.
Charlie Barnes, of the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre commented: "The wildlife and habitats of Lincolnshire can only be protected and conserved for the future if we know which species are in the county."
"The fact the records centre now has one million records is a fantastic achievement - especially at the beginning of the UN’s International Decade of Biodiversity."
The records centre is actively seeking more wildlife records of both common and rare species, to build a picture of how wildlife is faring in the county. If you have any wildlife sightings you would like to share, the records centre would like to hear from you. To submit your wildlife sightings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01507 528381.
For more information about the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre go to: www.lincsbiodiversity.org.uk
Distribution map of the White Admiral butterfly in Lincolnshire
OS copyright No. AL100016739 Banovallum House, Manor House Street, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 5HF.
Map created in January 2011 based on records in the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre to date.
This data has been collated thanks to the Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union, Butterfly Conservation and members of the public.