At it’s recent AGM, Curracag, the Outer Hebrides Natural History Society, announced the launch of a new on-line wildlife forum. The forum, which is open to all, can be found at www.curracag-wildlifenews.org.uk
Speaking after the meeting, Tracey Begg, the Society’s Chair said: “With this new venture, we are offering everyone the opportunity to participate in whatever excites them about the flora and fauna of the Outer Hebrides. We very much hope that this new forum will encourage people to be more aware, appreciate and therefore enjoy every aspect of the wonderful wildlife we have here on our islands”.
The forum contains not only the latest wildlife sightings, but also information on forthcoming events and many open discussions on all aspects of Hebridean wildlife. It is available for all to view via the internet and can be accessed using either their personal computer or smart phone. The content is provided by anyone who registers by following a simple on-line process. Once registered, they then have the ability to post their own wildlife sightings, upload photographs, notify people of forthcoming local wildlife events, or ask and answer questions on the many discussion boards.
There are 9 discussion boards, each dedicated to a different branch of natural history. Curracag members will have the added benefit of some additional privileges such as private and instant messaging and will have access to their own Members Forum.
All records and sightings that are submitted will be archived and stored for future reference and many will find their way into the Outer Hebrides Biodiversity Recording (OHBR) database, another Curracag initiative. These will then feed into the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) which is a national collaborative project of many individuals and organisations making all biological records freely and easily available to everyone.
Tracey went on to say: “This is not only a mechanism whereby anyone can participate in whatever interests them, but is also a valuable tool. All too often the emphasis is on the rare or unusual and so our more common species are under-recorded.
“This venture will not only allow people to record the rare and unusual, but also record and discuss the everyday happenings of our natural world. As all records will be archived, each and every posting will be a valuable source of information for the future”.