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Verification of Species Records

Verification involves checking that a record is correct.  Our records are used in data searches for developments,dsc_0048-7 used to check planning applications and are passed on to other conservation organisations, so it is vital that they are correct.

To verify a record we check the following:

  1. WHO made the record - are they known to DBRC?  Are they a local expert from a natural history organisation  e.g. a local BSBI recorder?  
  2. WHAT they recorded – is there a description or photo?  Does the description appear to be what the person actually saw, or has it been copied from an identification guide?  Is the name correct?  Does it occur in Devon?  Species that are rare, species that are commonly confused with others and species that are particularly faithful to a defined habitat should be checked
  3. WHEN the record was made - some species are seasonal in their appearance e.g. a ‘small blue’ butterfly seen March, is almost certainly a holly blue butterfly as this is the only blue butterfly flying at this time of year.
  4. WHERE the record was made - some species are only found in particular habitats e.g. heathland.  Check published atlases and the DBRC database - are there other records of the species nearby?

If there is any doubt we contact the original recorder, and ask for more information.  So, please do not be surprised if we contact you and ask for more details; that is part of our verification process.  We also contact local experts or County Recorders, to ask their opinion.

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