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This World Wildlife Day we’re delighted to announce our latest citizen science opportunity!

Some of you may remember that last year the University of Cambridge published its first-ever Biodiversity Action Plan, known locally as the BAP. Along with guidelines for enhancing biodiversity across the University, the BAP sets out our 10-year vision to:

“Deliver a significant and measurable improvement in the biodiversity of the University of Cambridge estate, and the Greater Cambridge Area more generally, in a manner that educates and inspires an appreciation of the natural environment, and that encourages interventions, research and innovation to enhance and protect biodiversity for future generations.”

Achieving an exciting and enhanced future for the biodiversity on our doorstep requires ongoing wildlife monitoring across the University’s estate – which is no small task! Luckily here at Cambridge we’re part of a passionate community of students, staff and the wider public, who can help us along the way. This is where you come in!

Share your sightings with us

If you’ve spotted wildlife across the University’s estate you can now upload your sightings to our online iRecord database. Citizen science data on when and where a particular species was found can contribute to national and international datasets, be used for research or conservation, and help inform planning, development and even wildlife legislation. Anyone above the age of 13 can register for an iRecord account and once you join the group you’ll be able to view a map of all the recent sightings. See our step-by-step iRecord user guide below for details on how to get started.

iRecord user guide

If you’re interested in finding out more about biodiversity at the University, you can view the results of our 2018 biodiversity baseline surveys here.

If you’d like to share your sightings and chat to others with a similar interest, why not join the University’s Biodiversity Yammer group and let us know which species you’ve managed to identify near you?

Written by Chantal Helm and Rachel Steward