Monitoring wildlife on campus. We need your help!

iNaturalistThe University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy aims to protect and enhance our environment and prevent uncontrolled climate change. One of the core goals of the strategy, is ‘Valuing Nature’ which focuses on how we work with and alongside nature.

We want our estate to be memorable and distinctive with a strong sense of place, contributing to the health and wellbeing of staff, students, visitors and the surrounding local community. This includes opportunities for wildlife, including pollinators and birds, to flourish.

To help meet these aims, we want to provide an easy way for people to engage and monitor wildlife on campus and have set up a campus project on iNaturalist, a free, easy to use app.

The app allows you to upload photos of the wildlife (but you can also include garden plants/trees) you see around you, and to discover the types of wildlife you are observing. Your sightings will form part of a global database that can be used by scientists and the University to inform future actions to increase biodiversity and the conservation of species.

Our iNaturalist project is called Biodiversity on Campus. Any observations you upload of wildlife on campus will automatically be added – no need for you to do anything. The project is open to staff, students and the public; anyone can upload an observation.

So far, we have identified over 200 species of plants, animals and fungi on campus. Get exploring and help us reach 300 or more!

We hope that in the long-term, the project aids the University staff and students as well as the local community in understanding and appreciating campus wildlife, fosters environmentally sustainable practice, and helps improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the University community.

To get involved, first download and create an account on the iNaturalist app (on Google Play or the App Store) or use on the web. To help get you started, we’ve created a quick guide on how to identify and record species using the app, featuring useful pictures and links.