Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre

The Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle keeps wildlife information for the county of Cumbria. Tullie House Museum, in its role as a local natural history museum, has collected and disseminated records of wildlife in Cumbria since its inception in 1893. From the early 1990s the Museum has developed a computerised database of species and habitat records in Cumbria and has taken the central role in providing a local biodiversity data service for the county. This role was restyled as Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre (CBDC) in 2010, a not-for-profit organisation hosted by Tullie House Museum and advised by local stakeholders.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreTuesday, March 12th, 2019 at 11:00pm
Are you 16-30 and have an interest in wildlife and recording?

If so join the CBDC, AFON and Plantlife for a fantastic day of recording! All the details can be found on the poster below booking required.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreSunday, March 10th, 2019 at 11:54pm
Species of the week this week are European moles (Talpa europaea).

Moles are a very distinctive mammal with their small stocky velvet fur covered bodies (allowing them to move quickly in burrows in any direction), large spade feet and little pink nose. They are unusual also as their eyes are almost completely covered by fur and unused, as well as that they do not have any ears and only rely on smell and touch. Despite this they are so well adapted to life underground that with their spade feet they can dig a 14 metre tunnel through dirt in one hour. They have a large population in the UK with around 31 million individuals though lifespan of these animals is relatively short at 2.5 years; the females have 2-7 young in the breeding season.

We have a very high number of mole records for Cumbria no surprise considering their overall UK numbers; we have around 5000 mole records though many of these are for multiple individuals (sometimes up to 500 individuals!). Mole records are interesting as a lot of them are records of dead moles that have been trapped or found dead these ‘dead’ records are still very important as they can be used in the future to understand Moles better. Mole records really highlight the importance of recording dead animals and clarifying in records the abundance type as dead.

Moles are considered a pest in the UK particularly by farmers as they can cause contamination, and make fields at risk of collapse though this is only when a large number of moles are present. Gardeners too don’t like moles as they damage lawns. There are lots of different ways of controlling moles in the UK and most involve removing the moles by a number of different methods or deterring their earthworm prey. There is however a plant that naturally deters moles called Caper bush (Euphorbia lathyris) also known as the mole plant, this is a non-native plant and a natural mole controller as moles won’t burrow or live near to it.

If you have any wildlife sightings (dead or alive) then please go to our website and submit a record.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreWednesday, March 6th, 2019 at 1:37am
Looking Out For The Small Things (LOST) need your help with identifying woodlands that can support lower plant life through the Rapid Woodland Assessment.

Plantlife’s Rapid Woodland Assessment (RWA) is a tool used to assess a woodlands potential to support important lichens and bryophytes of conservation interest. This helps to better understand a number of things such as our region’s Atlantic woodlands, generating information on woodland composition, structure, important habitat features, lichen indicators, woodland threats and management.

This is the perfect way to get out and start to enjoy the lighter evenings and nicer weather.

For all the resources that you will need to be able to carry out your own rapid woodland assessment go to:
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreWednesday, February 27th, 2019 at 4:15am
Species of the week this week are Dipper’s (Cinclus cinclus).

Dipper’s are a small to medium plump bird, that can often be seen bobbing while perched on rocks in a fast-flowing stream. Dippers feed on small inverts and larvae found in water, they can often be seen being carried by the current to feed in streams. As the Dipper relies on water inverts as their main food source, only clean water can support enough inverts to feed a Dipper. This means though the Dipper population in the UK is healthy, they are absent in certain areas in the UK that do not have clean enough water to support a population.

Cumbria has a great resident population of Dippers, they can be seen throughout Cumbria but particularly areas of the lake district that have clean fast running water. Number of records for this species are high with over 5000 individuals recorded. This may be thanks to apps such as iRecord as this iconic species has been regularly recorded using this app. Our records do also show an interesting trend as there where a few years that we received 100’s of dipper records a year, though these numbers have dropped. Whether this is because the Dipper is not being recorded as regularly as it was, or have Dipper numbers dropped?

Dippers should be all paired up and starting to lay their eggs around now, if you do see any please record them for us. You can also add some extra information about them, for example where they paired up and breeding, where they solitary, did they have young and how many.

Images below where taken by Paul Bacon of a family of dippers living near Ambleside taken last year, image shows an adult Dipper and then an adult Dipper with two of its young.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreThursday, February 21st, 2019 at 4:16am
The Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) is our species of the week.

The UK is home to two species of seal: the Common seal and the Grey seal. Both species have a similar distribution across Cumbria though the Grey seal is more abundant. The grey seal is the biggest UK species of seal with females reaching around 6ft and males up to 10ft. They can often be seen on the coast hunting for fish, crustaceans and squids, or perched on beaches of rocks while they digest their food.

In the past, the Grey seal was at risk of vanishing in the UK due to hunting and other threats, but they are now protected under many legislations which means today there are around 120,000 Grey seals in Britain; 40% of the Grey seals global population (wildlifetrust).

In Cumbria we have around 1000 records of Grey seals and many of them are for multiple individuals, sometimes going into the 100s. Our records show that they are seen consistently all year round in Cumbria though they are more populated areas. For example, Morecambe-bay has a significant amount more records than any other area.

We would love to know about any of your sightings of Grey seals, follow the link below to our website to record your Grey seal sighting.

Image shows Grey seals
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 10:53pm
Come & capture the woodland wonders of the #LakeDistrict at our FREE Plantlife Photography Event this Wednesday in Borrowdale, #NationalTrust. Still a few places left! #lichens #bryophytes #wildlifephotography #Cumbria CumbriaBDC photo
Monday, February 18th, 2019 at 1:40am
South West Scotland Environment Information Centre, is hosting a conference in march for people with a general interested in recording and wildlife. Set to be a fantastic day full of great talks. To book your place follow the link below.
Monday, February 18th, 2019 at 1:32am
Physconia distorta (wet), such a smart #lichen with those tidy lobules overlapping in the centre of the thallus. This specimen in particular showcases the lobate margins of the apothecia, with a coating of white pruina on the discs #lobeseverywhere #LakeDistrict #Cumbria CumbriaBDC photo
Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 10:00pm
Very exited to see the Ernest Blezard cases out on display again!
CumbriaBDC photo
Tullie House @TullieHouse
Exciting stuff as the famous Ernest Blezard habitat bird cases are installed for #Tullie125 #exhibition. Here red kite, southern puffins, kestrel chicks, merlins shown. Recreating the fondly remembered bird room atmosphere of older times.