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 CentreThursday, February 14th, 2019 at 1:18am
Species of the week this week is the Common toad (Bufo bufo).
Common toads are widespread across the UK though they are not found in Ireland. They should now be emerging from their mud burrows where they spend their winter staying out of the cold, though they are not hibernating and will still leave their burrow to eat when it is milder. Toads breed in the same pond each year and travel the same route to their breeding pond, which often involves crossing road where toads can be killed. This may be a big factor in the recent and rapid decline in Common toad numbers which have dropped by 68% in the last 30 years (froglife).

In total we have 2084 records of toads from 1953-2018 some of these records are for multiple individuals, these records show a clear spike in the number of sighting/records we receive in certain months. Which can tell us what time of the year Common toads are most active in Cumbria (see the graph below).

Luckily for the toad there is the Toads on Roads project, that conduct regular toad patrols in which they help toads and sometimes newts cross the roads safely during the toad breeding season. If you would like to find out more about Toad Patrols in your area and how you can get involved and patrols in your area, then follow the link below.

Another great way that you can help the Common toad is to record any sightings on our website via the link below.

Images of common toads where taken by Suzanne Collinson and Becky Ashmore both members of the @CARG the Amphibian and Reptile group for Cumbria, a great group to get involved in if you want to find out more about toads and other amphibians in your area.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreThursday, February 7th, 2019 at 1:20am
Plantlife and the LOST project are running a fantastic photography competition right here in Cumbria.

All ages welcome with a mixture of different categories all based around the Lake Districts temperate rainforests.

For more information follow the link below:
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreTuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 6:01am
Our species of the week is the Snowdrop!

The common snowdrop or ‘Galanthus nivalis’ is a winter flowering plant that is able to flower so early because it grows from a bulb- storing nutrients for the plant during dormancy. The snowdrop is relatively new to the UK landscape arriving around 1597 then the first recording was 1778. It is considered native to the UK and now there are lots of cultivated and more ornamental versions of the snowdrop designed for gardens. Interestingly, the snowdrop produces ‘elaiosome’, a seed that is rich in fat, attracting ants who naturally disperse the seeds.

The CBDC has 632 individual records of the snowdrop in Cumbria, starting from 1945 to 2017. Unexpectedly this mainly winter species has been recorded in every month except for November and December, with a slight trend showing in recent years that snowdrops are being recorded earlier. The most recordings of the common snowdrop in the 10km Square near Lindale, South Cumbria.

If you see any Snowdrops this winter please do record them by either using our website, a local botany group or via an app such as iRecorder.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreMonday, January 28th, 2019 at 12:13am
Good news to all the Amphibian and Reptile recorders and enthusiasts out there! There is now a Cumbrian Amphibian and Reptile group.

This is a great place to find out more about reptiles and amphibians in cumbria and share what you have seen, or to get involved with amphibian and reptile projects in Cumbria.

We are also looking froward to working with them and helping to get more people recording Amphibians and Reptiles in Cumbria.

To become a member of this group follow this link:
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreSaturday, January 26th, 2019 at 6:01am
Species of the week, Chestnut moth or Conistra vaccinia.

Chestnut moths are a common winter moth and are very similar in appearance to the Dark chestnut moth- also a wintering species. However the Dark chestnut is much less common. Although the name suggests one is darker than the other, this often is not a reliable indicator of species as there is some much variation.

The CBDC has 1354 individual verified records of this particular moth from 1889 to 2018, being very well recorded with consistent records every year from 1979.
Our records show that the highest recorded month of this moth is in October with 358, the month with second highest number of records is march with 301. Interestingly this was not a month that the Chestnut moth was recorded in before 1979 (except for 1 in 1930). This could suggest that the chestnut moth is becoming more common in these later months, or this could be linked to moth traps becoming more widely available?

Have you seen any Chestnut moths this winter?

Image shows a Chestnut moth.
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.
Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 at 7:43pm
Best ever farmland bird ringing day - phenomenal 142 Yellowhammers caught inc a 5 year old with c700 Yellowhammers on site! 400 Tree Sparrows present with 31 ringed but 44 retrapped originally ringed as nestlings across the landscape. I think working with the farmers is working! CumbriaBDC photo
Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 at 7:38pm
We had a great first #Winter #Invertebrate talk last night with Ian Beddison. A fascinating presentation followed by soup, cake & a good natter! This was one of our favourite of Ian's photos, beautiful Ruby-tailed wasps found in County #Durham 😍 @NorthPennAONB @HeritageFundNE CumbriaBDC photo