Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   How many document their own biodiversity? (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/biodiversity/6781-how-many-document-their-own-biodiversity.html)

TimSaupe 08-10-2010 08:23 AM

How many document their own biodiversity?
 
I am a list geek. Last year, I started photo documenting everything I could find in the Habitat, which is basically the backyard.

To date, I have about 110 species total that I have identified down to species level. Everything from an acrobat ant (Crematogaster cerasi) to a great blue heron (Ardea herodias). I just finished cataloging everything from Class down to species to keep things better grouped together.

I have even decided to put together a poster to commemorate every year, starting last year. I'll see if I can't get an image up of 2009 later. It features my wife's photography and our own design work.

dapjwy 08-10-2010 08:41 AM

As of late, I've been hoping to create a list of animals that visit my habitat-in-the-making as well as listing the native plants I've found here and those that I've added.

I have a book, from when I first became interested in creating habitat, that showed what others had done. It included a few pictures, a description, aerial drawing of the property, and a list of animals that have visited. I'd love to create something similar for my yard.

Check out amelachier's post where he includes a list of plants on his property. That inspired me to make my own list...but when?

I look forward to your post. I'm sure it will inspire me as well.




A Native Backyard

amelanchier 08-10-2010 09:03 AM

That's a really cool idea. Do you take photos of everything to help with identification? With most insects, I'm not able to identify by sight.

dapjwy 08-10-2010 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amelanchier (Post 74018)
That's a really cool idea. Do you take photos of everything to help with identification? With most insects, I'm not able to identify by sight.


No, I'm not that disciplined. I do try for photos, but don't can't capture everything. I am trying to document what I see, often I'll ask for IDs here, but I've been so bad about creating my list. I do try to blog about things so that I can look back to create a list, but sometimes I post here and not there, or vice versa.

The book mostly listed common names of common species, but I love the format.

linrose 08-10-2010 11:00 AM

I can totally relate to being a list geek Tim. I have so many lists I need a list to keep track of them! The first thing I did when we moved here was make a list of the major trees and shrubs on the property (being first and foremost a plant geek.) Gradually I started adding forbs and grasses, then onto birds and butterflies I've seen here. Bugs, not so much but I have mental lists of them and a few photos. Oh, and also mental notes on herps too, I love lizards, toads and frogs, not so much snakes but I can watch them from a distance. Also mammals are filed somewhere in my brain, we don't see many other than your garden variety voles, moles, possums and deer. Occasionally coyotes will sound off at night.

I can't wait to see your poster!

TimSaupe 08-10-2010 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amelanchier (Post 74018)
That's a really cool idea. Do you take photos of everything to help with identification? With most insects, I'm not able to identify by sight.

My own general rule was that if I didn't have a photograph to verify, then I would not list it. However, because my wife does the photography and doesn't always want to jump every time I see something I have let that slide a little.

For example, I had an annual cicada on my flowering dogwood last night. Unmistakable. I have also seen the somewhat unmistakable small milkweed bug as well, so I added those. But everything else, in one fashion or another, has been photographed so I can enlarge details in order to try and be sure of what I am looking at.

It's not enough for me that it is a wasp or bee. I want to know that it's a great golden digger wasp or a brown-belted bumblebee :)

dapjwy 08-10-2010 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimSaupe (Post 74025)
It's not enough for me that it is a wasp or bee. I want to know that it's a great golden digger wasp or a brown-belted bumblebee :)

I like that idea and the common names of the two you listed seem endearing. I just hope I have the patience to research and compile a list.

TimSaupe 08-10-2010 11:51 AM

I have wanted to map out the area . . . and a plant list is a good idea too. I have one for everything I have planted myself, but now that I am clearing out the wooded area on the other side of my creek I have a whole slew of new things to identify and add.

I guess I should start building my own journal or somesuch . . .

dapjwy 08-10-2010 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by linrose (Post 74022)
I can totally relate to being a list geek Tim. I have so many lists I need a list to keep track of them! The first thing I did when we moved here was make a list of the major trees and shrubs on the property (being first and foremost a plant geek.) Gradually I started adding forbs and grasses, then onto birds and butterflies I've seen here. Bugs, not so much but I have mental lists of them and a few photos. Oh, and also mental notes on herps too, I love lizards, toads and frogs, not so much snakes but I can watch them from a distance. Also mammals are filed somewhere in my brain, we don't see many other than your garden variety voles, moles, possums and deer. Occasionally coyotes will sound off at night.

I can't wait to see your poster!

I think I'll go your route, linrose. ...but with fewer lists.

There is something else we have in common: plants have always been the main attraction for me with wildlife a close second. I'm definitely interested in birds, mammals, butterflies, and herps (less so on the snakes too, but they are welcome here)...with other insects and arachnids and such less likely to be indentified and listed.

The longer I'm here on WG, the more I realize that attracting wildlife has always been part of my drive to re-establish native plantings...I think my love of wildflowers was just most prominent in my mind. Let's face it, without the plants, we'd have no wildlife.

Last winter I did start to identify many of the trees already on our property--and there approximate location on an aerial view of the yard. Maybe this winter I can make it more accurate. You've inspired me...all of you.

I'm waiting on the poster too. =)



A Native Backyard

TimSaupe 08-10-2010 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dapjwy (Post 74029)
I'm waiting on the poster too. =)

I'll see if I can't get it shrunk down this evening. So check back then :)


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