What is a pan-species list?
A pan-species list is a list of all the animals, plants, fungi and protists you have seen in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Whether a Daisy or a Death's-head Hawk-moth, a Killer Whale or a Killer Shrimp, all species count as equal on your pan-species list. Although this may seem like the trivialisation of natural history to the accumulation of a big list, it's what is behind the list - how you get there - that makes this approach to natural history so powerful. Add a healthy dose of competitiveness in the form of the rankings pages and thanks to Mark Telfer, pan-species listing was born. Will this bring about a 'renaissance of the all-round naturalist'?
You can also get involved by compiling a pan-species list for a site - it could be your garden, your patch, or a reserve that you work on or regularly visit.
What are the benefits of pan-species listing?
There are many benefits to the pan-species listing approach to natural history. Here are just a few:
- It encourages you to tackle difficult and challenging groups.
- It produces lots of records of these less accessible taxa.
- Whether professional or amateur, it will enhance your natural history skills.
- It promotes the concept that all wildlife is equal.
- There's now a growing community of all-round naturalists.
- Field events are now held annually.
- It's fun!
How do I go about compiling my list?
- If you are starting from scratch, the easiest way to compile your list is to use iRecord.
- If all your records are already databased, it should be fairly straightforward to produce a species list.
- If you are a more experienced naturalist but your records are not databased, the quick way to pull your pan-species list together is to use a spreadsheet guided by the taxonomic breakdown template on the profile pages. Various checklists will be of use at this stage. Although it may seem a daunting task, by far the best way to maintain a pan-species list is to database all your records.