The new Targeting Revisits Map

Where to record grasshoppers and bush crickets?

Summer is the season to enjoy the chirping of grasshoppers and buzzing of bush crickets. To help recorders make the most of their time out recording these insects, we’ve created the Targeting Revisits Map. We’d love you to explore the Targeting Revisits Map and let us know what you think.

Recording grasshoppers and bush crickets is an activity that many people enjoy. It has become easier with the introduction of the iRecord Grasshoppers app (fully functioning for Apple devices, available for Android but with limited functionality on some phones), which gives lots of information including a library of sound recordings making it much easier to identify these vocal insects.

Recording Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and bush crickets) is valuable. Some species are rare, many are widespread but sensitive to changes in land use, and a few are expanding in range, possibly because these largely warmth-loving insects are responding to changes in the climate.

At the Biological Records Centre at UKCEH we use records submitted to the Grasshoppers and Allies Recording Scheme to calculate trends in these species. But – and here’s the important point – because we’re looking for changes over time, we run our trend analyses only with records from sites visited in more than one year. There are many, many sites across the country that have records only from one year. (Here we describe a ‘site’ as a single 1km square, and use records from 1990 up to the current day.) If people revisited sites that previously had been visited in only one year, then we would be able to include many more sites in our analyses - and so we’ve created this mapping tool to easily show people where these sites are: the challenge is to turn as many bright pink squares to dark green!

Records from the dark green squares are used in trend analysis by researchers at the Biological Records Centre, but submitting records from the bright pink squares would mean that they too have records from multiple years and would be used in our analysis. This map of Reading and the surrounding area shows that there are many opportunities to make great contributions to our knowledge of Grasshoppers and Allies.

Each site (a 1km square) is classified according to its visits:

Colour

Key legend

Explanation

Bright pink

Targets for revisits

Sites that have records from only one year in the past – if these sites are revisited then they can be included in our trend analysis.

Pale pink

New in 2020

Sites that, for the first time, have records from this year. Next year these will become targets for revisits.

Bright green

Well recorded

Sites that already have records from multiple years – these sites are already included in our trend analysis, but of course records from these sites continue to be valuable.

Pale green

Successful revisits

Sites that used to only have records from a single year, but since this year have visits from multiple years and will now be included in our trend analysis.

Blank

Unrecorded

Sites that, so far, don’t have any records of grasshoppers and allies in our database.

(Strictly speaking, we base classifications on records submitted this year, so old records that have been submitted this year count as ‘new’ to the database. In most cases, ‘new’ records will be those made and submitted this year.)