Targeting Revisits Maps to help get the most out of insect recording

To help wildlife recorders make the most of their time out recording insects, we’ve created the Targeting Revisits Maps to guide people to where records of some of these species are most needed.

A Targeting Revisits Map shows the pattern of recording in 1km grid squares and highlights squares that are ‘well recorded’ (with records from more than one year) and squares that are ‘targets for revisits’ (with records from only one year in the past). Can you visit squares and make records, and so turn the pink squares green?

We have Targeting Revisits Map for:

When visiting a location (whether green, pink or blank on the Targeting Revisits Maps), we encourage you to search well and record all the species that you see in the square for that taxonomic group. Submit your records via iRecord (website, or the apps available for iOS and Android) and they will appear on the map almost immediately, and be available to be verified by experts.

Your feedback on these maps is vital. If you have used these maps, please fill in the quick survey and let us have your thoughts – this is essential for us to continue supporting and improving this tool. 


Why is this useful?

At the Biological Records Centre at UKCEH we use records submitted to Recording Schemes to calculate trends in these species. But – here’s the important point – because we’re looking for changes over time, we can only use data from sites visited in more than one year. However, 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 could include data from 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 the pink squares to green by revisiting them this year!

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

ColourKey legendExplanation
Bright pinkTargets for revisitsSites 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 pinkNew this yearSites that, for the first time, have records from this year. Next year these will become targets for revisits.
Bright greenWell recordedSites 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 greenSuccessful revisitsSites 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.
BlankUnrecordedSites that, so far, don’t have any records of grasshoppers and allies in our database.

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

More information on the Targeting Revisits Maps

  • The Targeting Revisits Maps are provided to help inform where you might choose to record these species based on patterns of recording in the past. It highlights sites (in bright pink) that have records from only one year in the past. Revisiting these sites would be helpful for analysis of species trends.
  • The maps include expert-verified data from the species covered by the relevant recording scheme (Grasshoppers and Allies Recording Scheme, Cranefly Recording Scheme, Ground beetle Recording Scheme, Soldierflies and Allies Recording Scheme, and Ladybirds Recording Scheme).
  • There may be other records available that have not been passed to the recording scheme, so the maps may not represent all the data that are available. Please get in touch with the scheme organiser if you are aware of data that could be added to these datasets.
  • How are the maps updated? The Targeting Revisits Map uses the latest data from iRecord and is updated at least every few days. Be aware that recent records have not been verified, so this map should not be viewed as authoritative – see the Recording Schemes websites for Grasshoppers and alliesCranefliesGround beetles, Soldierflies and allies and Ladybirds for more details.

More information on recording these species

  • Note that all records are valuable for understanding the distribution and trends of these species, where ever they are from. Please keep recording whether or not you use the Targeting Revisits Maps!
  • It is especially valuable to submit ‘lists’ of species. A list is all the species you recorded at a location on a particular date, not just one-off, ‘special’ or notable species. Recording lists of species from repeated visits to the same site within and across years provides the best possible information for analysis of trends.
  • It is best to submit your records via iRecord so that they can readily be included in the Recording Scheme databases and will enable the Targeting Revisits Map to be updated promptly. You can use the iRecord website or iRecord app. The fully illustrated iRecord Grasshoppers app (currently only for Apple devices) provides support for recording grasshoppers and bushcrickets. All the records go to the same database.
  • Please only record species that you are confident of identifying, or where you can provide a photo (or sound recording) to help verify the records.
  • The Recording Schemes websites for Grasshoppers and alliesCranefliesGround beetles, Soldierflies and allies and Ladybirds give more details about recording these species.

Let us know what you think

Have you had a look at the Targeting Revisits Maps? Are they helpful for you and do they inspire you to record? Please let us know what you think via this feedback survey.

For further information please contact Michael Pocock

The Targeting Revisits Maps were developed by Colin Harrower at UKCEH with support from NERC and the JNCC through the TSDA (Terrestrial Surveillance Development and Analysis) project.

We are grateful to Brian Valentine and Charlie Jackson for permission to use their images.