Pan-species listing is certainly not a new phenomenon but it has gained a huge following in recent years as birders in particular branch out into other areas of wildlife. For those new to the term a pan-species list basically involves recording any species of animal, plant, fungi or protist seen across Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Clearly the scope for lengthy lists is huge, along with suitable bragging rights of course, but it also serves as an excellent introduction and education to those groups of species which are far less recognised or recorded. Given the nature of this blog and my activities in the great outdoors the idea of creating a pan-species list appeals greatly, but to be frank getting started has always been more than a little daunting. Just walking along the Pembrokeshire coast this weekend revealed a plethora of plants in particular that I simply wouldn’t have a clue when it comes to keying out a species and that’s the reason I’ve held off on things for now. However, recent sunny days in our garden reminded me that I’ve always fancied doing a bioblitz there and that logically led on to thoughts about starting a pan-species list for the garden before heading off into the world beyond. Not only would the area covered be much more manageable but there’s also chance of making some truly exceptional discoveries about what’s right under our noses.

P1020386 - Froghopper

To that end I spent a couple of hours last week just running around the garden with a camera, not trying to identify anything as such but instead to get a feel for what kind of biodiversity I could expect. The results were pretty startling with a wealth of insect species in particular taking much of my attention. I’m ashamed to say that some I’d never even seen before such as the Froghoppers above and several others included in the collage below. Then there were the Bees for which a new identification book is currently on order.

Garden Insects

Summing up then this has been a slightly long winded way of saying that I’ll be starting a pan-species list of our garden very soon. I’ve got no targets to aim for and in truth have no real idea of what we might find. What I do hope is that it will improve my knowledge and who knows, we may end up as the next home owners to discover a brand new species.


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