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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

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Biological Record Centre

Contact the Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre

Tel: 0141 276 9323 Biological.Records@glasgowlife.org.uk

Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre 

About the Centre

Glasgow Museums play a vital role for biological recording in Scotland.

The Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre is based in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre. It is a Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC). LERCs are not-for-profit organisations that collect and manage information on the natural environment for a defined geographic area.

The Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre covers:

  • Glasgow
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Inverclyde
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • parts of Argyll & Bute

The Centre has been based in Glasgow Museums since the 1980s. We gather data about the natural environment, for example sightings of birds, moths, amphibians and plants. This data is sent to us from a range of groups, including societies and interested individuals. It is usually sent as a biological record.

We also gather historic data from the Museums’ natural history collections. This helps make the ‘dead’ collections relevant to present-day nature conservation. We collate all this data and use it to provide reports on the natural environment for businesses, Local Authorities, recording groups and the public.

What is a biological record?

A biological record is the record of a species seen by a person at a specific place and time. Recording wildlife is vital work. It helps us to improve our understanding of the natural world by showing how species distribution changes over time. Recording a new or rare species is exciting, but it is also important to record common species.

For a biological record to be useable, you should record four things:

What you saw
This could be the common name or the scientific name.
Importantly, if you are not sure about the species please don’t guess. We are happy to help with identifications, or help you find others who can.

Where
This should be a detailed description of the location, and if possible, a six-figure grid reference.

When
This should be the full date, but if you only have the month and year that can still be helpful. 

Who
This should be details about who saw the species, and anyone who helped with the identification.

For example:
One Peacock butterfly, seen on the grass in front of the Lord Roberts Monument in Kelvingrove Park (grid reference NS572665), on 09/05/2020 by Robyn Haggard.

It’s always helpful if a record has extra information. This could be the sex, age, behaviour, or details about the habitat.

Sending us your biological records

You can send Glasgow Museums Biological Records Centre your records by completing the GMBRC recording word document form and emailing it to biological.records@glasgowlife.org.uk. It is helpful if you can include a photograph of the plant or animal you saw to help us confirm the record.

If you have a lot of biological records, or want to use an excel sheet, you can complete the general recording excel form and email it to the same address.

You can read our privacy notice online.

You can email us with specific questions about recording, or if you are interested in but unsure how to start, we are happy to offer advice. We can also help identify animals and plants you have seen.

Requesting data

You can request data from the Centre for commercial and non-commercial uses. We can provide:

  • Species data
    • All species
    • Notable, protected and invasive species only
    • Specific species or taxonomic groups only, e.g. birds or bats
  • Information and data on statutory and non-statutory sites

Please email us at biological.records@glasgowlife.org.uk for more information, or to make a data request.

We do charge an administrative fee for commercial uses of our data. This covers the staff time needed to process the request and contributes to the time spent collating and managing the data.