1.2 Searching for species information
The story of Katie’s moth demonstrates the power of discovery, of searching for and finding a species’ identity, as well as the role it plays in biological monitoring and data collection.
There are many ways you can go about getting further information on species. A good source of information is the previously mentioned iSpotnature.org. This will provide you with not only the identity of a sample but also a scientific name or, depending on your location and the species group under investigation, suggestions of other platforms where you can get help with species identification. For example, Pl@ntnet in France, Artpolaten in Sweden or iNaturalist in the USA.,
Another approach would be to use well-known references such as an encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia of Life is an online resource that focuses on species, Wikipedia can also provide general information, although it should be used with caution. It is also possible to search for databases or publications that have a clear link to a reputable academic or conservation organisation – for example, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) biodiversity database – or to a local nature organisation or museum, e.g. the UK’s Natural History Museum or Woodland Trust. You might also choose to follow other types of link that are specifically related to your particular interests, such as ornamental, food sources or scientific journal databases.
In the next section, you will be taken through an example of a search for further information about a particular species.