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Record number of wildlife observations in the Baltic Triangle - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Bees, daisies, herring gulls and much rarer species have been recorded as part of a project to assess populations of urban wildlife in Merseyside.

Visitors and volunteers shared more than 800 observations using the iNaturalist app as part of the Baltic Triangle Project, which began this year.

Before the wildlife recording project, relatively little was known about urban wildlife in the area. Now, thanks to the efforts of local wildlife lovers, community groups and visitors to the area, more than 270 different species have been recorded in the Baltic Triangle, covering 13 different groups of plant, animal and fungi.

Species common to the area, like buddleja, daisy and herring gull, have been found in large numbers. However, several species uploaded to the iNaturalist app for identification are new to the wildlife list of the Baltic Triangle and surrounding area. These include the tree bumblebee, as well as species new to the county such as the mildew, erysiphe rayssiae, and lichen, pleurosticta acetabulum.

The project wants to encourage everyone to share their wildlife sightings using the free app, iNaturalist. This nature identification website allows anyone to upload pictures of animals and plants to be identified by other website users. The more people using iNaturalist; the more species could be discovered in Liverpool.

Ben Deed is the BioBank Officer for Merseyside BioBank: “Reporting sightings of wildlife or recording wildlife are two of the most rewarding, and at the same time useful contributions anyone can make to help protect nature now and into the future. The very act of exploring the natural environment, looking for wildlife, means that you are outdoors and experiencing the kinds of things that people would normally just walk past. By stopping to look, you learn to tell those things apart in a way that genuinely opens your eyes to the incredible range of wildlife that still finds a home in even the most urban centres of our cities. Projects like Urban GreenUP in Liverpool offer really special opportunities for people who take the time to stop and look for nature. As green interventions are put in place throughout the city, oases are being created for wildlife and no-one really knows how these places will be used or what species of plant and animal might colonise them. The route through the Baltic Triangle in particular provides a corridor through which wildlife like pollinators, bats and birds might travel, bringing in the kinds of things you might only see in the outer city parks. There is no doubt that there is still so much to discover in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle and much, much more in the coming years.”

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