There are concerns that the numbers of pollinating insects such as wild bees and flies are declining, but the National Biodiversity Data Centre need much more data to be able to track changes in abundance. The public can help by doing a Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count), which is designed to collect new data on the numbers of flower-visiting insects.
They have launched the new FIT Count app to make it easier for recorders to carry out a count and upload the results to us. The app builds on the success of the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme and the EU SPRING project who developed a version of the app for use within Ireland.
The National Biodiversity Centre say:
“We hope that you can help by downloading the app and carrying out some FIT Counts in 2022. Apart from collecting very valuable data on flower-visiting insects, it is a lovely way to spend 10 minutes connecting with nature!”
About Flower-Insect Timed Counts (FIT Counts)
FIT Counts are very simple – you watch a patch of flowers for 10 minutes and count how many insects visit. It is a very useful tool for individuals, community groups and others to measure change in their local biodiversity. If you’ve taken action as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, carrying out FIT Counts throughout the year and across future years will help track the impact of your actions on insect numbers and diversity.
- FIT Counts are open to everyone
- You can do as many 10-minute FIT Counts as you like between the 1st April and the 30th September
- Your location can be anywhere e.g., garden, farm, park, school, business site
- You don’t need to identify the insects to species level, but only to tally within broad groups e.g., bumblebee, butterflies & moths, wasp, beetle
- We are delighted that the new FIT Count app now makes it much easier to carry out the count and to upload the results to us in one go
About the FIT Count app
- All FIT Count data can be entered in the field – no internet signal required
- Counts can be uploaded immediately if you have data/Wifi. They can also be stored within the app for upload when you return to base
- Includes insect groups identification guide
- Can use device GPS to automatically record your location
- Once uploaded, your FIT Count data can he viewed, edited or downloaded via a dedicated website
Note: If you do not have internet in the field, the initial map will appear blank but it does still work if your location is on.
We express our thanks to the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme and to the EU SPRING project who developed a version of the app for use within Ireland.
For more information visit the FIT Count website: https://biodiversityireland.ie/surveys/fit-counts/