Distinguished Recorder Award 2011

Ireland’s top wildlife experts celebrated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Mr Michael Starrett (CEO, Heritage Council), Dr Roy Anderson, Dr Tina Aughney, Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn (Chair, Centre's Managment Board)

Dr. Tina Aughney & Dr. Roy Anderson recognised for their work on Irish bats and creepy crawlies

Bats and beetles are not usually the focus of awards in modern Ireland, but the National Biodiversity Data Centre is bucking the trend. Today they have announced that Drs Tina Aughney and Roy Anderson are the recipients of the Centre’s 2011 Distinguished Recorder Award.

With Dr. Anderson documenting 320 new animal and plant species to Ireland and Dr. Aughney training over 1,000 people in bat surveying, their contribution to understanding Ireland’s wildlife is immense.

Ireland’s biodiversity is an important national asset, contributing €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year. This asset provides us with clean water, productive soils, fresh air, pollination, pest control, and the list goes on. Drs Tina Aughney and Roy Anderson have both committed thousands of hours both professionally and voluntarily towards the conservation and better understanding of this biodiversity resource. Also they are both leading authorities (nationally and internationally) in their chosen areas. Dr. Tina Aughney has amassed a significant and high quality dataset on Irish bats while Dr. Roy Anderson’s area of expertise is on creepy crawlies and fungi.

Ireland has a rich history of biological recording. Dr. Tina Aughney and Dr. Roy Anderson are continuing the legacy of famous Irish naturalists like Robert Lloyd Praeger in bettering our knowledge of our natural environment.This is the 3rd year of the award with previous awards going to Ken Bond in 2008 for his work recording Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Paul Green in 2009 for his work in improving our knowledge of the Irish flora.

Acknowledging their outstanding contribution Chair of the NBDC Dr. Mary Kelly-Quinn said, The Distinguished Recorder Award is conferred to Dr. Aughney and Dr. Anderson for their outstanding contributions to understanding Ireland’s biodiversity. Both have made their research publically available through the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s on-line mapping system Biodiversity Maps”. “To date the Centre has over 1.8 million records, many of which are attributed to Ireland’s voluntary recorders who have travelled the length and breadth of the country in their recording endeavours. These records help to further our understanding of the 31,000 different species that make up Ireland’s biodiversity. Importantly, they also identify those components at risk of extinction, and allow us to monitor the impact of pressures such as climate change”, added Dr. Mary Kelly-Quinn.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) is dedicated to the collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data and information on Ireland’s biological diversity. One of the Centre’s priorities is to promote and encourage biological recording in Ireland. In its simplest form a biological record tells us where a species occurs and the date on which it was observed.   There are currently over 6,000 recorders in Ireland who have contributed records to the Centre either directly or through various recording schemes/organisations.

For biographical notes on Tina and Roy http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/home-page/recorders-award/distinguished-recorder-2011/