The Farmers’ Wildlife Calendar aims to record 9 key annual events on Irish farms to see how they are being affected by climate change.

Blackthorn in flower.

Farmers used to use a rhyme to predict the summer weather:

If the Ash comes out before the Oak,
There’ll be a summer soak.
If the Oak comes out before the Ash,
There’ll be a summer splash.

While it may not be a fool-proof way of predicting summer rainfall, it does show the long-standing interest of farmers in seeing how species react to the weather and what it might mean for the coming months.

We are looking for records for the first occurance of some seasonal events. This information can help us answer questions like:

• What effect has recent weather had on wildlife?
• How is climate change affecting timings in nature?

 

Value of this scheme and your records

We are all aware that climate change is going to change our planet.

Male Orange-tip on Cuckoo Flower.

In Ireland, it is expected that there will be an increase in temperature and an increase in rainfall. This will change the emergence time of insects, the flowering of plants and the arrival of our common migrants.

Farmers are very familiar with their land and are in a great position to send accurate records of the first occurrence of these events. Over years, we will be able to estimate the effects of climate change on these events.

 

Method

  1. Become familiar with the 9 key annual events and the species identification features ID card
  2. Identify habitats on your farm that you are most likely to find the species in Farmland Habitats
  3. Record the date and location of the first time you see the species Recording form
  4. Submit your record via Ireland’s Citizen Science Portal
    *All the pdfs can be downloaded or printed for use.

You don’t need to be a farmer to take part in the recording initiative and we are delighted to get records from across Ireland from anyone. Similar to the old rhyme, we need the very first occurrence of these seasonal events. You can choose as many or as few species to record.

 

Live Observation Map

Choose your species.

As observations are submitted throughout the year, the map below will become populated with more records over time. Visitors have the option, in the top right-hand corner the screen, of selecting the species or natural event they are most interested in and viewing where the first sightings of each have been reported from.

Slide through time.

Using the time slider in the bottom left hand corner you will be able to visibly see the the records submissions appearing throughout Ireland across the seasons. Look for any interesting patterns or potentially significant differences in the natural timing of events and species of interest.

None of your personal information will be disclosed to any third party. The location of the sighting will only be shown on a small scale, national map. The purpose of the mapping is not to get details of the location, but rather to see if there are significant difference to timing of these natural events across the country when they are plotted on a national map.

 

Farmer’s Wildlife Calendar: Climate Tracker is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine