The National Moth Recording Scheme
Launched in 2007, the National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS) has already collated over 20 million current and historical sightings (records) of all macro-moths (larger moths) across the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It is hoped that, in time, full 'Britain and Ireland' distributions will be available for all species. The new scheme covers some 900 species, with thousands of active recorders, and the enormous dataset of distribution records that is has generated is benefiting nature conservation, public understanding and ecological research.
A similar scheme ran from 1967 to 1982 (organised by the Biological Records Centre) and this provides important historical data about moth distributions, against which we can assess change.
The creation of the new NMRS came at a very opportune time. Moth recording has never been more popular and the number of recorders is growing rapidly in many areas. As a consequence, recording coverage is increasing, making it possible to achieve realistic assessments of species distribution at the national scale over a period of years. At the same time, the conservation need for such data has never been more pressing.
We need your help! The NMRS is open to all and anyone can help record moths. Many macro-moths are active or easily disturbed during the day, and records of these are just as important as nocturnal species. Please send the details of your sightings (species, date, number seen, place and grid reference) to the appropriate County Moth Recorder so that they can form part of the NMRS. Alternatively, you can submit your sightings via the NMRS online recording system. Such records will be passed on to County Moth Recorders.
The NMRS is an accessible database, in accordance with the NMRS data policy, not a 'black hole' for records. Provisional distribution maps for all macro-moth species have been published in the Provisional Atlas of the UK's Larger Moths and we are now working towards a full atlas of the larger moths in Britain and Ireland.