Text taken from post by Les Hill (BC)
Probably the single biggest and arguably most important announcement from the National Moth Recorders’ Meeting at Birmingham…
From 1st April, the National Moth Recording Scheme will start to accept micro-moth records for the first time! Micro-moth records however, will go through a more thorough verification process than macro-moths in order for it to work. Every species and commonly-recorded life stage has been allocated a grade similar to the grades on our website and many other moth group websites. All records within reason will be verified according to these criteria – by the way, these national grades and recording criteria have been designed by many acknowledged taxa experts, people with a vast amount of experience and who KNOW what they are talking about. However, there will be instances where local grades and rulesets may overrule the national guidelines.
There will be three possible levels of verification: Firstly, the County Moth Recorder (CMR). If for any reason the CMR is unable to verify a species’ record, it will be passed to a Regional Verification Panel (RVP) of experts in order to help the CMR make an informed decision. If for any reason the RVP are unable to verify that record, it will be referred to a National Verification Panel (NVP) of experts for a final decision. The NVP will also have access to the full dataset in the National Moth Recording Scheme for final verification checks as they see fit. In all instances, the CMRs, or Verification Panel’s decision will be final. There will be feedback to recorders throughout the verification process.
There will be a minority of people who will disagree that such panels should exist (or CMRs for that matter) seeing them merely as just layers of bureaucracy which is their right to hold that view; however, moth recording, apart from as we know being a fantastic hobby, must be taken seriously and data verification is an essential process – after all, we are contributing to science. The data we provide to the national schemes must be robust as our data are used to make informed government policy and conservation decisions.
I suspect for most recorders it will be business as usual and it will all happen quite seamlessly. The only difference is the data generated will go further than just county datasets.