Provisional Red Data List


In September 2012, Geoffrey T.D. Wilmore circulated a paper entitled ‘ A Provisional Vascular Plant Red Data List for VC63 (S.W. Yorkshire)’, announcing details of a project which aims to produce a definitive Red Data Vascular Plant Register for VC63 – South-West Yorkshire.  That paper reviewed the selected list of candidate species (derived from the author’s personal experience over the last forty years), broken down under various heads : 
1) Native Species ;
2) Native Species presumed Extinct in the Vice County ;
3)  Hybrids ;
4)  Archaeophytes ;
5)  Grey Area Species – Native or Introduced ;  and
6)  Unconfirmed Species. 
The paper concluded by indicating that it was proposed to commence active recording in 2013, when a range of selected species would be targeted.

This current paper is a follow up to the 2012 paper, and seeks to
a) provide Field Recording Guidelines;
b)  list the selected (native) species to be targeted in  2013, together with both historical and current locational details, where known ;  (the resultant targeted species list can be viewed here)
c)  give details of a series of organised field meetings. 

It may well be that, (as was the case with The South Yorkshire Plant Atlas) some participants in the Project may wish to undertake additional personal fieldwork and send records in.   GTDW acknowledges this, in advance, and is very grateful for all such initiatives.

Field Recording Guidlines

A considerable number of Plant Red Data Books, Rare Plant Registers and other Checklists of Rare and Scarce Plant species have been produced already, both at the national and regional level.  An important consideration would seem to be to achieve a consistent and adequate level of detail and comprehensiveness in the treatment of each taxon under discussion.  This level of detail obviously determines the amount of fieldwork required to provide such information, and, hence, the feasible timescale envisaged for the completion of the whole Vice County Project. 

A Plant Species Recording sheet has been produced (and is attached with this document) which, it is suggested, will provide adequate and consistent information on each targeted species. Brief expanded explanatory details are given below of the categories shown on the sheet.

1) Species name -  use either Latin or English, but a recognised English name, please.
2) Site Name and Status -  Give the name of the site, if a recognised site, e.g., Potteric Carr, Great Horton Country Park etc.,  - Status  means any designated status, e.g., Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Local Nature Reserve (LNR), Local Wildlife Site (LWS), Country Park (CP), etc.  If the location has no recognised name, then use any appropriate identification feature, - e.g., roadside verge adjacent to minor road from  ? to ?, etc.
3) Grid Reference -  A 10 figure Grid Reference, preferably using a GPS instrument, and using a combination of alphanumerics -  e.g., SE00000000, but one or two nationally very scarce species will not be identified to this level of accuracy (these will be notified as and when they are targeted).
4) Associated Habitat -  A brief indication of the associated habitat containing the rare taxon, extending to the immediate vicinity, - e.g.,  deciduous woodland herb layer; calcareous/neutral/acidic grassland;  marshland;  blanket bog; etc., etc.
5) Associated Species -  List a few (say, up to 6) of the notable associated species growing with the rare taxon.
6) DOMIN Frequency -  This will indicate the measure of abundance of the rare taxon.

Populations of any plant species will vary (often considerably) over time; therefore attempting to count individual flowering heads (or even clumps) of species is often rendered redundant, as the population will likely change in future seasons.  Also, the time taken to laboriously count a quite large, if local, population of a rare small sedge, (Carex ericetorum),  for example, is not cost effective.  The DOMIN scale, by comparison,  is an appropriate method of estimating population numbers by percentage cover,  within given tolerance bands. This system is used in NVC (National Vegetation Classification) surveys and is advocated in all surveys where quadrat analysis or other detailed vegetation  estimates are required.

The DOMIN scale of frequencies is given below :
Plant (Species) Cover of
91 – 100% Domin 10
76 – 90%   Domin 9
51 – 75%   Domin 8
34 – 50%   Domin 7
26 – 33%   Domin 6
11 – 25%   Domin 5
  4 – 10%   Domin 4
 < 4% -  i.e., many individuals Domin 3   
several individuals Domin 2   
few individuals Domin 1

7) NVC (National Vegetation Classification) Community – if applicable -  It is recognised that not everybody is familiar with NVC terminology, but the main NVC types, if applicable, can often be inferred from the associated habitat and species details given above.  If in doubt, leave this box blank, to be possibly filled in later.
8) Recorder -  The recorder’s name.
9) Date of Record -  Self-evident, - the date the visit was made.
10) UK Threat Category (after Cheffings & Farrell, 2005) -  ‘The Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain (Cheffings & Farrell,  2005), lists six IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) categories of Nature Conservation concern, i.e., Threat  categories. These are :
    Extinct in the Wild (i.e., surviving only in captivity);
    Critically Endangered;
    Vulnerable; and
    Near Threatened:

Many species targeted during the course of the survey will fall into one or other of these Threat categories.  If you know the Threat Category of the species concerned, please fill it in, otherwise leave the box blank to be filled in later.

G.T.D. Wilmore


Recording Sheet
Species name
Site name and Status
Grid Reference
Associated Habitat
Associated Species
DOMIN Frequency
NVC Community (if applicable)
Date of Record
UK Threat Category (after Cheffings & Farrell, 2005)

Tables prepared using tableizer

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