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Pan-species listing milestones

Jonty Denton’s still not letting up, with 289 species added since mid-May taking his record-breaking list through 10,500 to stand at 10,535.

Dave Gibbs isn’t ready to submit an update yet but has added about 250 species during 2011 and reckons he’ll get to 10,000 by about the end of 2012.

Graeme Lyons and Martin Harvey have both broken 3,500 during the year. Graeme retains a slender lead.

Jon Newman, Steve Gale and Sarah Patton have all had very good years and all broken through 3,000 during the autumn. Sarah has pulled well clear though, by finishing the job of gleaning records from old notebooks to take her list to 3,327. Jon and Steve are neck-and-neck on 3,013 and 3,012 respectively!

Seth Gibson has just passed his target of 2,500 and has his sights set on 3,000.

Mark Skevington will be passing 2,000 before much longer.

Most of the pan-species listers have been spurred into tackling new groups, and fungi especially have been a rich source of new species, along with mosses, liverworts and beetles. Despite this fine example set by others, I seem to have spent most of the year concentrating more and more on beetles. Despite the fact that I’ve only seen a little over half the British and Irish beetle fauna and there’s still almost 2,000 species to go, it does seem to be getting harder and harder to find new ones – and more and more rewarding each time I do!


  1. Clive Washington says:

    Why don’t we start a separate list competition for 2012? This would give an opportunity for people to compete when, like myself, they have never kept detailed records despite having seen an awful lot of species.

  2. markgtelfer says:

    I know it comes across like it’s a competition to see who can get the biggest list. But really the pan-species challenge is between each individual and the wildlife of the British Isles. It’s just good to know that there are others out there taking on the same challenge, and it’s inspiring to see what they’ve achieved.

    To the best of my knowledge, Matt Prince was the first to attempt a pan-species year list, though this was before “pan-species listing” had been invented! See “Matt’s Holistic Devon List 2010”. He saw 1,643 species in the year, all in Devon. This year, Andrew Cunningham has taken on the same challenge and his latest tally is 2,538: see his Devon’s Wild Things blog. Matt and Andrew’s achievements are definitely inspirational but it would be good to see what could be achieved in other counties!

  3. matt says:

    Hi Mark, I’d love to be credited with being the first person to try and record everything they saw within a year, but this certainly isn’t the case. I think Ivan Lakin and Kevin Ryland did something very similar at Dawlish Warren the year before ~ though I wasn’t aware of this at the time.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your concept of ‘challenge with yourself’ rather than against each other, there can be no level playing field in this game, so its fairly pointless comparing tallies.
    Best of all everyone in this sphere I’ve been in touch with so far is quite willing to help others out with id’s and sharing the knowledge. Long may it remain that way.


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