When we’re talking about strategies and steps you can take to learn your flora and fauna, my number one piece of advice is always to spend time in nature!
Spending time in nature is an essential part of learning about the amazing flora and fauna that inhabit our planet. Through observation and research, we can gain a better understanding of the natural world and the animals, plants, and other organisms that live within it.
A lot of people ask about how to start learning and identifying the flora and fauna you encounter around you and every time – my first piece of advice is spend the time in nature observing.
Spending time in nature is essential to developing an understanding of flora and fauna, and the best part is that this time spent in the field accrues, even if you’re working between varying landscapes. By training your powers of observation and your knowledge of features to look for such as family characteristics – you are strengthening that muscle so to speak and ultimately putting in the time and practice in order to master this skill set.
Immersing yourself in the natural world and allowing yourself to be curious about what you see – looking closely at things you might normally glance past is a great way to reconnect and re-excite yourself about the natural world. Taking photos to document what you encounter, as well as the quirks and characteristic features can also be incredibly valuable when you follow through with identifying what you find.
While some areas have excellent books and field guides available to flick through and give a name to your discoveries, other areas are less well-resourced. If this is the case, online resources will become your good friends – try iNaturalist, FloraBase, museum apps or any other online plant or animal species identification database. And of course, if you still can’t match it – why not phone a friend or reach out to an expert or Facebook group to help you narrow down your search.
And, if you find yourself needing to take a crash course on flora and fauna identification in an area – such as learning your species quickly for work – or you feel like you’re lacking motivation and not getting to where you’d like to be fast enough – then a good way to overcome this is to schedule time to spend in the field observing and identifying species, and track the time you spend on it.
You might surprise yourself at how quickly you can learn your flora and fauna when you spend the time!
Here at #itsawildlife we are working to create resources to make learning your flora and fauna an easier process – so if you’re interested in this this, browse the blog or head over to our socials to join us as we uncover some of the amazing biodiversity of the natural world.
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