We’ve been talking a lot recently about tips and tricks to learning to identify flora and fauna – whether you’re interested in understanding the diversity of plants and animals in your backyard, or trying to put yourself through a self-taught crash course in all things arid plants in order to undertake surveys for work. And one of the big things that stands out to me is that it’s ok to ask for help.
In a world with so much biodiversity and abundance, it can be difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of the natural world around us. While flicking through field guides and scrutinising photos can be all good and well, sometimes it is helpful to reach out to local experts. Fortunately, there are so many people, organisations and resources that are dedicated to helping you learn to identify your flora and fauna.
Here are three ideas on where to get help with identifying flora and fauna when you’ve run out of steam and your field guide can’t help you:
There are so many Facebook groups for flora and fauna Identification and many of them are incredibly helpful at providing an identification as well as explaining why it is something rather than something else – especially if you have taken a half decent photo of the species in question!
Joining a local wildlife-focused group, especially one that organises walks or field trips to local nature reserves or wetlands, can be valuable for putting you in touch with people who know the local area like the back of their hand! A great place to start is your local friends of group, field naturalists, BirdLife, RSPB or whatever runs in your local area.
Experts in the industry
Reaching out to experts in the industry, whether or not you know them personally or not, is a great way to meet professionals and show yoru interest as well as find ways to get involved in the research or conservation projects surrounding the species in question. Great examples of professionals to contact can be representatives of your local museum or herbarium, university professors and PhD candidates or other leaders in the industry.
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