HomeScienceWildlifeRHS Garden Wisley researcher runner-up in national wildlife recording awards

RHS Garden Wisley researcher runner-up in national wildlife recording awards

Imogen Cavadino second in the National Biodiversity Network Trust’s Award for Wildlife Recording – Terrestrial for her work on slugs

The awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to wildlife logging and understanding of Britain’s biodiversity. Imogen received the award for her research into the diversity and ecology of slugs in Britain through two national recording projects and for her contribution to communicating the important role they play in garden ecosystems.

Imogen’s Slugs Count project generated more than 3,000 records that will be added to national datasets this winter, the first time since the 1950s that a detailed species list of slugs found in British gardens has been compiled. 60 volunteers were trained to identify snails in their gardens, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this all happened virtually.

Imogen’s second project, the RHS Cellar Slug survey, ran from March 2019 to October 2021, yielding more than 800 verified records of two target species of cellar slugs from the UK. The project proved hugely popular with the public and has helped fill gaps in our taxonomic and geographic knowledge of these snails and provide data that is accessible to all.

Imogen started her PhD at RHS and Newcastle University in 2018, her research will help identify and understand the diversity of snails and snails in UK gardens. This gives gardeners a better understanding of where snail and snail control is appropriate, reducing damage to other garden animals.

In her own time, Imogen is an active biological recorder and has contributed more than 450 records to iRecord and iNaturalist (the two most popular wildlife recording apps). Perhaps more importantly, she has also verified nearly 2,000 publicly submitted records on the two platforms.

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Imogen Cavadino, RHS research assistant, said: “I enjoy going out into the field and connecting with nature, but what excites me most about capturing wildlife is sharing and sharing my knowledge with others. are part of the bigger picture. Slugs are not always popular, so I enjoy educating others about their diversity, their role in the ecosystem and the challenges these species face. Data submitted by the public is a essential resource, especially to better understand the changes taking place in our native biodiversity as a result of human actions, increased international trade and climate change.

Lisa Chilton, Chief Executive Officer of the NBN Trust, said: “Well deserved congratulations to Imogen Cavadino, one of the co-runners-up of the 2022 NBN Award for Wildlife Recording – Terrestrial. She has been a huge contributor to our knowledge of British slugs and has inspired so many others to include this underrated and underrated group. We are delighted to recognize Imogen’s exceptional work with this Award!”

Imogen originally studied English literature and music, and a little later discovered her love for citizen science and wildlife shooting. In 2016, Imogen completed a Natural Talent Traineeship and in the short time since then, she has become a driving force in the field, inspiring a new army of volunteers to participate in slug recording and identification.

Winners and runners-up of five wildlife recording awards were announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 9 November at the Natural History Museum in London.

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