United Nations World Wildlife Day

Finding, recording and appreciating the wildlife on your doorstep

Wednesday 3rd March 2021 is the United Nations World Wildlife Day, where globally people are encouraged to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Whilst the UN this year has attributed the theme of forests and livelihoods to World Wildlife Day to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, in these times of lockdown living in Scotland where we don’t get out much, I would instead like to talk about finding, recording and appreciating the wildlife on your own doorstep!

During lockdown, as we have had to stay at home, many people have started to notice local wildlife more, whether in their garden or out on their daily allowed exercise round! My neighbour spotted a red squirrel in their garden which is very exciting as we are in the middle of the urban area!

Red Squirrel © Ian Talboys

So if you see something, does it matter beyond that snazzy photo for your Instagram? Absolutely.

My top tip is – if you see it, record it! Our local biological records centre NESBReC has over 1.6 million biological records, and these are used for a variety of purposes as different as ecology surveys for planning applications to academic research. Many common species are hugely under-recorded because people believe that it has to be special to be recorded but nothing is further from the truth. All records matter; the more records we have, the better we can understand the natural environment and track changes!

With climate change, it is increasingly important to provide havens for wildlife and nature especially in the urban environment. A network of green areas in a city can allow nature to connect over distance and of course, naturalised areas can help us mitigate common effects of climate change more effectively than hard areas such as sealed surfaces like tarmac.

And that wildlife on your doorstep needs your help. The Aberdeen City Council Countryside Rangers Facebook page is a great resource for all things local wildlife! If you are lucky to have your own garden, the RSPB has some great tips on things you can do for nature in your own patch! You can also book onto our Wildlife Gardening Event on the 18th March 2021 as part of a great programme for Climate Week North East.  If you want to find out more on local biodiversity projects and how to get involved even if you don’t have your own garden, head on over to the “Get Involved” section of our website.

So why not go out there today on World Wildlife Day, see what you can find, record it and also stop to appreciate it!  Even if that just means taking the time to look out of your window at home for 5 minutes, you might be surprised at what you can see!

Siskins and bullfinches © Ian Talboys


Environmental Planner at Aberdeen City Council