Ecosystem Surveys

We need your sightings! 

We are inviting people to submit sightings of species which are indicators of ecosystem health or invasive species which threaten ecosystem health. Please use our on-line form to tell us if you have seen any of the below species in Fife.   


Barn Owl

One of our most icoBarn Owlnic species, the Barn Owl, Tyto alba is becoming an increasingly rare sight over the lowland and farmland regions of Fife. Loss of field margins, woodland edges and hedgerows means fewer places for them to hunt and nest sites are also being lost as farm buildings are converted into dwellings or demolished. We would like to learn more about the status of these beautiful birds in Fife so sightings from the public are very important.




Green Hairstreak Butterfly

Green Hairstreak

The UK’s only green butterfly. Green Hairstreak (Callophyrys rubi) hold their wings closed, except in flight. They may be seen on the hillsides of Fife resting on blaeberry, with colonies found in upland areas, old quarries, woodland clearings and rough, scrubby grassland. This species has suffered local losses so all sightings are vital to finding out more about their status.




Bluebell WoodlandWe would like to know more about the current distribution of Bluebell in Fife and your sightings are really important in helping us do this. Our native Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is increasily under threat from the Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) as well as the hybrid that results when the two species interbreed. For tips on how to distinguish these varieties as well as a specific recording form for our current public survey for these plants, please see the Bluebell Survey page.







Signal Crayfish

Signal Crayfish Signal Crayfish(Pacifastacus leniusculus) are easily recognised by their red-brown colour and large size, up to 16cm in length. This American invader causes declines in the biodiversity of aquatic habitats and their burrows can destabilise riverbanks. It is known from few sites in Fife but anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be spreading. Please note that it is
illegal to be in possession of live crayfish or to trap them without a licence so we would ask people to provide us with details of where crayfish were seen but not to remove them.


 Blue-Rayed Limpet 

Blue Rayed LimpetBlue-rayed Limpet Patella pellucida are easily recognisable by the presence of electric blue dashed lines running across the top of the shell. Up to 15mm long, this striking little mollusc lives and feeds on Kelp and can often be found on Kelp which has been washed ashore. We have few records of this species in Fife but we’re sure it’s here so do let us know if you spot it!