A rare moth find has helped a student wildlife enthusiast to gain a national award for his commitment to scientific recording.
Cerin Poland, 24, a committed wildlife recorder from Zelah, has won runner up in the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Newcomer Award.
The national awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions adults and young people are making to wildlife recording and data sharing, which is helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s biodiversity.
The award closely follows Cerin’s discovery of a caterpillar of the elusive Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth on Goss Moor earlier this year. Cerin’s find is the first sighting of this rare moth in Cornwall for more than 10 years and is confirmation that the species is breeding in the county once again.
Cerin describes his enthusiasm for scientific recording growing from “a passion for wildlife and being outdoors from a young age”.
“I really enjoy the thrill of recording, you never know what you might see and there is always something new to find around the next corner,” he continued.
“As a volunteer for the charity Butterfly Conservation, I know first-hand how important records are for aiding conservation, this also keeps me motivated and I know the data I collect will be useful.”
“I would be lying if I said butterflies were not my favourite! However I am interested in all invertebrates, I think they are really underrated, they have super interesting life cycles and amazing interactions with each other. The very important roles they play in our environment are sometimes ignored.”
Cerin is studying a foundation degree in Conservation & Ecology at Cornwall College Newquay, a university community where he is exploring his enthusiasm for scientific recording, nature conservation and sharing his knowledge with others.
“I am really enjoying my time at Cornwall College and have learnt a huge amount so far,” he explained.
“I originally set upon a career path of becoming an agricultural engineer, but after a few years I decided this wasn’t for me and I wanted to pursue a different route into something that was close to my heart and where I felt I could really make a difference.”
Cerin said he would love a job which involves surveying for species, making management plans and advising landowners on how best to manage their land with nature conservation in mind.
Lecturer John Blackburn from Cornwall College described Cerin as “hardworking and keen” and that his “love of all things invertebrate is infectious”.
“Cerin’s identification skills are well respected amongst lecturers and his fellow students, as well as out amongst many of Cornwall’s biological recorders,” John continued.
“On every field trip, he has found some small obscure creature to fascinate those around him and has never missed the opportunity to upload his records via mobile recording apps, instantly in the field.”
“It is with no doubt that the Cerin has contributed massively to our understanding of the populations of some Cornwall’s rarest invertebrates. Several of his records have been the first sightings of some species for the county or are of scarce species in areas of Cornwall where they have never been recorded before. Continue the good work Cerin!”
For more information on the range of Wildlife Education, Animal Behaviour & Management and Zoological, Marine & Ecological Conservation courses available at Cornwall College Newquay visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.