St Helena Research Institute launches ‘iRecord St Helena’

The St Helena Research Institute has today, Tuesday 7 February 2023, launched ‘iRecord St Helena’.

Enabling recording of a wide range of plants and animals, iRecord St Helena opens the door to everyone with an interest in wildlife to get involved in recording and tracking their records.

What is iRecord St Helena?

iRecord St Helena is a centralised biological recording system accessed via an easy to use web-portal ( and associate App for Google Android devices. Through iRecord St Helena biological records (that describe who observed wildlife, what they spotted, when and where) can be added to, viewed, analysed and stored.

The system is open to anyone with an interest in wildlife and is designed to make it easier to get access to records and add new records that can provide information about the distribution and abundance of wildlife on St Helena. For example recording the rate of spread of a newly established invasive invertebrate. Most importantly it opens up the opportunity for local people and visitors to get involved in recording to support science and conservation.

The biological records submitted are collated, checked by experts and added to the centralised database. iRecord St Helena produces dynamic maps of your data and has the option to display data uploaded by other users onto maps.

Why was iRecord St Helena set up?

There are vast amounts of data repositories on St Helena with historical biological records going back hundreds of years. However, these are scattered throughout different organisations and also held with private recorders, whether this be in paper format or electronic format. Without any of this data being ‘held in one place’ this information isn’t as valuable as it could be. If it’s not accessible, it is not available and you can’t make good decisions if you don’t have robust data to support them. Likewise if there is no data, how can you be confident of the decision?

By having datasets collated in one centralised database that is readily accessible, you can then begin to analyse this information. This allows for activities such as monitoring trends and understanding species distribution over long periods of time. Out of this, graphs and maps can be produced. In turn these can be used for research or support decision making of planning and environmental management.

For example the endemic Blushing Snail is a common species that can be found at various locations around the Island, but there aren’t many biological records of the Blushing Snail. Therefore from a ‘data’ perspective the Blushing Snail would appear as a rare species because there are no biological records, despite it being commonly seen across the Island. This is because there aren’t people going out and recording it. Through iRecord St Helena it enables anyone to go out and record these types of species and in turn build a dataset about the Blushing Snail. Doing so will give an accurate depiction of what the snail populations are actually looking like, creating a greater understanding about a species.

How can iRecord be used on St Helena?

The value of the datasets that will be created will not only be important to scientists, but will also have practical use for authorities in St Helena. Biosecurity will be able to monitor any newly recorded species found on or around St Helena, as well as track population changes of an invasive species. Planners can also utilise this data to identify important areas or locations containing biodiversity.

More so, any organisations can set up recording schemes to encourage citizen scientists to record species of interest, and build up the datasets on them.

Other databases and recording programs such as the St Helena Data Portal, the ‘St Helena Butterfly Monitoring Scheme’ ( and iNaturalist ( have biological records for St Helena from visiting tourists and sometimes residents. iRecord St Helena has an automated system which will share  records with  these databases, building the global dataset for St Helena.

The App is currently being tested before being officially launched later this month. We can’t wait to share it with you and hope you will become a recorder. Watch out for us on the Google App Store.

How has iRecord St Helena come about?

iRecord St Helena forms part of the BEST 2.0+ Project, which received funding from the European Union. The project was supported and guided by a stakeholder group and we are most grateful to the St Helena Research Institute partnered with the Biological Records Centre, and the UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology with their delivery partners John van Breda (Biodiverse IT) and Karolis Kazlauskis (Flumens), who were instrumental in developing iRecord St Helena as a bespoke clonal version of iRecord

We would also like to thank all of the project stakeholders:

  • Rosalie Peters
  • Martina Leo
  • Julie Blachin
  • Devlin Yon
  • Jodie Scipio-Constantine
  • Natasha Stevens
  • Liza Fowler
  • Vanessa Thomas-Williams
  • Roger Key
  • Timm Karisch
  • Alan Gray
  • Quentin Cronk

iRecord St Helena is the sole responsibility of the St Helena Research Institute and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

#StHelena #BESTProject #iRecordStHelena #BEST2.0+


7 February 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470