What is Wildlife Online?
Wildlife Online is an educational website about British wildlife. The main focus of the site is the presentation of relatively detailed, accurate information about wildlife natural history and each species has its own dedicated assessment. In addition, there is a seasonal update, published monthly, articles exploring some human-wildlife relationships and a series of question/answer sessions where aspects of a species’ biology or behaviour are discussed in more detail or in a specific context.
I first launched Wildlife Online in late 2003 and it consisted of 17 pages, covering only three species (foxes, badgers and sharks) and with 15 QAs. Since then the site has undergone a number of revisions and re-designs, the content having been expanded considerably. In 2016, the site registered about 200,000 visitors, which is not bad for a wildlife hobby site. Today, in mid-2018, it stands at almost 50 main pages; the species count having increased to nine (with seven planned) and the QAs to 70. New “Speed Read” content has also been added for a further three species as part of the latest overhaul.
An increase of species profiles from three to nine doesn’t sound particularly significant, but all the articles have seen a major upgrade. The red fox article, for example, was six pages when I finished the first version in September 2003; the most recent version was 166 when I finished it in October 2017. As part of the re-design, the hedgehog and squirrel articles were completely revised and updated, too, increasing from 44 to 65 and 26 to 48 pages, respectively. Indeed, virtually all the content was reviewed and refreshed/updated; a process that took many months but was, I hope, worth the effort.
I have created all the content on the site and I am both pleased and proud with the way the site is progressing. I’m passionate about wildlife, photography and education and Wildlife Online gives me the opportunity to meld these topics together into what I hope is an accurate, eye-catching and educational resource. The site is, however, still a hobby of mine: I manage it in my spare time and make no money from it. As such, although I’m confident of the information presented here, it is offered “as is”.
The articles stem from my varied interests in natural history and biological sciences. I’m certainly not an expert on any of the subjects presented here; but, in terms of qualifications, I trained as a scientist (studying natural sciences at degree and postgraduate level) and this provides a good basis for interpreting the science, blending it with personal observation, and presenting it in what I hope is an accessible format. I have built relationships with some of the many diligent researchers who have produced the data that I reference here, and I am happy either to recommend an expert or provide my own opinions on a subject.
Since launching Wildlife Online I have provided opinion and research to various organisations, including Channel 4, the BBC and National Geographic, as well as journalists and freelance writers. In addition, my photos have been featured by the BBC as part of a Springwatch advertising campaign, as well as featured on several of their shows, published in several books and educational applications and used as reference by wildlife artists.
When creating material for this site I take every care to ensure that the information I present is accurate. Invariably errors will creep in. Typos are almost inevitable, despite each article going through several levels of proof reading before it appears online. Moreover, research is always underway on the species featured here, so the data can go out of date almost overnight. I try and review each article periodically, updating it when I come across new or out of date information, but this depends on my availability. If you spot anything that looks wrong, please let me know using the contact form.