Submitting your Dragonfly Records

You can submit your records online (preferred), by email or on paper (if you must)

1. Online Recording

This is the preferred method of submitting records. There are several ways to do this.


The BDS dragonfly dataset is stored at the UK Biological Records Centre (BRC), where the iRecord wildlife recording site was developed. It is "a site for managing and sharing your wildlife records" and is most useful for entering records at home via a computer. After review, dragonfly records go straight into the BDS database housed by the BRC, and thence to the NBN Atlas for public viewing. For best results, we strongly encourage you to use the custom form developed by the BDS which includes our custom fields for abundance and life-stage.

  • Register as a user of the iRecord site and then, while signed in to iRecord, subscribe the to British Dragonfly Society recording scheme. Click the 'Join' button or the gold star to add it to the tab My activities for quick access next time. Then, using the buttons to the right of the scheme name, or the links below, either:

For those with many records to submit, it is possible to upload a CSV file prepared offline as a spreadsheet - see below. Outputs from other recording software can also be uploaded, provided the correct format and headings are used. (You may need to reformat the exported data into the required columns and sequence before saving as a CSV file.)

iRecord Dragonflies Web App  NEW in 2015

This app for smartphone, tablet, PC and anything with a modern web browser was designed by BRC in conjunction with the BDS. Optimised for a small display and touch entry, it allows you to log dragonfly sightings in the field (even while offline) and then refine them later. You can submit either single records or multiple sightings, as well as recording abundance and different life stages. Your records appear in iRecord, just like those submitted on the main website. The web app also incorporates an identification guide. Download the web app while connected to the web.

Note: iRecord is the BDS-preferred tool for submitting dragonfly records. Use the main iRecord site or the iRecord Dragonfly Web App - whichever is more convenient.

Living Record

Like iRecord, Living Record lets you to record any wildlife that you see. It provides you with your own records system and access to a selection of distribution maps. Records are reviewed and passed on to the BDS and relevant local records centres.

2. Spreadsheet & Email

If you have many records to submit, you can put these into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and email it to the relevant County Dragonfly Recorder. Alternatively, records can be exported from various wildlife recording programs in spreadsheet or CSV file format. Please request our latest BDS Recording Scheme spreadsheet template by email from your CDR or the Records Officer.

*** Please do not use the default iRecord upload spreadsheet template 'general-records.csv'. This does not have the BDS-specific fields. Using it causes important data to be lost. ***

3. On paper

If you prefer, you can still send paper records to the relevant County Dragonfly Recorder.

You can send your records in a letter, including the same details as listed above or use Odonata Recording Cards (downloadable PDF file). A Guide to the Recording Card (downloadable Word document: 35kB) will help with completion.

The BDS Recording Scheme

Find your local County Dragonfly Recorder, who can help you with more information about how our recording scheme is organised.