Data Collection

Complete a data sheet (PDF) using the following instructions:

  • Name: Name of the observer that has been assigned an identification number. All participants are assigned identification numbers when they have gone through a workshop.
  • Observer Code: The three or four digit code you received at your training.
  • Description of Location: Try to describe the area based on the type of vegetation. For example, coniferous forest, low developed (lots of trees, lawns, parks, golf courses), medium developed (new housing developments, large apartment complexes, etc.), freshwater marsh surrounded by shrubs.
  • City/County: City or town and/or county where the observation occurred.
  • Date: The month and year, using all four digits for year.
  • Species: Try to identify the species. (Photographs are accepted, if you have questions on the identification.) Please do not omit the species if you are not sure. In such cases, put a question mark, "?" after the species name.
  • Source of Identification: How did you find the animal? Did you see it, hear it, was it dead along the side of the road? Did you see tracks?
  • Latitude/Longitude: These figures can be easily obtained by finding your location on a DeLorme Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer map or determined from a USGS quadrangle map. Record your location to the nearest half minute (30 seconds) of accuracy.
  • How many did you find? Count the number of animals you see. If there are a lot, you can make an estimate. A quick way to estimate is to count 10 birds and estimate how many other sets of 10 birds you see. Remember, the identification of the animal is more important than the number of animals observed.
  • Habitat Code: Assign the three-digit habitat code that best describes the habitat in which you recorded each observation. Click on Land Use/Land Cover section of this Web page for a complete listing of all habitat codes. A complete list of habitat codes, along with their definitions, can be found in the yellow WildlifeMapping Code Manual.

Return completed data sheets to:

WildlifeMapping Coordinator
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230-1104