“BioBlitz” is a popular format for public participation in biological recording, where members of the public, school groups and volunteers work alongside experienced naturalists, ecologists and scientists in a 24 hour race to document as many species of organisms as possible on a given site.
The festival atmosphere and competitive element provide an excellent platform for engaging people with their local green spaces and wildlife while generating valuable species data and highlighting the importance of data collection through citizen science.
Since BioBlitz hit the UK in a big way in 2009, organisations across the country have been putting on their own events with the support of the National BioBlitz Network – coordinated by Bristol Natural History Consortium (BNHC). Now BioBlitz has a new online face as BNHC launches the new and improved BioBlitz website (http://www.bnhc.org.uk/bioblitz/). The site provides a focal point for public, media and professional interest in BioBlitz as well as hosting a national programme of events in a flashy interactive calendar. Event organisers can register their event with the National BioBlitz Network to be included and benefit from a range of downloadable, free resources to help plan for the big day.
Matt Postles, BioBlitz Project Manager at BNHC said: “We are so excited to have the new website live. As well as promoting peoples BioBlitz events to the public, it is an important portal for sharing best practice and ensuring that event organisers have the tools and advice that they need to run a successful event and collect useful, quality data that contributes towards conservation. It also opens up a lot of potential as a hub for people to get involved with citizen science and biological recording beyond a single BioBlitz event, which is going to be a big focus for us this Summer.”
Last year 87 BioBlitz events were listed in the calendar and the network is continuing to grow.
BNHC want to hear from anyone looking to plan a BioBlitz event or link in with BioBlitz as part of a citizen science or wildlife recording project and are especially keen to hear from any naturalists looking to volunteer their expertise to events in their local area.
You can read the NBN's advice for sharing data from a BioBlitz within the UK here.