Have you ever heard of a Bioblitz? It is a fantastic idea and one that fits in with a recent theme of ‘pan listing’ on Talking Naturally. The idea is to record as many species (across all disciplines) as you can within a twenty-four hour period. However it is not just an event for wildlife obsessives, it is also a great way to showcase a reserve and to include the general public.
I am delighted to have been asked to assist with the bioblitz at Watchtree Nature Reserve on the 16th-17th of June, where aside from helping with a few guided walks I will be helping with the recording of bees and moths! I will of course update you all on the event here!
Here is the officoial press release from Watchtree Nature Reserve:
Public invited to join the experts for a 24 hour bioblitz of Cumbrian wildlife
WILDLIFE experts are set to host the biggest survey of wildlife ever to take place at a Cumbrian reserve, with a 24 hour marathon – and the public can help with the research and learn more about the nature on their doorstep.
The event is a joint effort involving Watchtree Nature Reserve Ltd, Carlisle Natural History Society, Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre and The Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust.
Bioblitz 2012 starts on Saturday, June 16 with a walk around Watchtree Nature Reserve followed by moth trapping which kicks of 24 continuous hours of identifying, classifying and quantifying the wildlife on the former World War II airfield and in 2001 the FMD burial site, which since 2002 has become a wildlife haven.
Tim Lawrence, Watchtree Nature Reserve Manager said: “The 24 hour Bioblitz promises to be a wildlife extravaganza not to be missed.
“If you fancy joining in the surveying then please get in touch, our experts are always keen to meet new volunteers and who knows, you may discover a new species or two on the reserve.”
And there will be something for all ages to discover and enjoy during the round-the-clock event.
Tim explained: “Beginning at midnight, well actually 9.30pm the previous evening when we have a dedicated ‘evening’ walk followed by a Moth trapping session and a Bat Walk both commencing at 10:30pm, we hope to survey just about every form of wildlife on the reserve, from amphibians to bats to dragonflies and hares to lichens to flies.
“Experts will be on hand around the clock and we hope to have a running ‘total’ that will be updated as soon as a completed species list finds its way back to ‘species control’ and our aim is 1000 species
“As well as the serious surveying there will be educational and fun activities for all the family – why not build a bird box or try your hand at wildlife orienteering? All are great fun, and will be activities available within the 24 hours.
“One of Watchtree’s Directors is a reptile enthusiast and we hope his ‘pet’ python makes a special appearance during the day. We also hope to have realistic displays and live exhibits so if you are unable to see the wildlife in the field we should be able to show you some examples in the various display areas.”
Chairman of Watchtree Nature Reserve, Frank Mawby added: “The Bioblitz 2012 is the biggest event we have ever held at Watchtree and it is set to be a unique experience, we have a tremendous range of resources available to demonstrate how to identify wildlife and where to report it. Teresa Frost the Biodiversity Centre Manager will be running a live demonstration of the County database and Steve Hewitt of Tullie House and Jeremy Roberts of Carlisle Natural History Society will out in the field along with the team of local experts.
Refreshments will be available all day including a barbeque whilst the café, run by volunteers from the Sacred Solway Church Group will be on hand with teas and coffees.
Booking is essential for the Saturday evening walks and Sunday morning hare walk. Throughout Sunday, June 17 visitors will be able to be part of the bird walk, mammal and amphibian trapping, bird ringing as well as finding out more about plants, fungi and flying insects. There will also be a bird walk to enjoy the “Evening Song” plus a number of children’s activities including wildlife orienteering, nest-box building and pond dipping.
Bioblitz 2012 will take place from midnight on Saturday, June 16 until mi Sunday June 17.
More information about Bioblitz and becoming a member of Watchtree is available at www.watchtree.co.uk or call 01228 712539.