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TCD BioBlitz 2014

May 2014

TCd BioBlitz 2014 workshop

On 1st and 2nd of May five teams of scientists, in five different universities, raced against time to see how many plants and animals could be recorded on their campus in a 24-hour period as part of the first ever intervarsity BioBlitz. The BioBlitz is an annual biodiversity survey organised by the  National Biodiversity Data Centre held in Ireland’s heritage sites. This year, with the help of An Taisce Green Campus,  an intervarsity was held ahead of the national BioBlitz, in DCU, NUI Galway, UCC, Dundalk Institute of Technology and TCD.  

A public lab was set up in the Science Gallery on Friday the 2nd of May where over 40 staff, students and alumni from the School of Natural Sciences came together to survey and identify as many species as they find on the Trinity campus. By the close of BioBlitz at 5pm they had managed to find 346 different species – a significant achievement given the size and location of the campus.

As Dr Jane Stout, Director of the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research, which organised the event in Trinity noted:

“The idea of a BioBlitz is to raise awareness of the variety of life all around us, even in the middle of a city as we are here on the Trinity Campus. That we found 346 species in just 24 hours is an indication of how rich biodiversity can be even in built-up areas. Since it was a cold day, we didn’t see many of the insects that we see buzzing around campus when it’s warmer, nor did we look at soil-dwelling organisms or microorganisms – if we counted all of those, the number of species would be substantially higher. And this urban biodiversity is important: it provides ecosystem services fundamental to human well-being, including things like clean air, climate and flooding regulation, and mental and physical health benefits.”

As part of the TCD BioBlitz efforts to raise awareness about biodiversity 5th class from St. Mary’s Boys school visited the BioBlitz for a workshop on pollinators with Green Bee Education (www.greenbeeeducation.com). The class made nests for solitary bees which will positioned around campus and will be revisited with a primary school class at next year’s BioBlitz. Students and staff were also encouraged to get involved by raising awareness of Irish wildlife and the BioBlitz event through social media. Different species flyers created by @daveendangered were distributed in the libraries with specific social media contact details. This provided an opportunity for everyone to support the BioBlitz and get involved by creating a SpeciesSelfie through e-mail, twitter and facebook.

TCD BioBlitz 2014 workshop

Click here for photos of the BioBlitz workshop.

For more information about the BioBlitz and your chance to take part in the National event on the 23rd and 24th of May visit: http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/


Last updated 9 May 2014 by biodiversity@tcd.ie.