By Olivia Miller: Kent is calling for local community members to help uncover and document over 322 species at its upcoming Bioblitz event

Pond-dipping at Kent’s 2023 BioBlitz Photo: James Mercer

On Saturday 18 May (08.00-21.00 on the University of Kent, Canterbury campus), Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) will host the University’s fourth Bioblitz, an interactive event held to record as many living species as possible within a specific area, under a short amount of time. Kent students, scientists, and local wildlife experts are aiming to surpass the recording of 322 species from its Bioblitz last year. With its vast greenspaces and concentration of ecological specialists, the campus is an ideal location to collect varied biodiversity data.

The free one-day event will bring together families, school groups, and local community members to engage in nature-based learning, with no previous biodiversity survey experience necessary. The total number of species will be counted at the end of the day.

On the day, experts will be carrying out interactive biodiversity surveys and running family-friendly workshops. These include: newt, reptile, large mammal and butterfly surveys; a badger tracks walk and pond dipping. The experts on hand will explain how each species’ data is collected, facts about their behaviour/natural habitats and how they are protected on campus. Members of our local community can register to take part in specific surveys via Eventbrite.

James Barton, a DICE PhD student studying Rewilding in the UK and Chair of this year’s BioBlitz Organising Committee, said:

‘The University of Kent BioBlitz is a great opportunity to learn more about the array of British species we have here on campus and to spend time outdoors connecting with nature. Not only is it a fun, learning experience, it also helps us to understand how to best protect the species we have around us. We look forward to seeing if we can surpass last year’s record of species!’

The BioBlitz is a great opportunity for young people to learn about biodiversity and different species. Photo credit: James Mercer

By Ed

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