The Office of Environment and Heritage will be coordinating its first BioBlitz, a celebration of science working with the community to create a species audit of the Sydney Olympic Park site 16th November 2014 as part of the World Parks Congress.
This project will involve school children, congress participants, scientists, naturalists and community members to create a snapshot of urban biodiversity in the area. Citizen scientists will work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals and other organisms as possible.
Participants will have the option of participating in expert-led surveys (such as bird or insect tours) or going solo and using a smartphone app to assist in collecting sightings. Although the survey will run throughout the day, participants can choose to be involved for as little or as long as they like.
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record as many of the living species (plants, animals and other organisms) within a designated area as possible. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a continuous time period usually one day.
The first ever BioBlitz was held in 1996 in Washington D.C and identified over 1000 species. Since then the BioBlitz has grown, with many organisations around the world successfully repeating the model.
BioBlitzes are intended to feel like a fun festival style event. They tap into the local community to record local biodiversity and encourage the public to meet working scientists and ask them questions. They can also help identify rare and unique species and create a species list which can form the basis of an inventory for a site.
The Worlds Park Congress
The IUCN World Parks Congress is a one in ten year event that will explore and promote parks and protected areas as natural solutions to global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, health and a green economy. The World Parks Congress held this year at Sydney Olympic Park and will bring together approximately 3,000 biodiversity experts and national parks managers from over 160 countries.
The World Parks Congress Public Festival Planetfest is an interactive, inspiring and fun filled event designed to engage and promote the conservation of parks and worldwide protected areas to the community. There will be an action packed program with entertainment and activities for all ages including interactive games and workshops, live music, films, arts, craft and a lot more.
Worlds Park Congress BioBlitz
This free, all-ages citizen science event will be held on Sunday 16 November during the World Parks Congress Planetfest at Cathy Freeman Park. BioBlitz partners including National Geographic, Parks Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum. We are also working with Taronga Zoo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Australian Museum and Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness who will all assist in providing interactive displays and experts on the day. Data collection will be coordinated by iNaturalist.org, experts in online data collection and image sharing.
To participate we ask that you please complete the expression of interest on our website so we can notify you when the event registration opens. Please note, children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian. Children between 15-18 must provide parental consent.
We’d love it if you could share the details of this BioBlitz event with your science communication or environmental networks via email or on Twitter using the hashtags #WPCBioBlitz. #WPCSydney If you have any enquires please feel free to contact Erin.Roger@environment.nsw.gov.au
When: Sunday 16 November
Where: Cathy Freeman Park, Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: Free, complete the expression of interest for further notification when event registration opens.