A BioBlitz is an event where people find and identify as many plants and animals as they can in a set area over a short period of time.
At a BioBlitz, scientists work together with volunteers to get an idea of what's living there. These events can happen in almost any area; in areas as small as a backyard or as large as a country.
During a BioBlitz, apps such as iNaturalist make collecting photos and information about living things easy. This data is then available to anyone. The more we know about the plants and animals that live in different areas the better we can look after them.
The first BioBlitz in New Zealand was held in Auckland in April 2004.
A BioBlitz brings experts together. Different types of scientists are able to work together in the same place, at the same time and on the same project.
Teams of scientists search around the clock for every species they can find. Nocturnal animals are much easier to find at night. Most species can be identified in the field.
Base camp is an area set up for scientists and volunteers. This is where data is recorded, and plants and animals can be identified. Microscopes are used to help with identifying species.
The final tally
A BioBlitz survey usually lasts for 24 hours. The final tally of plants and animals is made and shared as soon as possible.
A BioBlitz gives a list of plants and animals found in an area. This information helps people to look after these areas better. It identifies pest species that should be monitored or controlled, and native species that need looking after. It gives information about how much biodiversity the area has.
Lake Clearwater BioBlitz in Ō Tū Wharekai
Students from Mt Somers Springburn School and Mount Hutt College took part in a BioBlitz at Lake Clearwater. They found and photographed as many insects, plants, fish, fungi, and birds as they could on the 11th February.
- 296 observations were made
- 193 species were identified
- 59 identifiers and 14 observers were involved
- a total of 525 identifications were made.
Ready for a quiz? Try the "What is a BioBlitz" interactive activity.