This weekend, in five locations nationwide, around 200 scientists and many more volunteers will attempt to identify and record as many different biodiversity species as they can over a 24 hour period as part of for BioBlitz 2011. Organised by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, the event which will commence at 5pm on Friday 20th May and end at 5pm on Saturday 21st May is being held to mark International Biodiversity Day (22nd May 2011).
From soaring eagles to the smallest bugs in the undergrowth, teams of scientists and volunteers will search five state owned sites, recording what species they find. The parks involved in BioBlitz 2011 include Ballycroy National Park, Co. Mayo; Dromore Woods, Co. Clare; Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry; Liffey Valley Park, Waterstown, Dublin 20; and Raven Wood Nature Reserve Co. Wexford.
Speaking about the event, Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre said, “the BioBlitz has proven to be a hugely successful event, where 200 scientists come together in a voluntary capacity to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity. It is a unique event where scientists, students and the general public can interact to learn about the biodiversity in their local site. As well as learning about Ireland’s wildlife and seeing the different techniques used to study wildlife, people will also be able to see first hand how scientists and recorders use their skills to study the wildlife of their area”.
Ireland’s biodiversity, our natural capital, is the foundation upon which our agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sector depends and is vital for sustaining the societal services we often take for granted such as clean water, productive soil and clean air. These goods and services are worth at least €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year. The National Biodiversity Data Centre is working with its partners to promote the benefits of biodiversity and to get people to celebrate the riches of biodiversity in their local area.
“Initiatives such as this BioBlitz are intended to highlight the amazingly rich natural resources that are in our locality, and to celebrate all that is unique and special about Ireland’s countryside. It also serves to send a stronger message that this resource must be protected through effective nature conservation policies and plans operating at the national and local level”, added Dr. Lysaght.
Last year, the BioBlitz event was held for the first time. It was a massive success with Connemara National Park announced as overall winners. Over the 24 hour period, a total of 542 species were recorded by scientists and volunteers at Connemara National Park.
To find out more about BioBlitz 2011 or join one of the teams log on to http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/
or contact the National Biodiversity Data Centre on email@example.com or 051 306 240.
The event is run in conjunction with Dept. of Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Clare County Council, Wexford County Council and South Dublin County Council. Many of Ireland’s leading environmental NGOs are sending volunteers to participate at each site.
For further media information:
Dr. Liam Lysaght, Director NBDC - 0877592845
Michelle Guinan, MKC Communications 01 7038604 / 086 3846630
Note to Editor:
The National Biodiversity Data Centre www.biodiversityireland.ie is the national centre dedicated to the collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data and information on Ireland’s biological diversity. It serves as a hub for the exchange of data between governmental organisations, NGOs, research institutions and volunteer recorders. The Data Centre was established by the Heritage Council in January 2007 and is based at WIT West Campus, Waterford. The Centre is an initiative of the Heritage Council and is funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre's website for further information at: http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/