Experience science up close: University of Würzburg invites to BioBlitz

- EN - DE
From the yellowhammer to the hornbeam - together with researchers from the Unive
From the yellowhammer to the hornbeam - together with researchers from the University of Würzburg, the participants of the BioBlitz at Hubland investigate the local biodiversity. (Image: B. Schmidt / pixabay)

Explore nature on your own doorstep and make an important contribution to species conservation - citizens can do so on June 17 and 18 at a hands-on event organized by the University of Würzburg at Hubland.

Many plant and animal species in Germany are threatened with extinction. But what is the actual state of biodiversity in our country? Researchers at the University of Würzburg now want to find out with a BioBlitz. The idea: a citizen-based data collection in which everyone can participate. For 24 hours, from noon on June 17 to noon on June 18, 2023, interested citizens will record as many animal and plant species as possible on agricultural land at Hubland - all under the guidance of experienced scientists.

At the BioBlitz, visitors can be biologists themselves for a day," explains Sarah Redlich from the Department of Zoology III, German project manager of the ConservES project, which organizes the event and in which the University of Würzburg is involved. Together, we are investigating which arthropods, birds, mammals and plants live in our fields and in adjacent habitats. In this way, with the help of citizens, we can accurately document changes in biodiversity."

The meeting point for the BioBlitz is the "base camp" in the foyer of the Biozentrum am Hubland - there, all visitors receive their own researcher’s kit that helps identify various species and can also be used to take samples. Guided in groups or on their own, participants can then explore various agricultural habitats, for example fields, orchards, flower strips and hedges.

No species knowledge or other prior knowledge is necessary to participate in the BioBlitz. The hands-on activity is therefore ideal for families, school classes and clubs. On a tour of the campus grounds, they get to know various biotopes and learn more about the local flora and fauna. Both during the day and at night, experts offer activities to record different groups of animals. For children, there is a scavenger hunt where they playfully learn why biodiversity is so important for ecosystems and what they can do to help protect nature. Those who have collected stamps at all the information stations at the end can expect a small surprise. Registration is requested: Either by link or by mail to conserves@uni-wuerzburg.de.

About the initiator ConservES

The BioBlitz is organized by ConservES, an international joint project of eight scientific institutions, including the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg (JMU). The common goal is to preserve biodiversity and support natural processes, such as natural pest and weed control or pollination. To this end, the project partners rely on so-called real laboratories, i.e. experiments that involve citizens in research in order to jointly develop nature conservation measures.

About the Chair of Zoology III

The Chair of Zoology III at the University of Würzburg has a long-standing international reputation in global change research. The team around chair holder Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter investigates the causes for the regional and global decline of biodiversity. One focus is research into the ecology, evolution and behavior of insects.