Science Oxford invites public to join 24-hour BioBlitz in bid to record nature of the city

By Ben Miller | 22 June 2012
A photo of a magnifying glass being held in front of a field, revealing a purple flower
© Science Oxford
Event: BioBlitz, St Clements, Oxford, June 23-24 2012

Recording every single living species buzzing around an area of Oxford might sound a daunting task.

Still, with the expertise of the ever-inventive Science Oxford group behind it, this open invitation to help catalogue some surprising specimens in aid of data which will be put to vital use by environmentalists should rise to its testing challenge.

“We want as many people to get involved as possible, and search for wildlife literally in their own backyards,” says Dominic McDonald, the group’s Head of Public Engagement.

“The Bioblitz will engage local people with the amazing wildlife that they can find on their doorstep.”

BioBlitzes have been held before across the country, but they traditionally take nature reserves – usually run by Wildlife Trusts or the National Trusts – as their terrain.

This is the first episode to be held in an urban residential environment, and it hopes to repeat the breakthrough of a version conducted in a London urban park, where a new species of fungus was discovered.

It will start at midday on Saturday and remain continuous for 24 hours, with snoopers handed a recording sheet explaining exactly how to make and record their findings.

Experts will be based at Science Oxford Live to help identify discoveries from an area including 1,400 homes and 3,000 residents, and an accompanying events programme will feature wildflower walks, moth trapping, a feather quiz, bat walks and more.

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