This year the popular Citizen Science Campaign City Nature Challenge will again take place – from April 30th to May 3rd, 2021. Cities and urban regions can register for the international biodiversity event and compete against each other in order to observe and document as many species of animals, plants or fungi as possible.

Last year, more than 800,000 wild species were reported in over 240 cities around the world. Austria participated for the first time in 2020 with the regions Vienna, Graz and Krems/Wachau.
It is very pleasing that significantly more Austrian regions have registered this year:

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenges-in-oesterreich-2021 (in German only)

Everybody can participate!

Species can be reported during the 4 days in the regions specified above. Simply install the iNaturalist app and create a free account, take a photo of the animal or plant – upload it and add the determination as far as possible. It is important that the species found are correctly identified – many experts take part in this and will add the correct species name of the depicted organisms. All experts are invited to participate in the determination process!

Tutorials: iNaturalist Youtube channel

 

Dear ABOL Community

It is our pleasure to announce that the ABOL coordination is funded for another 3 years, so that we can continue to record the Austrian biodiversity and to support the biodiversity community in general.
The filling of the reference database is of course still the focus of our activities, but the application sector of DNA barcoding will play an increasingly important role. The ABOL BioBlitz campaigns will also be continued and expanded.
In times of a global biodiversity crisis, the national and international bundling of activities is of central importance. Global and European initiatives to record biodiversity are currently emerging, such as Lifeplan or BioScan Europe, in which ABOL is involved representing Austria. National networking plays an equally important role, because international cooperation requires strong national partners.
Since ABOL has no overall financing, the data production is carried out in many larger and smaller projects. We are always on the ball to develop funding channels and generate project ideas, but we rely on the help of the community. We hope and look forward to further successful cooperation.

The ABOL coordination team

Press release (in German only): https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/presse/pressemitteilungen2021/abol

The new ABOL workshop offer “BOLD & data analysis” has started successfully.

In February, the first two workshops familiarized already a total of 28 participants with the international Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) and enabled them to get insights into the analysis tools of this platform. During the workshops the participants had the opportunity to work actively with the platform and practice the interpretation of the DNA barcoding data.
The online format of the workshops facilitated cross-border participation – members from a total of 15 institutes were represented from Austria, Germany, Croatia and Italy. Due to the different levels of knowledge, from DNA barcoding newbies to veterans, lively discussions developed about the BOLD, its various functions, details and possibilities and the topic of DNA barcoding in general.
Equipped with introductory information, the participants were able to use a test data set to cope with simple and advanced exercises autonomously and to experience the most common situations on BOLD themselves. BOLD offers good possibilities to solve (simple) DNA barcode analyzes without much effort. In addition, individual and special questions from the participants were addressed, such as the topic of DNA barcoding of museum material, data upload to BOLD & communication with other BOLD users, as well as the weak points of the platform.
Furthermore, we wanted to show how important good data quality is for the usability of a reference database and that BOLD promotes this approach, but the community is just as responsible for constantly improving the quality.

We are very pleased, that the participants also took the chance to strengthen the network of the Austrian and neighbouring biodiversity community in the course of these ABOL workshops.
The next workshop is on March 26th, and more workshops will certainly follow in the future! If you are interested, please contact Oliver Macek by email!

Current information about the workshops can be found on our website:

Website - Data Workshop