Dear ABOL community, dear colleagues,

Knowledge about biodiversity is more important than ever, not only in the scientific community, but also among the general public. The Days of Biodiversity have been significantly  contributing to our knowledge on biodiversity for many years. ABOL will this year again participate in Days of Biodiversity with ABOL BioBlitz actions in order to make the knowledge, provided by experts, available for the society. As last year, experts are invited to provide samples of determined organisms for DNA barcoding. Last year we were able to sample around 1.900 animals in this way and substantially contributed to Austrian reference data. More information and dates can be found -> here. This page is continuously updated.

In addition, we would like to draw your attention to the City Nature Challenge 2020, in which Austria will take part for the first time in Vienna, Graz and Wachau. The challenge takes place from 24th to 27th April. The observation data of plants, animals and fungi are recorded via the iNaturalist platform. Anyone can use e.g. cell phones to photograph organisms and upload photos, which are then determined by experts. The aim of the City Nature Challenge is to document the biodiversity in cities in a global competition. An exact knowledge of the species is not necessary, because the observations are, as far as possible, determined via crowdsourcing (i.e. from other iNaturalist users). Everyone can participate as a notifier and as a determining expert. This challenge is also well suited as a school project.

To this end, Lorin Timaeus holds lectures and a workshop for teachers. All dates can be found at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-wien/journal; Registration until March 11th at cncwien@gmail.com. Instructions for the iNaturalist app can be found at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-wien?tab=about

“Summit of Biodiversity at the foot of Mt. Grossglockner” was the motto of the 13th Day of Biodiversity of the Hohe Tauern National Park, in which ABOL again participated with a BioBlitz. From 26th to 28th July, more than 60 experts examined the Gössnitztal, an elongated high valley at an altitude of about 2,000 m, and the valley floor around Heiligenblut. In addition to plants and fungi numerous groups of animals were processed, a mobile app often facilitated the data acquisition. At dusk, light traps were installed to attract nocturnal insects – especially moths – at different altitudes. In addition, bats were observed and their calls recorded by a batcorder.
We are pleased that the genetic detection of species diversity using DNA barcodes has met with great interest. Thus, numerous samples can contribute to the establishment of a Genetic Guide of Austrian biodiversity.

A big compliment and a great thank you to all organizers. No logistical challenges – several accommodations had to be organized, researchers had to take buses to the starting point for hikes, etc. – was too big.
We would like to thank the entire National Park team and the experts for their cooperation in the ABOL-BioBlitz!

On the 5th and 6th of July the 5. ABOL BioBlitz took place in the Brandeberg Valley as part of the day of biodiversity in Tyrol.
After our arrival on Friday some butterfly experts invited for an evening excursion with light trapping. The participants could not only marvel at the moths attracted by the light, but also got an interesting introduction on different lighting constructions and light traps. Due to perfect weather conditions, many nocturnal insects have been attracted, including some very exciting species of moths, e.g. Pericallia matronula.
The Kaiserhaus near the Kaiserklamm provided perfect meals and overnight stays. On Saturday morning, the experts flocked independently to the site to collect a variety of animal and plant groups, as well as mushrooms. Again, a part of the collected species will be sampled for the generation of DNA barcodes.
In the late afternoon there was a cozy end including summary of the raised biodiversity in the modern parish hall of the municipality Brandenberg. We were entertained by volunteers from the community, who provided a rich pastry and buffet. In addition, there was time to inform the experts on ABOL and the DNA barcoding procedure in general.
We would like to thank the organizers, the municipality Brandenberg and the Kaiserhaus for the successful event and the warm hospitality, as well as the experts for the readiness to participate in the ABOL BioBlitz.
We are already curious about the results and look forward to the next BioBlitz action on the Day of Biodiversity in the Hohe Tauern!

On the day of biodiversity in Vienna we likewise participated with an ABOL-BioBlitz. On 22 June 2019 the Vienna Environmental Protection Department (MA 22) in cooperation with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) invited everyone intersetsted in biodiversity to the Knödelhüttenstraße, in the 14th district of Vienna. There the 1. Cross-border biodiversity day took place, in the frame of the Interreg project CITY NATURE“ with Slovakia.

In the morning, the surrounding forest and ecologically valuable meadows of the area were visited by experts, collecting various insect groups. The “Salzwiese” proved to be particularly rich in species, offering diverse habitat conditions due to their varying degrees of humidity. Some of the collected species will be again used to generate DNA barcodes.

The afternoon offered a varied program of guided tours on insects, birds, mammals and plants, barn mowing and reaper mowing demonstrations, biodiversity and conservation information booths. Again, ABOL was represented with an information booth.

The ABOL team would like to thank the interested experts for joining the ABOL-BioBlitz and the event team for the organization!

For further information from MA 22 to TdA Vienna click here


Photos: © Nikolaus Szucsich, group photo © Matthias Nemmert

The 3rd ABOL BioBlitz we were able to perform during the Day of Biodiversity in the Biosphere reserve Wienerwald in Pressbaum.
On Friday all day and on Saturday morning, about 80 experts examined the area around the municipality Pressbaum. The rather large area has been divided into 33 locations, well marked on detailed maps. Insects were caught, fungi and plant species collected, and bats observed during a night excursion. In total, the experts registered a provisional number of 1151 species. Again this time, some of the collected species will be sampled for the creation of DNA barcodes.
The Saturday afternoon offered a comprehensive entertainment program, numerous information stands, children’s program, regional delicacies, a quiz and much more. Also ABOL was represented here with an information stand, at which interested DNA barcoding was brought closer. Selected species were used to show how they can be genetically determined using the BOLD database (Barcode of Life Database). Despite the heat, many adults and children took part in the program and gained insights into local biodiversity.
We would like to thank the organizers for the excellent organization, as well as the experts for the interest and participation in the ABOL BioBlitz campaign!
More information and more pictures (in German only) -> here!

(c) BP Wienerwald

(c) M. Sonnleitner

Last weekend the second ABOL BioBlitz took place. This time we were guests at the Day of Biodiversity at the Mühlbergerhof in Grein, Upper Austria. Organized by the Naturschutzbund OÖ and the Biology Center Linz of the Upper Austrian Landesmuseum, about 25 experts examined the biodiversity in the vicinity of the organic farm. Birds were observed, funghi collected, plant species collected and insects caught. Part of the collected organisms will then be used for the creation of DNA barcodes. No less important was the cozy get-together and the professional networking with the best hospitality. We thank you for the successful event and the warm welcome to the organizers and the experts for the willingness to participate to the BioBlitz!

More information and photographs (in German only) -> here

Copyright Photographs: M. Sonnleitner

The first ABOL BioBlitz on May 17th & 18th took place at the GEO Day of Biodiversity on the eastern shore of Millstättersee in Carinthia. The approximately 45 participating experts reported more than 1000 species of plants, fungi and animals within 24 hours. We thank everyone for their active participation in the ABOL-BioBlitz campaign and are looking forward to the results.
One of the highlights was the presentation of the day catches from Millstättersee by professional fisherman Günter Palle, including perch, catfish, lake trout, brown trout etc.
Thanks also to the organizers for the warm welcome and the nice service!

We look forward to the next ABOL BioBlitz at the TdA in Grein, Upper Austria.

Your ABOL team

Click here for information on the ABOL BioBlitz (in German only).

(c) Entry picture: C. Komposch

Dear ABOL community and biodiversity enthusiasts,

as announced at the ABOL meeting in December, ABOL is participating in this year’s Biodiversity Days (Tage der Artenvielfalt, TdA). The aim of the ABOL BioBlitz Actions is the creation of DNA barcodes of as many species as possible collected at the TdAs and determined by the participating experts (our BioBlitz website, in German). ABOL would like to involve further experts in the initiative and at the same time we hope that through this joint action the attention of regional and national media will increasingly be drawn to us.
Therefore we ask for numerous participation in the TdAs and the associated barcoding actions.

We ask you to mark the dates and sign up early. We would like to thank all organizers for their interest in the cooperation.

17./18. May – TdA Biosphere Reserve Nockberge: East banks of Millstättersee and surrounding mountainsides (information from the organizer)
31. May/1. June – TdA Upper Austria: Grein (information from the organizer)
14./15. June – TdA Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald: Pressbaum (information from the organizer)
21./22. June – TdA Vienna: BOKU site Knödelhüttenstraße in the 14th district of Vienna
05./06. July – TdA Tyrol: Brandenbergtal, municipality Brandenberg
26. – 28. July – TdA Hohe Tauern National Park: Carinthia, Gössnitztal (information from the organizer)

Since DNA barcoding is a standardized method, the vouchers should, if possible, be deposited in public scientific collections (museums). The sending of the samples and the sequencing costs are handled by the ABOL initiative.

All those who want to join, please contact our ABOL BioBlitz coordinator Sabine Schoder or the ABOL coordination team, so that we can support the process as well as possible (collection, sampling etc.).

We look forward to the joint actions,

With kind regards,

Your ABOL coordination team