The last BioBlitz this year was carried out by ABOL in the course of the Biodiversity Day in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The study area ranged from montane to alpine altitudes in the upper Mur valley in the national park municipality of Muhr im Lungau. The JUFA Hotel in St. Michael, the Sticklerhütte and the Rotgüldenseehütte served as bases. A total of 64 experts on 25 different groups of organisms took part in the Biodiversity Day; many of them also participated in the ABOL BioBlitz.

Unfortunately, heavy rainfalls accompanied the event – not a good precondition for successful surveys. On the one hand, many species were not active and also the experts had problems to move forward in the often steep and slippery terrain. Nevertheless, due to persistence and creativity a considerable number of species could again be detected. As planned, some researchers set up their light traps already on Friday evening to attract nocturnal insects – especially butterflies. Fortunately, the temperatures did not drop very much, so that many, mostly characteristic mountain species, could already be surveyed during this action. In addition, five bat species were detected by sound detectors. Naturally, most of the species were recorded by the botanists, which were able to work even in bad weather by the persevering group. The data recording in this case was mainly done via the app ObsMapp (observation.org).

In the course of a pleasant get-together at the JUFA Hotel on Sunday morning, the results and findings of the last two days were discussed, there was also opportunity to exchange ideas with other experts and and to give the participants a short summary of the BioBlitzes from the past two years.

We would like to thank the National Park team for the excellent organization, the transport with shuttle busses and the nice accommodations. A big thank you from our side also to all who participated again in the ABOL-BioBlitz action!

Impressiones from the study area (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):

In Tyrol, ABOL was once again able to participate in the Day of Biodiversity with a BioBlitz Initiative. Selected areas in the Nature Park Kaunergrat were examined – from wet to dry, lean meadows to bog areas, boulder fields, alpine meadows and alpine grasslands. In addition to butterfly experts, who began their surveys with light traps on Friday evening, experts on beetles, grasshoppers, flies, hymenoptera, birds, mammals, plants and fungi took part in the event. On Saturday, the participants flocked to the various survey areas to compile as comprehensive a species list as possible by late afternoon. Finally, at 16h, an invitation was extended to the Experts’ Coffee in the Nature Park House “Gacher Blick”, where there was time to exchange ideas and to let the Day of Biodiversity come to a pleasant end. A final presentation of the results will take place this year for the first time in autumn – probably partly online.

We would like to thank all participants of the ABOL BioBlitz! A big thank also goes to the organisers of the Day of Biodiversity, who managed with great spontaneity to move the planned event location from the Pfundser Tschey to the Kaunergrat Nature Park and still provide perfect catering and accommodation.

Impressions from the study area: (Photos: C. Leeb):

The third ABOL BioBlitz of this year took place as part of the GEO day of nature in the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge in Carinthia. 70 experts and companions surveyed animal, plant and fungus species at the basis of the Zunderwand and in the vicinity of the Erlacherhaus. Due to the special geological situation, where limestone islands protrude from the silicate bedrock, the diversity of species is particularly great here, as lime- and silicate-loving species coexist. The focus was also on the numerous peculiarities occurring here, especially species that are very rare or only narrowly distributed. The study area was rich in different habitats such as pastures, limestone grasslands, rock crevices and scree slopes, bogs, drainage fields and creeks. Therefore, more than 1180 species could be registered within 24 hours. The beautiful weather also contributed to the success. On the other hand, there were also groups that were surprisingly rarely found, such as bumblebees, whose main season had obviously not yet started. However, the exact number of species that was recorded will only be known after extensive post-processing by the respective experts. We hope for active participation in the ABOL BioBlitz and are confident that we can close one or the other gap in the DNA barcode reference data for Austria.

We would like to thank the organizers and the participants in the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressions from the event and the study area (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):

For the third time, ABOL was able to participate at the Day of Biodiversity in the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald with a BioBlitz action. Around 70 biodiversity experts explored the Eichgraben municipal area on June 18th and 19th, 2021 in order to record as much fauna, flora and funga species as possible. Although the conditions were not ideal for some groups of animals and plants – many meadows had been mowed shortly before and there was high temperature and drought – more than 1,300 species could be detected this year. DNA barcodes will be generated from some of them after they have been identified and processed by the experts in the course of the ABOL BioBlitz campaign.

The first nature enthusiasts arrived on Friday morning in search of species – the last ones set up their light traps on Friday night to attract and detect various nocturnal insects. On Saturday morning, experts poured out into the municipality again and tried to compile a list of species as comprehensive as possible by early afternoon. The old nursery in the village of Eichgraben served as a base, where the Biosphere Reserve team took care of the well-being of the participants and provided lunch packages and cold drinks. Unfortunately, due to the Corona-regulations, no public event like in the years before the pandemic could take place this year. For those interested, however, there was the opportunity to take part in various nature excursions.

We would like to thank the Biosphere Reserve team for the excellent organization and all those who participated in the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressiones from the study area (Photos: C. Leeb, M. Sonnleitner):

Dear ABOL Community

We would like to continue the tradition of annual ABOL conferences. The 8th ABOL meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 following the Forum on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Danube University Krems. The two events will again be organized together as Days of Biodiversity. We hope that face-to-face events are possible, but if necessary we will hold them ONLINE.

We will keep you informed and ask you to save the date!

*** It is planned to hold the Days of Biodiversity 2021 as a Green Meeting. ***

Best regards,

the ABOL coordination team

 

The first ABOL BioBlitz 2021 took place on June 11th and 12th, at the Danube Island (Donauinsel) during the 20th Vienna Day of Biodiversity organized by the departments of the municipality of Vienna for environmental protection and water. Numerous biodiversity experts swarmed out to record the fauna, flora and funga of the Donauinsel, especially in the area of ​​Wehr 1 and Tritonwasser, whereby samples were also collected for the creation of DNA barcodes.

Experts met on Friday evening to attract moths and other nocturnal insects with numerous light traps. On Saturday, when the weather was mostly fine, the well-developed, species-rich meadows around the basecamp were investigated. Not only the honey bee was strongly represented on the numerous flowering Knautia individuals but also the solitary bee Andrena hattorfiana, which is an oligolectic species feeding on Knautia pollen and a few other Dipsacaceae. Even the parasite of A. hattorfiana, Nomada armata, could be detected. Numerous other insect species were found in the meadows. The nearby Triton water with beautiful silting zones in which water frogs could be found in large numbers was particularly interesting for the amphibia experts. It is particularly gratifying that – although the data reporting has not yet been completed – with Trigoniophthalmus alternatus, a representative of the large group of bristletails, a new record for Vienna has already been booked.
Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, no public event could take place this year, but it should be rescheduled at the same place next year.
We would like to thank the organizers and the participants of the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressions from the study area (Photos: N. Szucsich, C. Leeb, M. Sonnleitner):

After two successful runs in 2019 and 2020 ABOL BioBlitzes are already well known in the community . This year we will again take part in the Days of Biodiversity and call collectors to take part in the ABOL BioBlitz campaign. The aim is to sample collected and determined animals (especially insects) for genetic analysis. Thereby, added value can be created – we can contribute to the DNA barcoding database, secure the determination and convey an innovative method.

More information: ABOL BioBlitz 2021

For the first time this year, we are also offering Data Workshops in which the handling of DNA barcoding data and the international BOLD database can be learned and practiced. The online workshops can be attended by collectors and other interested persons. The dates are set as required. If you are interested, please send an email to Oliver.Macek@nhm-wien.ac.at.

More information: Data workshops

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