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

On December 18, the 2nd Austrian Forum on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services took place at VetMed Uni Vienna with the motto Land Use and Biodiversity.
In addition to lectures on the measurement and assessment of biodiversity and the launch of the Biodiversity Atlas for Austria (https://biodiversityatlas.at/), the Austrian Biodiversity Council went public with five key demands to protect biodiversity. Measures to stop the biodiversity crisis, compliance with obligations, the change into an ecologically responsible society, the strengthening of education and science, as well as the topic of the forum, the change to biodiversity-promoting land use were presented and discussed in workshops by experts.
Anyone who feels connected to the goals of the Network for Biodiversity can sign a Memorandum of Understanding (https://www.biodiversityaustria.at/netzwerk/mou/).

Dear ABOL community,

this year, the ABOL meeting took place in Innsbruck for the first time. Gorgeous winter weather formed the framework for the 3-day event, which consisted of the first D-A-CH User Group Meeting (UGM) on the subject of DNA methods in environmental management and the 6th ABOL meeting. The first two days with top-class lectures and interesting discussions were dedicated to the application of DNA-based methods in environmental monitoring and implementation at the legal level. At the method pitch, the participants could explore details about different methods. The last day’s ABOL meeting amended the scientific basis of DNA barcoding and the important issue of creating reliable references that are essential for further applications. The breadth of international participation and the diversity of the presentations ideally reflected the opening up of ABOL to the entire biodiversity community. We thank all speakers for the exciting contributions and all participants for coming!
Special thanks go to Michael Traugott and his team for the perfect organization and last but not least for the world premiere of the first genetic determination of a Krampus at the conference dinner :-)

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope for fruitful cooperation next year.

Best Regards,

the ABOL coordination team
***

Some impressions from the DACH-UGM and ABOL meeting (Photos by Veronika Neidel and Michaela Sonnleitner):

 

Biodiversity is a term that is far from being firmly anchored in people’s minds. Global climate change can no longer be ignored as a fact, problem and danger, “Fridays for Future” is an expression of this situation. By contrast, the “Sixth Mass Extinction” is fully under way, yet many people are still unaware of the term biodiversity. This, and the fact that a trend reversal of global warming cannot take place without simultaneously stopping habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity, was addressed in Elisabeth Haring´s talk at the “Fridays For Future” strike on 15.11. on the Stock im Eisenplatz in Vienna.

https://fridaysforfuture.at/regionalgruppen/wien

 

Dear ABOL community, dear colleagues,

We have extended the early bird registration for this year’s ABOL conference until October 18th !
Conference contributions in the form of 15 minute talks or lightning talks (3 minutes) can be submitted until October 31st.

Further information about the conference can be found on our conference website.

We look forward to your participation!

The ABOL coordination team

 

The dependence of man on his living environment is reflected far too little in political action. In order to give a stronger voice to biodiversity, a Biodiversity Council has recently been set up by experts. A first press release can be read here.
Hopefully, the Biodiversity Council will grow in the future, so that biodiversity can become one of several equal societal goals, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Your ABOL coordination team

“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!

Dear ABOL community and interested people!

As already announced, this year’s ABOL conference will take place in Innsbruck on December 6, 2019 following the DACH-UGM “DNA Methods in Environmental Management”, which will cover everything from the application to the scientific basis of DNA barcoding. Both meetings can be attended together – at a reduced conference fee, but also separately.

Registration is already possible (-> registration).

For our ABOL meeting we look forward to interesting contributions in the form of talks (15 min. + 5 min. discussion) or lightning talks (3 min., max. 3 slides, no posters possible!). The abstracts are submitted via the registration page.
The conference language of the ABOL meeting is English, the first one and a half days of the UGM will be held in German, followed by an afternoon in English.

An early registration pays off! Early Bird registration and submission of abstracts until October 1, 2019, registration deadline October 31, 2019.
Visit our conference website for more information!

We look forward to an interesting meeting in a new frame!

The ABOL coordination team

 

 

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