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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):

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

 

ABOL BioBlitz events are used to digitize taxonomic expertise in the context of the Days of Biodiversity – this is a way how rare, private biodiversity knowledge can be made available to society. This is the central message of an article recently published in the Barcode Bulletin (iBOL).
In times of rapid loss of biodiversity, we are faced with the challenge of generating reliable biodiversity data as fast as possible and making it accessible. A substantial part of the knowledge about biodiversity – e.g. about certain insect groups – are owned by private experts, often only by a few people. During the Days of Biodiversity, which take place annually in almost all federal states, valuable data is generated and genetically underpinned by means of DNA barcoding as part of the ABOL BioBlitz  efforts and made universally available via the international BOLD database.
Read more on this topic in our article ABOL BIOBLITZ: DNA BARCODING SAFEGUARDS TAXONOMIC KNOWLEDGE – The Austrian Barcode of Life (ABOL) initiative uses DNA barcoding to safeguard and make publicly accessible rare knowledge on biodiversity generated in the course of local BioBlitz events”

The planned festive event as part of the 15th anniversary of the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald fell victim to the measures of the Covid-19 pandemic, like so many other events in this year. The numerous experts from a wide range of disciplines nevertheless made the search for species a festival of biodiversity. Again, we were able to contribute with an ABOL BioBlitz!

All day on Friday and Saturday morning, more than 80 experts swarmed out in the study area, which was located in the 18th district of Vienna, in and around the Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark, in search for as many animal, plant and fungi species as possible. In addition to meadows and forests, three cemeteries, the Pötzleinsdorfer, the Neustifter and the Gersthofer cemetery, characterized by a very high biodiversity, were accessible for this event.  When darkness fell, various lepidopterists set light traps and the bat fauna was surveyed by experts.

Despite the poor weather conditions – especially on the second day – around 940 species of animals, plants and fungi were found within 24 hours. Part of these will be sampled again this year for establishing DNA barcodes. A warm thank in advance to all experts for participating in the ABOL BioBlitz. Thanks also to the event team for the good organization and catering, which worked perfectly despite the difficult general conditions due to the current Covid-19 measures!

A detailed report (in German only) and further photos can be found on the website of the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald ->here.

Some impressions from the Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):

 

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