15 August 2014

BioBlitz posterEver wondered which bugs, birds, critters or green stemmed wonders you really share the local neighbourhood with?

 Now’s your chance to find out and record those observations with scientists at BioBlitz events taking place at Salisbury and Marion, as part of National Science Week.

The BioBlitzes, organised by UniSA, are intense periods of biological surveying as scientists work against the clock to record the plants, animals and other living things within a designated area. This month those areas are Harry Bowey Reserve, Salisbury Park and Oaklands wetland, Oaklands Park.

Project leader, Dr Philip Roetman, of UniSA’s Barbara Hardy Institute, is encouraging participants of all ages to get involved and assist scientists in conducting surveys, including searches for birds, bats, frogs, reptiles, mammals, water-bugs, fungi, native plants and weeds.

"We are constantly surrounded by wildlife, it adds character to our city, but we are often too busy to notice it. The BioBlitzes will give people a chance to experience and learn about the life of our city, while contributing to this important local scientific event,” says Dr Roetman.

“Harry Bowey Reserve is a wonderful park, a hidden gem, so close to the heart of Salisbury. And the recent creation of Oaklands wetland, at the site of the former driver education centre, shows us how it is possible to bring nature back into the city.

“As well as bringing the local community together the BioBlitzes are a great opportunity to inspire young and old minds to develop an interest in their local environment and really learn about the wildlife around them.

“What we find, the records of plants and animals, will be added to the Atlas of Living Australia, an online information resource on Australian biodiversity.

“This information will be accessible to local residents and the research community. A purpose-built smart phone application will be used to enter observations, so things we find and identify will be available online immediately.”

Marion Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis said BioBlitz was an exciting opportunity for people to unearth the secrets of the recently opened $9 million Oaklands wetland.

“BioBlitz will be an exciting, ‘hands on’ event that will give families the chance to unearth the secrets of Oaklands wetland,” Dr Lewis said.

“The wetland has quickly become a haven to parrots, wading birds, frogs, ducks and many plants, and people can have fun discovering, recording and photographing them while learning from scientists.

“I invite the community to get involved and enjoy Marion’s first BioBlitz.”

Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge said it was fantastic to be hosting SA’s first ever BioBlitz.

“This will be a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and explore the beautiful Harry Bowey Reserve in a very unique way,” Mayor Aldridge said.

“It is part scientific endeavour, part festival, and part outdoor classroom. There will be fun and discovery for young and old.”

BioBlitz 1 will take place at Harry Bowey Reserve, Salisbury Park, starting on Friday 22 August, from 4pm until late and then continuing on August 23 from 8am until noon.

BioBlitz 2 will take place at the Oaklands wetland, Oaklands Park, starting on Friday 29 August, from 4pm until late and then continuing on August 30 from 8am until noon.

Surveys will be run on a set schedule, with some limitations on public participation, so people are encouraged to sign-up soon. For further details and to register to attend, visit: http://unisa.edu.au/BioBlitz

This project is being organised by the University of South Australia in collaboration with The South Australian Museum, The City of Salisbury, the City of Marion, The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and The Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.

Contact for interview:

Dr Philip Roetman, tel number 8302 1081

Media contact: Will Venn office 8302 0096 email Will.Venn@unisa.edu.au

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