Sun shines on Bioblitz

by Kent Caddick

There’s plenty of life in the Liffey as hundreds of budding ecologists discovered when they descended on Lincoln recently for the town’s annual Bioblitz.

Run by Lincoln Envirotown, the Bioblitz brings together residents and local scientists to find out how many different species could be found around the Liffey Stream over 24 hours.

The event, held at the Liffey Stream Domain in Lincoln on April 7 and 8, was opened by the ‘Bug Man’, Ruud Kleinpaste and included scientists from Plant and Food, Landcare Research, DOC, Lincoln University and Canterbury Museum. 

 Large numbers of fungi were found but only one of which was classed as edible                                                    Photo by Meredith Jones

Lincoln Envirotown Trust project manager Dave Fitzjohn said there were many displays, talks, walks and activities for all ages to get involved in. 

“All life was to be counted so there was something of interest for everyone,” Mr Fitzjohn said.

“Some were interested in spiders, others in water life or plants, while over 200 people went on the exciting night walks.

  The Bioblitz night walk as very popular                      Photo by Meredith Jones

“All activities were conducted by experts in their field and therefore it was an enjoyable learning experience for all. One child was heard to remark that they loved the way that everybody was as interested as they were. There was a constant air of excitement along the river.”

Overall 534 different species were identified in the 24 hours, with more to be identified from samples taken.

“This time there was more than double the number of fungi found last time and a grandma long finned eel, over 70 years old, was one of the many exciting finds.”

Mr Fitzjohn said they were fortunate with the weather with sunshine and near perfect conditions for the whole 24 hours.

“The event wouldn’t have happened without support from many volunteers including those from Lincoln Envirotown, Lincoln University and Lincoln High School as well as all the scientists who donated their time and equipment.

“We would also like to thank our funders including Living Water, Brian Mason Trust, Rata Foundation, the Selwyn District Council, Pub Charities and LinC Programme.