Great Southern Bioblitz
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is a snapshot study of a specific location, where scientists and the community work together to survey and record as many species of flora, fauna, fungi and aquatic life within a nominated time frame.
The first BioBlitz was held at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington, D.C. in 1996. Approximately 1000 species were identified at this first event. Since the success of the first bioblitz, many organizations around the world have repeated this concept.
Australia's Adoption of the BioBlitz
The Woodland Watch Project initiated BioBlitz’s in the wheatbelt area of Western Australia in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2007 and 2008, WWF organized ‘SpiderBlitz’ events in the wheatbelt, focusing on threatened trapdoor spiders and their unique habitats.
In 2012, Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management conducted a BioBlitz around the town of Korrelocking. UniSA’s Discovery Circle program hosted two BioBlitzes in Salisbury and Marion, South Australia. The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness organized successful bioblitzes in Bermagui 2012, Pambula 2014, and Mimosa Rocks National Park 2014, working in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia.
The Bob Brown Foundation launched the Takayna BioBlitz in Tasmania, an annual festival of science in nature held in one of the world’s last truly wild places. The Tarkine BioBlitz in November 2015 marked the first BioBlitz in Tasmania, with over 100 participants surveying moorland, rainforest, rivers and coastline in the remote Tarkine region. This supported the foundation’s campaign for a Tarkine National Park.
Shifting to urban landscapes, Melbourne City Council engaged citizens in nature conservation through BioBlitz events in 2014 and 2016.
The Great Southern BioBlitz
The ‘Great Southern BioBlitz’, or ‘GSB’ for short, is an international period of intense biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within several designated areas across the Southern Hemisphere in Spring.
The purpose of this event is to highlight both the immense biodiversity spread across the Southern Hemisphere in the flourishing springtime, as well as to engage the public in science and nature learning using the citizen science platform iNaturalist.
The GSB was established in 2020, during the global pandemic by a group of BioBlitz enthusiasts here in Australia.
In its first year over three thousand observers participated in the Great Southern Bioblitz, collating over 90,000 observations from around the globe of more than 12,000 species!