Bioblitz at Africa Alive!
4th & 5th June 2016
Africa Alive! held our third annual bioblitz on the 4th and 5th of June 2016. Wildlife experts in species such as fungi, moths and other insects joined in the count and the day’s spotting produced some excellent results! Birds spotted on the day include a great spotted woodpecker, near the play area, swallows in the savannah paddock and a little grebe on wader’s lake. We also had great success with our pond dipping nets – catching a variety of creatures including water boatman, caddisfly larvae and even a young pike!
The wildlife spotting continued into the night – as our moth experts set up their light traps near the lemur islands and Ankole cattle. We were treated to an amazing array of moths – and a less amazing array of midges! – and our expert helped us add 57 species of Lepidopterans (butterflies and moths) to our count!
Other nocturnal creatures spotted on our night walks included a common toad, flat-backed millipede and an incredibly large great silver water beetle, who had scuttled over from the lemur moats to investigate our moth traps!
Another important element of a bioblitz is public engagement and our education team met with many guests who were very interested in our British wildlife activities. Our younger guests used our ‘I-spy’ sheets for their wildlife spotting and got hands on helping us to identify the creatures we had caught during our pond dipping sessions.
We are still waiting for the final figure of species seen over the weekend as there are still some records coming in, however I hope to add around 100 species to our native nature list that we have been compiling over the last three events, taking the total to over 700 species! This list includes over 50 species of bird, over 230 species of insect, over 70 species of fungi, 14 mammals and over 160 species of plants!
We hope to hold a similar event again next year – watch this space!