What is the EuroBioBlitz?
‘Bio’ means ‘life’ and ‘Blitz’ means ‘to do something quickly and intensively’. Together they make ‘BioBlitz’, a race against the clock to discover as many species of plants, animals and fungi as possible, within a set location, over a defined time period.
The EuroBioBlitz is a huge wildlife recording event that is taking place across the whole of Europe on the 29th and 30th September 2023. It’s a chance for anyone and everyone to contribute to the study of Europe’s wildlife, helping to shape conservation efforts by supporting scientific research.
By recording nature nearby, everyone can support vital conservation research whilst connecting with nature and enjoying the outdoors.
How do my records support scientific research?
EuroBioBlitz uses the free iNatualist app to record wildlife. After submitting a wildlife observation, your record will be verified or corrected by the online community of iNaturalist users. Once the community is in agreement, your record is marked as “research grade”, and can then be shared with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) – a global network for combining and sharing open-access biodiversity data. At this point, your data becomes accessible and valuable to researchers all over the world. Here is an ongoing list of thousands of scientific publications that have cited a GBIF dataset containing at least one record from iNaturalist!
EuroBioBlitz 2023 is part of INTERSECTIONS; a collaborative, international project supporting European researchers – and showcasing the interrelated nature of research across Europe.
Through INTERSECTIONS, we aim to empower researchers to deliver a selection of inclusive and audience focused events to audiences across Europe online. We also aim to inspire young people with the accessibility, relevance and diversity of research careers, and to demonstrate the relevance of research to daily life. The European Research Showcase will allow to showcase a Europe-wide diversity and intersectionality of research and researchers, whilst supporting dialogue between researchers and citizens. Through the EuroBioBlitz, we will also be able to demonstrate that Europe-wide engagement activity can be meaningful and impactful.
INTERSECTIONS is a collaboration of projects that will help us meet these aims. These events include include the European Research Showcase, where researchers can participate in free training to develop their online communication skills. The goal is to support researchers to create online content about their work, which will be showcased in a 48 hour social media showcase during the 29th and 30th of September 2023. At the same time, the EuroBioBlitz will give the public an opportunity to contribute to records that can be used in scientific research, whist connecting to the natural world. The third arm of the project involves training open those involved in science and public engagement, such as these training videos made by the Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science.
How to participate
How to get started:
You can take part in 2 ways:
- As an individual
- As someone who wants to organise an event
To take part as an individual, you simply have to download the iNaturalist app, and make records of any wildlife that you see on the 29th and 30th of September 2023. If you would like to see the project page where all the records are being collected in real-time over the EuroBioBlitz weekend, you can view or join the page here. You can watch a 2-minute video and how and why to take part here.
You might want to go that one step further, and organise a wildlife-recording event to help members of your community get involved in recording wildlife too! The Natural History Consortium can provide you with resources and support to help you run a successful wildlife-recording event for your community, with friends, or colleagues. To receive information, resources, posters, how-to guides, videos and invites to info meetings and iNaturalist online training, signup on the website at https://www.bnhc.org.uk/eurobioblitz-2023.
Resources for this are available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.
To take part, you need to have acess to either
- A smartphone with photo capability
- OR a camera and a computer
You will either need to download the free iNaturalist app if using a smartphone, or create an account for the iNaturalist website.
When making a record of wildlife, you will need to take at least one photo (preferably up to 4 photos, in good focus (not blurry), of different angles if possible - for example, if you are taking a photo of a tree, try and take a photo of the leaves, the fruit/flower, and the bark).
It is also possible to add a sound file. This is very useful for getting correct identifications of birds.
Funding bodies: UKRI
Anywhere across the continent of Europe