Bioblitz spreads its wings

Species can now be counted in the city as well as on the campus.

You must be an early bird to count species. Biologist Patrick Jansen recorded his first observation (a common gull) just after six-thirty this morning. By the time the Wageningen Biodiversity Challenge kicked off officially around noon, his counter has already hit the 175 species mark. Flies, mainly, he states. He combed through the Dassenbos on campus to find them, although the common gull was seen elsewhere on the campus.

This year’s Bioblitz is to cover two months instead of six weeks. With good reason, says organiser Mieke de Wit. ‘We are in this challenge with eighteen other European life sciences universities all of which need sufficient time to count species during the growing season this semester, which are not all synchronised with ours. That is why the Bioblitz takes place earlier than previous years.’


This year’s edition specifically includes the city in the event. While the city’s residents were included through an open day in Omnia last year, this year’s Bioblitz includes a Bioblitz in the city between 22 May and 22 June. The Grote Kerk will focus on the event with information stands and excursions on 25 May. The species counted in the city are not included in the competition between the universities.


Various excursions will also be offered on the campus until 28 June, when the Challenge ends. These enable guests to spot bats, amphibians, birds, pollinators, butterflies, dragonflies, wasps and worms under the supervision of experts. The excursions include a visit to the Creative Garden, located on the Hoge Born premises along the Bornsesteeg.

Last year, 1375 unique species were recorded, well above the goal of one thousand. A total of 238 species have currently been recorded, among which are seven rare species.

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