Friday, 30 September 2016

Sea Champions are back blitzing again!

In 2015 we teamed up with the National Trust as part of their year to celebrate the Coast to run a series of Bioblitzes and it seems Sea Champions have caught the blitzing bug (quite literally) because this year they’ve been back at it again.

In July Sea Champions  Kellie, Amy, Imogen, Katy, Simon and Volunteer Manager Jules packed up their binoculars & ID guides and headed to Lundy Bay near Polzeath in Cornwall for the Lundy Bioblitz. For those unfamiliar with the term, a Bioblitz is when a group of scientists, naturalists and members of the public get together and race against the clock to discover as many species of plants, animals, fungi and marine life as possible, at a set location, over a defined time period - in this case 24 hours.

The Sea Champs joined the National Trust team and over a hundred other people for an amazing day. The itinerary was jam-packed with bug hunting, rockpooling, butterfly hunting, a wildflower walk, small mammal discovery, a reptile search, bird watching and more, but the most exciting bits for our Sea Champs were the midnight rockpool ramble and the sea watching – where  a sunfish was spotted just off-shore!

It was also a great opportunity to tell people about the new Big Seaweed Search; big thanks to local seaweed expert Chris Townsend who helped with  confirming the seaweeds identified by our volunteers.

The results are now in and a total of 660 species were found during those 24 hours! If you’re curious about what species were recorded then hop on over to Sarah the National Trust Ranger’s blog for a full list.

Bioblitzes are an informal and fun way to create a snapshot of the wildlife found in an area. They’re a great chance for people to get together, learn and share their expertise and enthusiasm which is what the Sea Champions programme is all about. It’s also a great way to contribute to a genuine scientific survey. No doubt there will be  more Bioblitzes in the future for Sea Champions; the next is the MBA Bioblitz on 14-15 October 2016 in Plymouth and Sea Champions will be there!