Chris Packham's Bioblitz
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is to come to Murlough as part of the first independent audit of its kind in the UK involving Citizen Science. His goal is to highlight the extent to which the nation’s species are under threat.
Chris Packham and his team will head to 48 sites across the UK, with 5 in Northern Ireland including Murlough National Nature Reserve where we’ll undertake an ambitious ‘bioblitz’ event. The 'nature reserves are not enough!’ campaign aims to establish a benchmark for species in the UK against which rising or falling numbers can be compared to in the future.
24 hour bioblitz - 15 July 2018
Supported by CEDAR, the Murlugh bioblitz will begin at 6pm on Sunday 15 July and continue overnight until 6pm on Monday. Along with specialists from Chris Packham’s team, members of the public are welcome to this special 24 hour event to help record as many species as possible. Amateur nature enthusiasts are welcome at any point in the day (or night) where staff from the National Trust and other wildlife conservation organisations will be on hand to support the public with information, factsheets and equipment to help with identification.
The previous bioblitz undertaken at Murlough in 2015 recorded 830 species, showing the sheer variety which can be discovered across our vitally important conservation site.
Conservation Lead Ranger at Murlough, Patrick Lynch, said of their work:
“Being able to see the work that we do making a difference to endangered species here is definitely rewarding. In 1984, Murlough recorded only 12 webs of the marsh fritillary butterfly, and in 2014 we hit our highest ever at 1,364 thanks to the dedicated hard work of the team here. Seeing rare species thrive is a fantastic encouragement to know the work we do is definitely worth doing.”
The ultimate aim of the campaign is to celebrate some conservation success stories, but also to flag up some of its failures.
" We treat [nature reserves] like they’re museums and art galleries, we go there, we get fully satisfied there’s lots of life, but on the way home when we’re driving through the countryside there’s nothing left. Some parts of it are absolutely bereft, they’re deserts, and what we want to do is say to people ‘that’s not good enough’. We want wildlife everywhere; nature reserves are not enough"
The campaign is also Crowd-funding with all monies raised being distributed back into grass roots front-line conservation projects they’ve visited throughout the campaign, as well as The National Autistic Society.