What's On

You are needed for a BioBlitz celebration of local nature Friday to Sunday

Ian Campbell 16 August 2019
Science Week in the Bega Valley is a collaboration between a number of organisations including The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness is partnering with the Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Bega Valley Shire Council. Photo: Supplied.

Science Week in the Bega Valley is a collaboration between a number of organisations including The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness is partnering with the Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Bega Valley Shire Council. Photo: Supplied.

Are you ready to BioBlitz in Bega?! This weekend is your chance to get involved with this increasingly popular grassroots science event.

After six successful Bega Valley Bioblitzes, number seven is on now (August 16 – 18) as part of National Science Week celebrations.

The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness is partnering with the Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Bega Valley Shire Library to co-ordinate a BioBlitz of the Bega River and its newly restored habitats.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this free, family-friendly, all-ages, nature-inspired event – NO SCIENCE SKILL OR KNOWLEDGE IS NEEDED.

Never been to a BioBlitz before? Citizen scientists (that’s you) work side by side with ‘real’ scientists; working together to explore the local environment – all with the aim of recording as many species as possible.

Imagine finding something new! It happens.

“You never know what we are going to find, new species have been discovered, in 2016 at the Four Winds site near Bermagui we discovered a new Peacock Spider,” says Libby Hepburn from The Atlas of Life.

You never know what we are going to find at a bioblitz. Photo: Supplied.

You never know what we are going to find at a bioblitz. Photo: Supplied.

The revitalised Bega River is again one of the town’s treasures. There is more repair work to be done in this precious environment but the animals, plants, birds, and bugs that rely on this ecosystem have responded to the work of many in recent times.

And the BioBlitz will prove it.

Over thirty separate and unique BioBlitzs are scheduled over August 16,17,18:

  • Habitat Box Silhouette Monitoring
  • Spotlighting Brogo and Bega Rivers
  • Glebe Lagoon, Kisses Lagoon, Bega Cheese Factory Bird Surveys
  • Small Mammal Trapping
  • Reptiles and Cryptic Species
  • Spider and Beetle Search
  • Water-bugs Survey
  • Bega River Geomorphology
  • Canoe Survey of Mogareeka Inlet
  • Soil Sample Survey
  • Camera Trapping
  • Worms Survey
  • Good Wasps/Bad Wasps
  • Shorebirds and Bush-birds Survey
  • Orchids Survey
  • Tree Planting and Children’s Environmental Education

Which one gets your imagination and interest bubbling? Its all FREE, just reserve your place via Eventbrite now.

“The many people who walk, run or cycle along the Bega River have seen this environment be reborn, and now we want to put some data behind that,” Libby says.

“No science background is needed, just an interest in the world around us.

“The end result will be a better understanding of what’s happening in our local environment so that it can be better managed and cared for.”

A BioBlitz of the Bega River is one of the highlights of Bega Valley Science Week. Photo: Supplied.

A BioBlitz of the Bega River is one of the highlights of Bega Valley Science Week. Photo: Supplied.

Volunteers are also needed to assist the BioBlitz scientists and experts. Contact Paul Whittock if you can help – [email protected] or simply show up at Basecamp.

Outside of the BioBlitz timetable, Bega Valley Science Week Basecamp will be buzzing. Your experience starts at the Susan Harris Hall at Mumbulla School, not far from the water’s edge of the Bega River, on Bega Street, Bega.

Basecamp will be full of great things to see and do between August 16 and 18:

Submerged: Stories of Australia’s Shipwrecks from the Australian National Maritime Museum
This panel display highlights shipwrecks of national, regional and local importance. Australia has over 11,000 shipwrecks – that’s roughly one wreck for every three kilometres of coastline.

Exploring and Mapping our Living World, from Bournda Environment Education Centre
Created by Bournda EEC teacher Julie Donne, this wonderful teaching resource will introduce you to the wonderful world of citizen science, where you can play an important role in mapping the biodiversity of our local region. Has that spider ever been sighted before? Is that bird out of its normal range? Has anyone sighted that butterfly at this time of the year? So many great scientific questions that could be answered through the sightings that you make in your backyard, local national park, on your farm – ANYWHERE!

Crazy Critters, from Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre
A great hands on and interactive marine exhibit with live sea creatures on display.

Save our Species, from National Parks and Wildlife Service
Discover a world of local shorebirds with Ranger Karl and the discovery trailer.

Be Game, from 2Pi Software
Interactive display based on augmented reality and virtual reality. Create your own virtual sculpture in VR that you can then take home with you and view using 2Pi’s AR platform on your mobile devices.

End Game, from Eden Game Development Centre
Explore the capabilities of virtual reality and video games. Learn about game development, coding, graphics/art, music and many more employable digital skills!

And lots more including the Museum in a Box from the Australian Museum.

A bioblitz is a citizen science event, with scientists, naturalists and the community working together to explore their local area. Photo: Supplied.

A bioblitz is a citizen science event, with scientists, naturalists and the community working together to explore their local area. Photo: Supplied.

“We are blessed to live in a community with so much skill and knowledge of the natural and scientific world. I love seeing people leave these events full of wonder for the world around us,” says Doug Record, Principal of Bournda Environmental Education Centre.

Keep an eye on the Bega Valley Shire LibrarySapphire Coast Regional Science Hub, and Atlas of Life Facebook pages.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about the vast world of science and what’s happening in our backyard and have the opportunity to help grow this knowledge and passion in our community,” says Scott Baker from Bega Valley Shire Library.

Need to know more or explore the program? The Bega Valley Science Week Eventbrite page is your friend.

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