As part of the Bega Valley's celebration of national Science Week a BioBlitz is being organised at the Bega River and there's a call out for volunteers and participants over the period August 15-18.
The Bega River BioBlitz will involve scientists, naturalists and community members in a wide range of ecological surveys.
Working together, the aim is to discover, identify and record the biodiversity and biological richness along the 3km of river through Bega town and also going further to survey reference sites of original vegetation both upstream and down.
A range of habitats will be investigated such as freshwater floodplain lagoon/wetlands, riparian habitats and revegetation areas, and a variety of surveys are being planned covering small mammals, evening spotlighting, nest box surveys, reptiles, birds, spiders and beetles, moths, waterbugs, flora, riparian vegetation and soil assessments.
There will be a program of presentations from experts, on subjects from worms to wasps, the history of the Bega River and the secrets of camera trapping and much more. There will also be short science films, a video on cultural burning in the Valley and the BioBlitz will include a schools program run in partnership with the Bournda Environmental Education Centre,
Everyone is invited to take part in the BRBB, and there are many ways to do this.
- Take part for an hour, a day or for the entire BioBlitz.
- Take part in a survey, either as an assistant or a survey leader.
- Visit base camp to see the videos, presentations and explore intricate biological details using a special microscope, the 'Microeye'.
- Bring your camera and help photograph the plants and animals we find.
- Help us with data collection and collation from the comfort of base camp, at the Mumbulla School Hall.
- Or volunteer as a first aider or to help with the general running of base camp.
Planning for the event is now well underway, and organisers are calling for volunteers.
Libby Hepburn of the Atlas of Life said they are seeking volunteers to help with the many different things that go on at the BioBlitz.
"We need survey leaders' assistants - to help with recording, photography, carrying kit and helping the participants if there's a big group," she said.
"We also need base camp guides - to help set up and to help participants find where to register, see where their surveys start from, and answer questions and generally talk about the BioBlitz and the Atlas and how everyone is welcome to contribute.
"We will need a few people to help with data entry into NatureMapr and volunteers to help people find their way around the Atlas website and the NatureMapr database and how to register and add sightings," Ms Hepburn said.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0458 798 990 if you can offer a few hours between Thursday 3pm (for setting up base camp) Friday 9.30am - late, Saturday 9.30 - 4pm and Sunday morning from 10am-noon to pack up base camp.
Base camp, the hub of the BioBlitz, will be the hall at the Mumbulla School.
The planning and organisation of this event involves a number of community groups working in collaboration: Atlas of Life, Bega Valley Shire Library, Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub, Bournda Environmental Education Centre, Bega Valley Shire Council, Mumbulla School and Landcare, specifically BRAWL - the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare.