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The 8th Annual Bioblitz Goes to Tabaquite

By Stephanie Warren-Gittens

Bioblitz? What exactly is that you may ask? Well, Bioblitz is a highly anticipated annual event for local naturalists, as it is an intense survey done in a 24-hour period to find as many species as possible within a given area!

Started in 2012, this event has been held in various parts of Trinidad and Tobago from Tucker Valley to Icacos even to Charlotteville, where a whopping 1044 species were found in the latter location alone! This year, Bioblitz 2019 will take place in Tabaquite on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November. The centre of the weekend’s activities or basecamp will be located at the Tabaquite Secondary School.

From noon Saturday to noon Sunday, scientists, naturalists and volunteers will walk trails within the Tabaquite area looking for plants, mammals, insects, birds, fish, fungi, reptiles, lizards, even down to microbes- just about any living organism.

Camera traps have already been strategically placed in the area, to record any mammals, which may not present themselves on the weekend of Bioblitz.

Participants are also encouraged to use the iNaturalist app to log their findings, which is also a great day-to-day app which can be used to identify organisms.

On the Sunday (3rd November) from 7 am-2 pm, the public is invited to visit the basecamp to view displays from several environmental groups, see what organisms have been found, walk the trails and interact with the Bioblitz team. This is a great opportunity to gain exposure for those (children included) who may be curious about the natural environment and not too sure how to get into the field and make a contribution to science.

At the end of the event, all species found from the different groups will be tabulated to get the preliminary species count for the area and announced at 1 pm. These results, as well as that of past Bioblitzes are useful as important ecological baseline data for future surveys.

Bioblitz is brought to you by the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club, with support from the Department of Life Sciences and UWI Zoology Museum at the University of the West Indies. Follow our Facebook Page T&T Bioblitz to keep updated!

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A Bioblitzer observing an organism under a microscope at Basecamp_ Photo by S. Warren-Gittens
 
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Sunday activities at Basecamp _Photo by A. Farrell
 
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Sunday activities at Basecamp _Photo by A. Farrell
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Bioblitzers in the field observing a specimen for ID_ Photo by N. Bridglal
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Yellow Oriole spotted at last year’s Bioblitz_ Photo by D. Mulchansingh
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A Bioblitzer gets down to get a shot of a bird in the distance at last year’s Bioblitz_ Photo by E. Seebaran.
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A frog spotted at last year’s Bioblitz_ Photo by R. Deo
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