Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Aquatic treasures among damp BioBlitz highlights

Aquatic treasures among the highlights at damp BioBlitz

A rare native freshwater crayfish and some exceptionally large eels are among the many highlights of Christchurch’s first ever BioBlitz, underway in drizzly weather at Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens.

“BioBlitz – finding nature in the city” is a 24-hour quest that began at 3pm yesterday and finishes at 3pm today. Its aim: to find as many different non-human life forms as possible. A team of more than 80 biologists has been scouring the park and the gardens recording everything they can find, dead and alive; from plants to fungi to fish to animals, diurnal and nocturnal. They have been keeping a running tally of the number of species found.

The public have been calling by to take a look, and have been accompanying scientists on activities such as spotting eels by torchlight and electric fishing in the Avon. .

BioBlitz spokesperson, Landcare Research PR / Communications Manager Judy Grindell says a rare native koura (crayfish) was a surprise discovery. It was found in a pond in the New Zealand section of the Botanic Gardens.

“That definitely won’t be eaten. It is a protected species.”

Ms Grindell also says an eel search last night turned up a great deal of activity, including at least one eel more than a metre long.

There has also been an abundance of water fleas and water mites.

Landcare Research scientist Dr Wendy Williamson says she has found 75 species of bacteria from plants, soil and water bodies around the founds, and they are “good healthy bugs,” with excellent growing conditions.

NIWA scientist Cathy Kilroy says she has found hundreds of species of diatoms, spectacular single-celled algae with silica cell walls – far more species than expected.

Judy Grindell says rain has failed to dampen spirits at the BioBlitz.

“Everybody has gone out and enjoyed themselves despite the weather.

“Our many discoveries of micro-organisms and small invertebrates have been happy surprises for us.”

BioBlitz will be officially closed at 3pm by Environment Canterbury Chief Executive Dr Bryan Jenkins. Dr Jenkins will announce how many species have been found.

BioBlitz was organised by Landcare Research, Lincoln University and Christchurch City Council, with a big contribution from Botanic Gardens staff. Canterbury University, NIWA, Crop & Food Research, the Department of Conservation, Weed Busters, Environment Canterbury, Kaupapa Kereru and others are also participating.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Onetai Station: Overseas Investment Office Puts Ceol & Muir On Notice

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has issued a formal warning to Ceol & Muir and its owners, Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, for failing to provide complete and accurate information when they applied to buy Onetai Station in 2013. More>>


Tomorrow, The UN: Feds President Takes Reins At World Farming Body

Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston has been appointed acting president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) at a meeting in Geneva overnight. More>>


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news