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A family friendly biodiversity treasure hunt

A family friendly biodiversity treasure hunt

Insects, plants, birds and lichens will all be the target of smart phone users during a Mini BioBlitz event being held at Sandy Point on Saturday 14 October.

Organised by Environment Southland and supported by the Department of Conservation and Invercargill City Council, the event is a great opportunity for people of all ages to explore the magnificent natural landscape at Sandy Point and uncover some of its hidden treasures.

Environment Southland biodiversity programme leader Ali Meade said a BioBlitz is basically a scientific race against time, with the goal to count as many different species as possible during the event. Participants will use their smart phones to photograph a variety of species, recording their finds on the iNaturalist app. They can choose to explore on their own following the available maps or join a guided walk.

Experts, including ecologists, botanists, herpetologists and entomologists, will be on hand to help identify the finds.

“Southland has so many species that we take for granted and others that we rarely see, sometimes because we don’t know what we are looking for. This is a great way for people to enjoy a family day out and learn about the range of biodiversity right on our doorstep,” Ali said.

“It will also provide us with an exciting snapshot of what is hiding within the Sandy Point ecosystem. It’s quite likely people will uncover things we didn’t know were there.”

The day runs from 10am until 4.30pm, is completely free and open to all ages. Participants should download the iNaturalist app from the app store before heading out and ensure they wear appropriate clothing for the weather, bring snacks and a drink bottle.

A base will be set up at Daffodil Bay and guided walks will leave every hour from 10.30am. A local cub group will have a fundraising sausage sizzle available on site.

For more information visit our website www.es.govt.nz o

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