260 different plants and animals have been spotted, identified and recorded in the first ever BioBlitz on rewilding land on the Sharpham Estate.
Birds, wildflowers, trees, bats, moths, butterflies and other invertebrates were all counted in a packed 24-hours on the land just outside Totnes.
The event (and the rewilding at Sharpham) was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the players of the lottery, enabling the free participation of members of the public.
A particular highlight of BioBlitz (which took place on 3 & 4 September) was the arrival at dusk of a Noctule bat, flying high above the rewilding fields alongside the River Dart near Sharpham House.
32 species of birds were recorded, from the tiny Wren to the big buzzard, and wildflowers and plants spotted included Chicory, Mugwort and Meadowsweet.
A Jersey Tiger Moth joined with a Dock Bug, a Violet ground beetle and a Dark Bush Cricket, whilst butterflies recorded included a Small Copper, a Speckled Wood (pictured), a Holly Blue and a Gatekeeper.
Lots of the observations were uploaded to iNaturalist - the app for identifying wildlife
“We are over the moon about the splendid results from our first ever BioBlitz,” said organiser Lisa Carnell, Event and Education Officer of The Sharpham Trust.
She worked on the event with Ambios Ltd – the nature conservation organisation based at Lower Sharpham Farm that is a partner in the rewilding that is taking place on 50 acres of Sharpham Estate farmland.
“Huge thanks goes to the dedicated work of the expert team at Ambios & their conservation trainees; to our visiting expert leaders Peter Shaw and John Walters and finally to all the wonderful members of the local community who came along, searched, found and recorded wildlife for us too - none of this important observation and recording work would have been possible without them!”
There will be another BioBlitz in 2022, so sign up to Sharpham Trust’s mailing list to hear first: www.sharphamtrust.org/subscribe
A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time.
At a BioBlitz scientists and participants work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity.
Members of the public, volunteers, trainee conservationists from Ambios Ltd, Sharpham staff and biodiversity experts worked together to identify species.
Picture of Noctule bat by Kamran Safi, used under this licence
Picture of Speckled Wood butterfly & Dock Bug by Rob Hinchley
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