As this is primarily a fun event, the rules are straightforward. The task is to record all the species that occur on the island and its immediate off-shore waters. This includes wild, naturalised and feral species, but does not include domesticated or species held in captivity. Plants growing within formal gardens or planted in flower beds are not accepted.
A record should be to species level and must include the minimum information: species name, recorder name, location name and/or grid reference. For difficult taxonomic groups a record to the family (genus) level can constitute a valid record. However, if there is even one species recorded for a family, then an additional family level record is not valid for the tally count.
The vast majority of records are generated from direct sightings of organisms. For some groups records will be accepted based on what is considered conventional recording for that group. For example, for bat recording the use of bat detectors to confirm identification through echolocation, or the identification of land mammals by tracks, are valid means of generating records and will be accepted. Similarly the recording of birds by song is valid. Recording of marine species is permitted anywhere within 1km off-shore of the island.
Sightings of species can be submitted by anyone, but recorders should register at Base Camp in advance. Records should be submitted on the official BioBlitz recording sheets available at Base Camp on the day or using the Biodiversity Data Capture app developed by the Data Centre. The Biodiversity Data Capture app can be downloaded, free of charge from the links below:
All of the records must be submitted through the special on-line BioBlitz record management system http://records.biodiversityireland.ie that has been specially developed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre to manage the BioBlitz event. A special log-in is required to submit the records to the Island BioBlitz system which will be available at Base Camp. Records submitted using the Biodiversity Data Capture app will automatically feed into this system. The event will be streamed live on the Island BioBlitz website, enabling everyone to follow progress across the participating islands.
Given the potential logistical difficulties associated with recording on islands, the results of any recording done from Monday 6th June are valid. Any trapping, such as the placement of pitfall traps, can only commence from Monday 6th June. The logging of the records at the Base Camps will end at exactly 12:00hrs on 12th June, and the final results will be available at 12:30hrs.
Categories of awards
Island BioBlitz will have six categories of award:
- The Most Species Award (most species recorded)
- The Species Richness Award (most species recorded by area)
- The Most Productive Team Award (the highest average number of records by team members)
- The Most Marine Species Award (to highlight marine biodiversity)
- The Conservation Species Award (The most threatened and protected species recorded)
- The Booby Biodiversity Award (to recognise daft or novel ideas, heroic failure, too much partying, etc) [the Data Centre reserves the right to make multiple such awards in the event that teams misbehave or things go horribly wrong!]