Bioblitz at CBMWC

Chris Packham at the New Quay Bioblitz 2018 by Victoria Hoare

Chris Packham at the New Quay Bioblitz 2018 by Victoria Hoare

For ten days in July, Chris Packham and his team of experts visited 50 wildlife sites as part of his UK Bioblitz, and the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the sites.

As Chris said  “The UK is home to remarkable and beautiful wildlife and some wonderful habitats but it’s also in big trouble, and in the case of some species this means we are fast approaching the last chance to make a difference.

The Bioblitz campaign has a scientific purpose. The results of this 2018 audit will be recorded to create a benchmark, this will help measure the rise and fall in numbers of different species in the future”.

The bioblitz at CBMWC ran from 7 am to 11 pm on Saturday 21st July and recorded a range of marine and coastal species. Chris Packham and his Campaign team arrived at 7.45 am on Saturday, along with surprise guest Iolo Williams, who joined the team for the Welsh leg of the bioblitz. They took a boat trip with our partners Dolphin Survey Boat trips and added porpoise, bottle nose dolphins and manx shearwaters to the species list for the day.  They then spent time chatting with volunteers and visitors on the harbour wall, and inspected some of the moths collected by the Ceredigion Moth group.

Chris and Iolo left for their next site at around 10am, and we continued with our full programme of public activities, led by staff, volunteers, and a range of species experts and partner organisations, including Bee Conservation Trust, the Vincent Wildlife Trust, and North Ceredigion bat group. Staff from the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre were on hand to collate and check records, and provide regular updates on species totals. There were rock-pooling sessions, a strandline safari, and recording sessions for everything from birds to bees to Foraminifera (single cell organisms), and the grand finale a “Going Batty on the Beach” bat walk. One of the highlights was the visiting team of Seasearch divers who recorded marine species beyond the harbour wall, including a juvenile cuttlefish.

We recorded 216 species on the day, with more records still coming in from our team of local experts and county recorders.  We also recorded an amazing 402 visitors, who took part in guided walks and activities, looked around our Visitor Centre, and assisted our research volunteers with surveys from the harbour wall.

The Chris Packham’s UK bioblitz team are raising money through a crowdfunding page and finds raised will be split between The National Autistic Society and the 50 bioblitz sites he visited. To donate to the campaign, visit the Just Giving page.