NUI Galway has won the top award for most biodiverse campus at Ireland’s Intervarsity BioBlitz competition for the second year in a row, beating UL, UCC, and Maynooth University. Over a 24 hour period, volunteers combed the university’s campus and recorded a total of 628 species. Last year the university recorded 581 species.
With extensive semi-natural habitats across the campus, the BioBlitz teams logged 324 plants and tree species, 91 mosses, 34 bird species, 31 terrestrial and freshwater slugs and snails, 29 flies, 15 mammals, 14 butterflies and moths, 14 diatoms, 13 beetles, 12 terrestrial and freshwater bugs, 11 fungi, 10 caddisflies, 10 ants, bees, and wasps, three millipedes and three spiders, two lichens, two leeches, two worms, and one species each of fish, earwig, mayfly, grasshopper, woodlouse, water hoglouse, mite, and a flatworm.
Along with NUI Galway staff, students, and graduates, volunteers included staff and students from GMIT, and members of the public.
Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland, and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at a global and local level.
The Bioblitz demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity. It also demonstrates the importance of being able to survey and identify plants and animals as these are important aspects of Ireland’s biodiversity, and these skills are taught at NUI Galway.
“The win reflects the wonderful variety of life on campus and the effort of the recorders in being able to identify so much wildlife - and it was great fun,” said Dr Caitriona Carlin of the Applied Ecology Unit at NUI Galway.
NUI Galway’s statistics from the BioBlitz competition can be viewed at www.biodiversityireland.ie/intervarsity-bioblitz-2015-final-result/