Base camp is the hub of activity where identifications are made, species tallied, and public get to look down microscopes, chat with scientists, and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the beautiful, the curious and the downright thrillingly ugly. Field trips (guided walks) depart from here.

The list below are just some of the activities we did during previous  BioBlitz events.  We hope to have all these .. and more … at BioBlitz 2015.

  • Creepy crawly critter hunt … find what lives in leaf litter and look at these critters under the microscope. You’ll be astonished at how awesome tiny creatures look when you get such a close up view.
  • Mosses and liverworts … what’s the difference? Find out some really interesting stuff about these ancient plants. Mosses go back some 360 million years, and liverworts even further to 400 million years ago. Together they are called Bryophytes and there are more than 500 species in New Zealand!!
  • Fresh water animals … find out about interesting creatures from the local ponds and streams. If you talk to the WaiCare people nicely, they might take you out to show you how they search the natural aquatic habitats.
  • The goodies and baddies in your backyard … there will be a display featuring  pest animals and pest plants and how to deal with them. And you can come and talk to Friends of Kepa Bush about their work to clear these unwanted intruders.
  • Live spiders …  imagine having 8 legs and 8 eyes and operating these all at the same time. Spiders can! During a recent recce to Pourewa Grace found evidence of lots of large native spiders, such as Sheetweb, Nursery Web and Vagrant spiders. She might have some live ones to show you in the marquee, so for all of you arachnophiles, come along and be thrilled!
  • Live butterflies and moths … learn more about New Zealand’s native and endemic species and what they need to survive in today’s world. There will be demonstrations of Monarch butterfly tagging, which is a way of marking butterflies to help discover where and how far they travel.
  • Display cases with pinned insects … you can get right up close and they’re not scary
  • Bacterial cultures … have you ever seen real live bacteria? If not, come along and look down a microscope.
  • Fungi … fabulous fungi come in many different forms from pretty mushrooms (some are good to eat, some are colourful, some are very poisonous), to delicate little cupped ‘birds nests’ through to wood ears and dripping ‘icicles’.
  • Slime moulds … primitive relatives of fungi that are little more than ‘ectoplasm in a bag’ (i.e. they don’t have fancy cell structure of higher organisms) yet the individual cells can group together and move towards food sources. There’s even a species commonly called ‘dog vomit’ (guess what that one looks like!).
  • Lichens … a clever mutually-beneficial (symbiotic) partnership between algae and fungi. Those ‘scaly’ colourful patches may be very old as lichens are long–lived and slow growing. While lichens can live in extreme climates and environments, they are very sensitive to air pollution and environmental contaminants so they can be good natural indicators of how healthy our environment is.
  • Posters, photos … lots and lots to look at, including lots of interesting posters you can download from the web for free.
  • And best of all … scientists! There will be specialist biologists of all descriptions who will be very happy to chat and show you the coolest stuff imaginable.

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