Everything you wanted to know about Cape Clear weekend Island BioBlitz but were afraid to ask

Thanks for volunteering to participate in this weekend’s Island BioBlitz. We are delighted with the large number of surveyors that have registered for the event (over 150 at last count!) and it is shaping up to be a great event. Let’s hope the weather holds.

This is just to provide you with an update on the arrangements for the event.


We ask all recorders to register at Base Camp on Saturday morning from 8:30hrs.

Base Camp is situated at the S N Cleire/National School (51.435353, -9.498344)

The recording effort will be co-ordinated from Base Camp on Saturday and Sunday, and this is also where all the activities associated with Island BioBlitz will start from.

It is important to note that all of the recording effort must be logged to the special BioBlitz online data entry system at Base Camp, or through the special Biodiversity Data Capture app (see below). Lap tops will be provided at Base Camp during Island BioBlitz and staff will be on hand to assist with data entry at Base Camp throughout the day. For those of you who will generate a large number of records, or are dealing with a difficult taxonomic group, we would hope that you would assist the staff with your own data entry at Base Camp.


The Data Centre has developed a series of recording sheets, divided by taxonomic groups, to facilitate data management. The full suite of recording sheets is attached. We would invite you to print off the sheets for the groups that you will be recording, and fill these in when you are in the field. Use of these will ensure that the taxonomy matches the names in our on-line record system, and that the information needed for a valid biological records (ie. species name, location, Grid reference and recorder name) are provided. Additional copies of these will be available at Base Camp on the day.   We encourage everyone to return at regular intervals during the event so that the records can be logged on the system in a stage manner, rather than leaving everything to the end.

Alternatively, the Data Centre has developed a special Mobile Phone app, Biodiversity Data Capture, that can be used for data capture during Island BioBlitz. Both iOS and Android versions are available, and can be downloaded, free of charge, by clicking on the links below.

iOS version: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/biodiversity-data-capture/id906361120?mt=8

Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nbdc.mobile.biodiversity

The Biodiversity Data Capture app is configured so that any records submitted during the Island BioBlitz (6-12th June) from the five participating islands, will automatically feed into the BioBlitz recording system. The app is ideal for submitting casual records of the commonly recorded taxonomic groups (eg. birds, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, bees, plants, etc.), but it does not allow submission of records from some of the more difficult taxonomic groups.

Overall, if you are recording Monday-Friday, please use the app and/or the forms provided, then bring the forms along to the Base Camp to be digitised on Saturday/Sunday.  For those with many records, we’d appreciate your help in logging your records.

If you are recording earlier in the week, please use the Biodiversity Data Capture app for record submission, or arrangements will be made for collection of hard copy recording forms at a convenient location on each island.


Progress with the recording activity across all five islands can be tracked in real time on www.bioblitz.ie . Species tallies will be provided at the end of each of the days (Wed 8th, Thursday 9th and Friday 10th, and at four time periods between 12:00hrs on Satruday 11th to 12:00hrs on Sunday 12th June.  This will allow everyone to see which island is winning, and how each is doing under the different categories of awards.

Island BioBlitz will have five different awards:

  • The Longest ListAward (most species recorded)
  • The Species RichnessAward (most species recorded by area)
  • The Most Productive TeamAward (the highest average number of records submitted per person by the team)
  • The Most Marine SpeciesAward (to highlight marine biodiversity)
  • The Conservation SpeciesAward (The most threatened and protected species recorded)



Island BioBlitz is a fun event, intended as a celebration of Ireland’s biodiversity. Recording on the islands potentially, exposes recorders to some risk. So we ask recorders to note the following:

  • Recorders must register at Base Camp and provide the organisers with contact details. Here they will be notified of the conditions attached to participate in Island BioBlitz and be provided with the phone number to contact in case of emergency.
  • Never venture onto hazardous environments – take particular attention not to venture too close to cliffs, and exercise extreme caution when along the coast.
  • Please record with a partner and keep in contact with the partner at all times.
  • Much of the land on the islands is private property; please respect this, and seek permission from land owners to enter land if at all possible.



Island BioBlitz is a large participatory event, and we hope that everyone can add to promotion and enjoyment of the event through social media.

Progress with the recording activity will be provided regularly on the dedicated Island BioBlitz website www.bioblitz.ie

Information will be posted regularly ono the Biodiversity Ireland facebook page https://business.facebook.com/Biodiversity-Ireland-136168046462621/?business_id=795806767165409

and the Data Centre twitter account @BioDataCentre – using the hashtag  #BioBlitz2016

In addition to use of social media we would welcome the sharing of photographs of the activities. These can be provided at Base Camp or emailed info@biodiversityireland.ie for use on the BioBlitz website.







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