Portumna Bioblitz 2024 highlights

MKO teamed up with Portumna Community School on the 23rd and 24th May to run a Bioblitz event during National Biodiversity Week. The weather held out and ecologists from MKO, Coillte, University of Galway and Beith Tree Consultancy worked with the staff and students of Portumna Community School, The Irish Workhouse Centre and the OPW to gather as many species as possible within 24 hours. There were also fantastic and well-attended educational walks and talks on bats, birds, mammal/invertebrate/aquatic surveying, conservation dogs and forest ecology. These were led by the teams above with assistance from Birdwatch Ireland

Over 200 species were recorded on the school grounds alone and over 500 species in the wider Portumna area. This provides a brilliant inventory of biodiversity in the school and the general area in 2024. The species list is a baseline that can be added over time and can help the school (and the people of Portumna) enhance the area’s habitats and biodiversity.

We were delighted to be able to add to the great work already done by Portumna Community School to protect and enhance biodiversity. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the young people of Portumna and all our other partners while working with us over what was a great event.

The objective of the event was to celebrate biodiversity in general but also to engage with young people to highlight the potential for working within the sector, which is growing rapidly and experiencing a shortage of professional ecologists at a global level. A similar bioblitz was held in Hazelwood, Co. Sligo over the weekend and we aim to hold a similar event next year with other partners involved across Ireland to spread the word and do what we do best – find species!

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