A BioBlitz is a citizen science event where scientists and naturalists work with the community to explore their local area with the aim of recording as many species as possible.
A BioBlitz will be held at Poppethead Park, Kitchener on Sunday, 8 September 2019. The event will include a guided spotlighting walk on the Saturday night (7th September), as well as a number of interesting walks and activities on the Sunday. Events will cater for everyone including people with a general interest in the bush wanting to know a little more, as well as the keen naturalist wanting to extend their knowledge. Events on the Sunday will run from 7am until mid afternoon.
Due to the significance of the Cessnock area for conservation, we are fortunate to attract some highly skilled ecologists and botanists to this event including staff from the University of Newcastle with doctorates in the field.
The children have not been forgotten! We have a skilled children’s educator who will run a special kids program on the day, guaranteed to have a smile stuck on the kid’s faces as they learn and get active outside.
• Surveys/walks on the Sunday will be running from 7am to mid afternoon.
• All ages event.
• Participants will be required to register online prior to the surveys and at the registration desk at least 15 minutes prior to joining the surveys they are booked for.
• Participants will need to wear enclosed shoes. They will be encouraged to wear long pants, socks to tuck pants into, a long sleeve shirt, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
• Surveys may also have additional recommended items to wear or bring in their survey description.
• All children joining the surveys must be accompanied by an adult
• There will be a separate children’s program. All children will need to be signed in and out of this program. The children’s program is suited for children aged 5 – 15.
Frequently asked questions
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz comprises a group of scientists, naturalists, and other members of the public working together to discover, identify and record as many kinds of plants and animals as possible within a chosen area. The mixture of wildlife experts and the wider community is central to the BioBlitz concept. This creates an event which is both enjoyable and meaningful to scientists and the community, helping to achieve a deeper knowledge of ecology and the chosen area.
Where is the BioBlitz?
The Bioblitz will take place in Poppet Head Park and the surrounding National Park. Poppethead Park is located on Cessnock Street, Kitchener (Approximately 5km South of the township of Cessnock).
The Program for the 2019 Bioblitz is currently under development. The program will be posted on this site as soon as it is finalised.
All participants must complete a standard participant registration form prior to participating in any of the day’s events. This participation form will require participants to comply with the following terms:
• Wear appropriate footwear.
• Notify staff at the registration desk of all relevant medical conditions and pre-existing injuries that may affect their participation.
• Consent to authorise and take full responsibility for medical treatment and associated costs that may arise from withholding any vital medical information.
• Follow the advice of their survey leader and ensure my actions do not endanger the safety and welfare of others, and ask to clarify any directions that are unclear.
• Report all safety hazards, injuries or accidents to management immediately.
• Comply with conservation laws that exist within the National Park.
Parking will be available at the park.
Is there a fee?
No. The BioBlitz is an all ages, free event.
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian. Children between 15-18 must provide parental consent.
How many surveys /walks can I register for?
You can register for as many events on the day as you like, but please make sure you look at the start and finish times and confirm that none of your walks/surveys overlap.
Th Bioblitz is part of the 'Our Bushland' campaign. The Our Bushland campaign has been developed to raise awareness about local bushland and its importance to local species. The campaign has been made possible by funding from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust. It seeks to educate residents about all bushland, not just the bushland in National Parks. A large proportion of the bushland in the Cessnock Local Government Area is home to some very important species and are called biodiversity hotspots by ecologists. Critically endangered species, including the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot use our local bushland for food and shelter. The long term survival of these birds and many other threatened species is linked to the long term health of our bushland.
A lot of the local bushland in Cessnock is significant because it is some of the last of the large patches of vegetation on the valley floor in the Hunter. As a result, the bushland of Cessnock is home to some very important species, both plants and animals:
- Critically endangered species, including the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot use our local bushland for food and shelter. The Regent Honeyeater is also known to breed here.
- Werakata National Park provides vital protection for Kurri Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland, an endangered ecological community.
- The North Rothbury Persoonia (Persoonia pauciflora), listed as critically endangered, is only found in a small area in North Rothbury.
- The vulnerable Earps Gum, Eucalypts parramattensis subsp decadens is only found in the Kurri Kurri/Cessnock area and in Tomago. Werakata National Park provides vital protection for this rare species.
- The small flower Grevillea, Grevillea parviflora subsp parviflora, listed as vulnerable, can be found growing in the area, particularly in Werakata National Park.
- Numerous endangered ecological communities including Lower Hunter Spotted Gum- Ironbark Community and Quorrobolong Scribbly Gum Woodland are found in the area.
The long term survival of many of these threatened species and communities is linked to the long term health of our local bushland.
Unfortunately, deliberately lit fires, illegal fire wood collection and illegal dumping is reducing the habitat value and detracting from the beauty of our local bushland. The ‘Our Bushland’ campaign, through raising awareness of the value of our local bushland seeks to improve the communities appreciation of local bushland and reduce the frequency of these damaging behaviours.
The ‘Our Bushland’ campaign will also focus on biodiversity on private land as it is known that the amount of bushland reserved on public is unlikely to be sufficient to protect many threatened species in the long term. The project will provide landholders with information about how they can better manage their land for biodiversity and what assistance, including funding, is available.
Three landholders workshops have been held across the Local Government Area. A fourth workshop will occur later in 2019. The following resources from the CSIRO may assist landholders wanting to know more about managing their properties for biodiversity. Additional resources are available through Hunter Local land Services.