Bioblitz Serralves

Video of the 1st edition
(+351) 226 156 500
24 APR 2015
In 2015 Serralves is organising the second edition of BioBlitz, a lightning-speed inventory exercise of species, conducted with participation of the general public, in a unique initiative in one of Portugal’s historical and urban gardens.
Unlike a scientific inventory, which is limited to biologists and other researchers, BioBlitz is open to families, students, teachers and other community members, who will help researchers find plants and animals in Serralves Park.
On Friday (24 Apr, 10:00-17:00) the programme will be dedicated to the participation of schools, and on Saturday (25 Apr, 08:00-24:00) is open to the general public. 

BioBlitz Serralves for Schools 2015 invites participants to gain a better understanding of the fauna and flora in Serralves Park, by participating in:

- Field trips: conducted by specialized researchers from CIBIO (for middle school students (2nd and 3rd cycle) and secondary school students). The field trips are a unique opportunity to gain first hand experience of the work conducted by scientists in the framework of a biodiversity inventory;
- Educational workshops (pre-school, primary school and middle school (2nd cycle): to provide a background and explore the topics in an entertaining and educational manner;
- Autonomous monitoring sessions middle school (3rd cycle) and secondary school: assisted by the monitors of the Educational Service, with access to monitoring kits and entering data on the online platform 'Biodiversity and Environment'. This platform hosts the Serralves Citizen Science project, providing various online educational resources for free, including sampling protocols, field guides, brochures, activity booklets for families and schools, as well as audiovisual documentaries for each animal and environmental group in the study;
- Bioquiz: a lively game based on biodiversity questions to test your prior or acquired knowledge!

Access: Participation is free of charge, but requires prior booking (subject to capacity).
Registration: Please use a Serralves BioBlitz Schools 2015 pre-booking sheet for each group of students to be registered, and send it to the Serralves Foundation’s Educational Service by email or post to: a / c Anabela Silva; email: a.silva@serralves.pt; address: Rua D. João de Castro 210, 4150-417 Porto. Applications will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis.

Entrance: Rua D. João de Castro, 210 (entrance to the Museum). To facilitate access of groups, participants are kindly requested to leave their bags and backpacks in the transport vehicles used. Groups should arrive 10 minutes in advance to facilitate reception and compliance with the schedule.

Image: Tritão-de-ventre-laranja (Lissotriton boscai), Albano Soares
What does BioBlitz mean?
"Bio” means life and "Blitz” means doing something quickly and intensively.
The objective is to find and identify the maximum number of species, in a specific area, a specific area, over a short period of time, functioning as a biological inventory.
How does it work?
The species are classified into different biological groups, such as plants, lichens, mushrooms, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds, micromammals. The end result of a BioBlitz is to count the number of species found in each of these groups.

How does it differ from other scientific inventories?
A scientific inventory is usually restricted to biologists and other researchers. A BioBlitz in addition to volunteer scientists, also involves families, students, teachers and other members of the local community.

Why organise a BioBlitz in Serralves?
Serralves Park is a fundamental part of the ecological structure of Porto, contributing to the potential diversity of habitats that occur in urban areas. BioBlitz helps increase existing knowledge and share it with the general public.
About 10,000 species of birds inhabit our planet. They have a fascinating capacity for environmental adaptation, and mark a presence in almost all terrestrial ecosystems, including in the urban environment. In Serralves Park more than 90 species can be observed. Blackbirds, jays, blue tits and red-breasted robins are some of the species that are more easily observed at any time of the year in the Park. Learn more about the Park’s birds, and participate in inventorying the birds, during the bird-ringing sessions, bird-watching with binoculars and identification of birds through their calls.

There are 17 species of amphibians in Portugal. Amphibians are in a very delicate situation in terms of conservation: one in three amphibian species in the world have a worrying conservation status. In Serralves Park there are four different species of amphibians: green-frog; Bosca's newt; common-midwife-toad and yellow-spotted salamander. Learn more about the amphibians in the Park, participate in the inventory work during observation sessions of adult specimens and catch tadpoles in the water.
Reptiles are perhaps the world’s most misunderstood animals, largely due to ignorance of their biology and ecology. Most of the species found in Portugal are completely harmless and all try to flee whenever they feel threatened. Their elusive and low profile enables them to go undetected, making it difficult to observe them. There are at least two species of reptiles in Serralves Park: Bocage's wall lizard and the slow worm. Learn more about the reptiles in the Park, participate in the inventory work during the morning and late afternoon, when there’s a higher probability of observing them, basking in the sun.

Although they are often regarded as pests and carriers of disease, micromammals actually play a key role in the balance of ecosystems, as they are the basis of the diet of many species of carnivorous mammals, birds of prey and reptiles, seed dispersers and predators of a high quantity and diversity of invertebrates. Two species can be observed in Serralves Park: the Algerian mouse and the greater white-toothed shrew. Learn more about the Micromammals in the Park, participate in the inventory work during monitoring sessions with traps.
Bats are mysterious beings for most people, especially because of their nocturnal habits. They are capable of moving in the dark, using an ultrasonic echo system. The species found in Portugal feed mainly on insects, and thereby help control insect populations. They face serious conservation problems associated to the loss and alteration of their habitats. Serralves Park provides shelter and / or food for at least two species of bats: the common pipistrelle and the serotinine bat. Learn more about the bats in the Park, participate in the inventory work during night observation sessions with detection using ultrasound techniques.

Insects - arthropods with three pairs of legs and a body divided into three segments - represent about 90% of all known species. Herbivores, predators, pollinators and decomposers, they are key elements for the balance of ecosystems. They are also the principal food source for many other animal groups, such as amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Spiders - arthropods with 4 pairs of legs and a body organized in two segments - have more than 40,000 species. They are primarily predators of other arthropods, including many insects. The best-known form of hunting used by these animals is with the aid of webs that they weave with silk threads. Learn more about the invertebrates in Serralves Park, and participate in the inventory sessions of diurnal and nocturnal spiders and insects.

Serralves Park is famous for the diversity of its tree and shrub heritage, composed of about 8000 specimens, encompassing around 230 native and exotic species and varieties. Herbaceous plants also have a major presence in the Park, especially in the meadows and clearings. Find out more about the Park’s plants, learn how to identify them and get to know the Park’s remarkable trees.
Bryophytes, commonly known as mosses, are primarily terrestrial plants, with different shapes, textures and even colours. They play essential roles in many ecosystems, such as water retention, contributions to the formation of soils, pioneers in the colonization of habitats, nutrient recycling, biomass production and carbon sequestration. Areas of mosses are also home to many invertebrates. Learn more about the mosses in the Park, participate in inventory sessions, learn to identify them and help us widen the list of identified species.

Lichens are beings that result from the symbiosis between a fungus and an alga or cyanobacterium. They can take different forms and sizes, and colonize a wide array of different habitats, such as tree trunks or rocks. The approximately 19,000 species currently known worldwide attest to the success of this union. Given that some species are highly sensitive to pollution, they are often used as bioindicators of air quality. Learn more about the lichens in the Park, participate in inventory sessions, learn how to identify them and help us widen the list of identified species.
The kingdom of fungi, which includes mushrooms, although one of the largest and most diverse, is still relatively unknown. Recent estimates point to 1.5 million different species, of which only about 55,000 produce mushrooms. Mushrooms are the structures of the fungi involved in the reproduction of these species. Fungi are essentials in the balance of all ecosystems, and can be found from the polar regions to the tropics. They perform important functions such as nutrient recycling or association with other living creatures (plants or animals). Learn more about the Park’s mushrooms, participate in the inventory sessions, learn how to identify them and help us widen the list of identified species.

Media Partner
  • LocationSerralves Park
  • Schedule10h00 - 17h00
  • Days24 APR 2015

Support this project.
Become a member.

Rua D. João de Castro, 210
4150-417 Porto Portugal