Bioblitz Serralves

Video of the 1st edition
(+351) 226 156 500
25 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 in Bioblitz, and on Saturday (25 Apr, 08:00-24:00) is open the general public. The detailed programme will be available soon.

Diverse biological groups in the Park will be catalogued: Birds, Amphibians and Reptiles, Micromammals and Bats, Insects and Spiders, plants, lichens and mushrooms. Each will have a field station located in Serralves Park, from which we can accompany the inventory sessions. In the case of Birds and Butterflies, it will even be possible to do some independent monitoring: participants can simply collect a kit, make an online application and record the collected data.
In parallel, family workshops will be organised dedicated to each species, conversations about biodiversity and the documentaries "There’s life in Serralves”.
This is a unique opportunity to help expand the list of identified species, work with the scientific community and learn more about the fauna and flora of Serralves Park.

Access: Free entrance to the Park

Image: Guarda-rios (Alcedo atthis), Armando Caldas
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.

Check the location of the Inventory Stations in the Park, the scheduled times of the Inventory Sessions, with researchers, family workshops and other activities.

Help the researchers find plants and animals in the park during the inventory sessions.


Help register the collected data in the online platform "Biodiversidade e Ambiente”.
The "Biodiversity and Environment" Platform is a resource centre on biodiversity in urban environments that aims to disseminate scientific knowledge in this area to various audiences. Participants will learn about Serralves Park in terms of its flora, fauna and environmental quality. Online information booklets and activity suggestions aree also available. The general public is invited to monitor events in the Park through field recording sheets and observation protocols that will be made available, thereby contributing to the production of scientific data on urban biodiversity.

Make the most of these two days. Thanks for your help!

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.

During this talk, we will be introduced to the points of view of two experts who are passionate about flora.
One is a full-time professional, whereas the other devotes his leisure time to this field.
Guests: Paulo Alves and Paulo Araújo
Moderator: Paulo Célio Alves
Max. no. of participants: limited to the available space. 

Paulo Alves has a B. Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Porto and is a researcher at CIBIO-InBIO, where he pursues research into the field of applied plant ecology, monitoring of biodiversity, and biological, phytosociological and floristic invasions.
Paulo Ventura Araújo has a B. Sc. degree in Mathematics from the University of Porto and a PhD from the University of Warwick (UK). He is a professor at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, where he has pursued research into hyperbolic geometry. In parallel, he is the co-author of the popular science blog "Dias com árvores” (Days with trees) that since 2004 has introduced the general public to flora-related issues.
Paulo Célio Alves is an assistant professor at the Department of Biology, of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, where he teaches courses in the field of Genetics and Conservation, and is also Associate Professor at the University of Montana (USA). He is a researcher at CIBIO-InBIO, where he coordinates the group, "Genetic Conservation and Management of Wild Animals".

Test your knowledge about biodiversity! 

Campo de Ténis (Tenis Court)
subject to available space.
Schedule: 10h30, 11h30, 14h00, 15h00, 17h00, 18h00
Duration: 45 minutes/session.

This competition takes place during the BioBlitz Serralves 2015 April 25 and is open to the general public.
It has a category for young people under 16 and is dedicated to the theme, "Biodiversity in Serralves Park".

The competition aims to:
- Raise awareness about the observation of nature, encouraging conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in urban parks;
- Foster and record the sharing of different ways of looking and feeling, encouraging close ties between citizens and the city’s green spaces;
- Promote photography as a means of artistic expression;
- Foster the emergence of new talents in the world of photography.

Consult the Competition rules of Fotoblitz 2015at the Home page of BioBlitz Serralves 2015.

The Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, an Associate Laboratory of the University of Porto, is a R & D unit that pursues basic and applied research in the field of biological sciences and, more specifically, in the main components of biodiversity: genes, species and ecosystems.
Its mission covers the following objectives:
1. Advance scientific knowledge in the fields of biodiversity and evolutionary biology, and on the principles governing the spatial partitioning of genotypic and phenotypic variation;
2. Integrate and deepen ecological, taxonomical and biogeographical knowledge at different scales worldwide - with a particular focus on the Iberian and Mediterranean biological heritage;
3. Use scientific knowledge in the development of proposals and tools intended to establish the priorities conservation and management programmes, including the protection and restoration of habitats, identification of cryptic species or genetically distinct domestic breeds, for dissemination to national and international conservation agencies;
4. Use data on domestic and wild specie to improve associated management practices, in close collaboration with local authorities;
5. Provide top-level advanced training
 at different levels, in the areas of evolution and conservation biology; and
6. Foster understanding and appreciation of biodiversity amongst the general public, through the communication of scientific activities.

Media Partner
  • LocationSerralves Park
  • Schedule08h00 - 20h00
  • Days25 APR 2015

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