GeoTag der Natur 2022: A test of technologies under BioBlitz conditions

Fotocredit: FH Kärnten
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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

In July, the BioMONITec team at the UNESCO Chair participated in the GeoTag der Natur event at the UNESCO Nockberge Biosphere Reserve, Carinthia. The event was a perfect occasion for the implementation of novel tools to estimate biodiversity and for exchange with research institutions across Austria on current conservation practices.

The GeoTag took place on the 15th and the 16th of July at an idyllic bog in St. Lorenzen ob Reichenau and surrounding wetland habitats. Our team implemented different techniques for the detection of local species: mammals, flying and aquatic insects, fauna, and algae, and birds to name a few. We used traditional techniques and also tested high-tech devices including sound detectors, apps, remote imaging, and eDNA sampling.

On the first day, the Nockberge Biosphere team prepared a warm welcome for the participants. Despite some raindrops, participants eagerly conducted sampling and observations in the designated areas. At the end of the day, an exciting presentation of the upcoming CUAS educational programme eTaxonomist took place. The main focus of eTaxonomist will be on the identification of different taxonomic tools using a combination of state-of-the-art and conventional approaches.

The second day featured ideal sampling conditions with lots of sun. Thus, sampling and test runs of various technologies continued. We obtained a comprehensive dataset of samples and data for the whole area: in total, participants collected at least 1000 species! Finally, the event wrapped up with a gathering of participants in Ebene Reichenau. Final thoughts and experiences were shared, and a group photo was taken.

The samples and data acquired by the BioMONITec team is currently being processed and analysed. The findings will be included in the species list published by the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve administration. We would like to once again thank to the organisers for the fantastic event and we are already looking forward to next year’s GeoTag!