Be a scientist for a day at the Lake Rotopiko Bioblitz!

The first-ever peat lake BioBlitz comes to Lake Rotopiko on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February when scientists and volunteers will explore the site with the public and hunt for as many different species of fauna, flora and fungi as they can find. If you’ve ever wanted to be a natural scientist for a day, then don’t miss this exciting, fast-moving science marathon being held by the National Wetland Trust to celebrate World Wetlands Day.

The event begins on Friday 16th February from 1pm to 7pm, with schools and the public warmly welcomed, and continues on Saturday 17th February from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

You may get your hands a bit dirty and your feet wet hunting, but looking at your discoveries under the microscope, you’ll learn an extraordinary amount about the native and exotic species at home in and around Lake Rotopiko.

The aim is to document species from inside the innovative pest exclusion fence, to examine the outcome of pest eradication. You can talk to scientists about their findings and see how samples are collected.

Rotopiko Reserve is off SH3, about 3km south of Ohaupo with only a left-hand turn in and out of the reserve. For more details, or to become a BioBlitz volunteer, contact enquiries@wetlandtrust.org.nz

Lake Rotopiko, 20 minutes south of Hamilton, is the site of the planned National Wetland Centre with its predator-proof fence and habitat restoration creating a safe haven for native wildlife.

North Island fernbird, spotless crake, Australasian bittern and falcon have already made it their home, as have thousands of starlings and other exotic birds that now fly in at dusk – that’s an astonishing sight.

Rotopiko’s BioBlitz will document as many species as possible from inside the predator-proof fence – the visible and invisible, secretive and shy, common and more rare species – to discern the fence’s impact. Volunteers are essential to a successful BioBlitz, so the organisers are asking people not to be shy in coming forward.

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