Foto van twee wandelende studenten
Foto van twee wandelende studenten

Biodiversity Day: count and score as many species of flora and fauna as possible!

On Biodiversity Day, Wednesday, May 22nd, a new phenomenon emerges on campus, the BioBlitz. At various campuses of higher education institutions, students and staff are encouraged to search for as many species of flora and fauna as possible on that day.

At various campuses in the Netherlands, counters are getting to work to register as many plants and animals as possible within a set time. With the special app Obsidentify, walkers can document their findings through photos. The BioBlitz starts on May 22nd and continues for a month, with the challenge of registering five thousand species across all areas within that time.

Besides counting, the day is also intended to entice students and staff to take a stroll around the campus, for which a digital walking map was recently launched. To assist people with counting on May 22nd, experts in flora and fauna will be available at Erasmusplein to point out the natural richness of the campus. The starting point is marked with the promotion cart of Radboud Green Office.

Variation is important

Variation is important. There is no longer any debate about the importance of diverse nature. Margot Jansen, chair of the biodiversity project group on the Nijmegen campus, says, "For the balance in nature, it's important to have variation, also as habitat for insects and other animals." Jansen also emphasizes the importance of alternating light and shade, as well as the influence of water management on the campus.

This variation also applies to the conservation of species that contribute less from a biodiversity perspective. For example, a species like the American oak, an exotic species found on the campus, may not be the best tree for serving insects. Jansen says, "But as a shaded spot, such an exotic species can still be valuable, for example, for our students who request more shaded areas on campus."

In the natural environment, there are multiple values that need to be reconciled, including cultural history. Jansen points out the rhododendrons, which are not popular from a biodiversity perspective but historically a common plant on the campus. This is related to the plant's favor during the establishment of the former estate of the Jurgens family, the precursor to the campus. "In older plans, it was stated that we wanted to get rid of all those rhododendrons," says Jansen. "We now think more nuanced about it; from a cultural historical perspective, we want to limit this plant, but still preserve it for the campus."

You have a part to play

On Wednesday, May 22nd, it's International Day for Biodiversity. The starting point for the guided walk with an expert is Erasmusplein from 12 pm. Radboud University is committed to creating a healthy environment with a focus on improving biodiversity. Would you like to learn more about the efforts on campus to enhance biodiversity?

Biodiversity Radboud Universiteit

Do you want to know more about the sustainable initiatives on campus? Join the Radboud Impact Festival on 4 June! The Radboud Green Office will transform Erasmusplein and Pieter Bondamplein into a tantalizing showcase of sustainable projects between 12 and 6 pm. Take part in workshops, have a drink and a snack and explore your own options for actively engaging with sustainability.    

Radboud Impact Festival

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