Bioblitz goes to Guayaguayare

Short-tailed pygmy tyrant:  This species is one of the smallest birds found in TT and organisers are hoping to spot one during this year's Bioblitz. - Photo courtesy Jerome Foster
Short-tailed pygmy tyrant: This species is one of the smallest birds found in TT and organisers are hoping to spot one during this year's Bioblitz. - Photo courtesy Jerome Foster

FOR the 13th year, the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club (TTFNC) and the Department of Life Sciences (DLS) at UWI have partnered to organise the annual Trinidad and Tobago Bioblitz.

Since 2012, this event has helped celebrate the rich biodiversity of Trinidad and Tobago while engaging the local community in scientific exploration and conservation efforts.

This year, scientists, students and nature enthusiasts will host the event in southeast Trinidad for the first time, to study and celebrate the biodiversity found in this relatively unexplored corner of the island, T&T Bioblitz said in a media release.

Coastal view near Guayaguayare: Volunteers will be surveying all habitats for species over the weekend, from the forests to the coast. - Photo courtesy Linton L Arneaud

From June 29-30 more than 100 volunteers will spend 24 hours searching high and low for species of plants, fungi, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects, spiders and aquatic creatures, before announcing the grand total at midday on Sunday.

Will they beat last year’s total of 899 species seen at Buccoo, Tobago?

If you ask the experts, the answer is yes! the release said.

"Few scientific surveys have taken place in southeast Trinidad relative to other parts of Trinidad and Tobago, yet we know it is an area rich in biodiversity, from yellow-footed tortoises and ocelots to rare palm trees and seldom-seen bats," T&T Bioblitz said.

Guianan Trogan: A bird participants expect to spot in the forested habitats within the Bioblitz area. - Photo courtesy Jerome Foster

The organisers say they are confident that this year’s Bioblitz will reveal hidden treasures and greatly expand local knowledge of the species inhabiting this corner of the island. By harnessing the collective power of passionate individuals led by scientific methods, the event promises to yield important data that will inform future conservation efforts and highlight the ecological significance of the area.

An important tool for the surveys will be the free citizen science app iNaturalist. By uploading photos of species spotted, participants will help create a species list for the area that is accessible to everyone, while also benefiting from the online identification help of international experts so we know exactly what we have seen, T&T Bioblitz said.

This year’s basecamp will be at Guayaguayare Secondary School, where members of the team will spend June 28 engaging with staff and pupils. As always, the Bioblitz mission goes beyond uncovering the fascinating biodiversity of the study area; it aims to ignite a passion for nature in everyone, particularly schoolchildren, members of community-based organisations, and anyone else who knows, works or lives in the area.

Some of the volunteers at last years Bioblitz in Buccoo, Tobago. -

T&T Bioblitz said everyone is welcome to join in over the weekend to help record species, to just see how they’re getting on.

On June 29 efforts will focus on the scientific surveys, and on June 30 there will be live displays and family-friendly activities from the team and local NGOs for the public to enjoy.

Organisers have expressed their gratitude to First Citizens for once again being the main sponsor of the Bioblitz, and also thank the National Gas Company for additional sponsorship this year, as well as the efforts of the Ministry of Education, Kizza Ottley-Watts, acting principal of Guayaguayare Secondary, for their co-operation and support.

Amazon River Frog: Guayaguayare is one of the few places in TT that this frog is found and organisers are are excited about finding one during the Bioblitz. - Photo courtesy Saifudeen Muhammad

T&T Bioblitz said it is still possible to take part in this year’s event as a volunteer team member by registering at or by just turning up to base camp on June 30 to see live displays and take part in other family-friendly activities.

For more info: e-mail or follow its social media platforms by searching Trinidad and Tobago Bioblitz.


"Bioblitz goes to Guayaguayare"

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