The Biowet project took another step closer to fruition on 21 February 2019. As part of the Erasmus+ funded initiative, the head of WLI Chris Rostron hosted a webinar that connected students in Norway, the UK, the Basque Country, and Portugal. WLI and MBP member centres at Dokka delta (Randsfjordmuseet), EVOA, and Urdaibai have all brought young people together for the project. They will spend the next two years studying the effects of climate change at wetland centres.
The students and wetland centres had prepared fun videos for the webinar, introducing themselves and why they care about wetlands and climate change.
They also looked at the indicators they will use in the project. They will gather data and use existing data sets, and look at species found at all or many of the participant sites.
They hope to look at bird arrival times and hatch rates, and mapping the territories for breeding pairs; data about dragonflies, ladybirds, mayfly, and learn moth trapping; observing owls and assessing their pellets and vomit; reed bed surveys, and learning some practical habitat management; fish surveys, and water pollution levels. Students in Portugal and Dokka High School in Norway suggested shared species, such as lapwing, that they will count, as well as comparing the different implications of shared indicators.
An interesting example to emerge was water temperature: higher winter temperatures in the UK can mean microbes survive, damaging avian health, while in Portugal higher temperatures encourage the invertebrates on which visiting flamingos feed.
In less than a month the groups will meet in person for a packed week at WWT Martin Mere, in Northwest England. Getting their hands and feet dirty as well as recording data, learning measurement techniques, and sharing their experiences on social media; follow them as Biowet on Instagram