The Global Southern BioBlitz (GSB) Challenge 2020 Hosted by Giraffe Centre Sanctuary

Biodiversity mapping and identification through citizen science contributes to active wildlife education and ecological monitoring. The Global Southern Citizen Science Bioblitz 2020 offered a platform to promote experiential learning and institutional collaboration among wildlife, environment and natural resource enthusiasts. This voluntary exercise also attempted to compile a rapid biodiversity inventory within the Giraffe Sanctuary; support environmental education initiatives and guide policies based on distribution of biodiversity in the city of Nairobi.

The 2020 GSB was held from Friday the 25th of September 20202 (00:00 local “Area” time) until the end of Monday on the 28th of September 2020 (23:59 local “Area” time), incorporating different communities, areas and regions across the Southern Hemisphere. As a green space in Nairobi City, the giraffe sanctuary contributes to multiple ecosystem services including biodiversity conservation; climate change mitigation and adoption though sequestration of carbon compounds; water infiltration to recharge aquifers; eco-tourism; and lab for experimental learning among others. These are in line with the Kenya’s Vision 2030, Kenya’s National Wildlife Strategy 2030; Aichi Biodiversity targets, Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want; and a myriad of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Over 60 different species were sighted with 56 species identified comprising of plants (n=30); birds (n=9); insects (n=7); macrofungi (n=7); mammals (n=5); reptiles (n=2); and molluscs (n=1). Over five (5) types of macro-fungi were also
observed. Invasive species are one major threats to the Giraffe Centre.

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The study highlighted a rich diversity of biota in the sanctuary underscoring the need to its conservation, the diverse hosted spaces and habitats (green space in Nairobi) as per the Vision 2030; myriad of UN Sustainable Development Goals; the Convention of Biological Diversity and Aichi Sustainability Targets and other global initiatives. The study proposes continuous extensive biodiversity inventories to document species within the Giraffe Centre and active conservation of the same.

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