Scientists have begun a comprehensive “biodiversity audit” of Trinity College Dublin.
The project will quantify the habitat and species diversity across the 47-acre College Green campus, along with Trinity’s satellite properties.
The launch of the audit coincided with International Day for Biological Diversity.
Trinity’s green campus is well recognised as a peaceful oasis within the bustling city of Dublin.
Its natural spaces not only mitigate against the negative effects of the built environment (providing well documented mental and physical health benefits for humans), but also serve as homes to a whole host of organisms.
Sam the Fox has generated plenty of interest in recent weeks, while nesting swifts, large numbers of pollinating insects, frogs and newts, and hundreds of fungi and plants are among the species expected to show up.
As with any biodiversity audit, however, there are sure to be some surprises as the monitoring gathers pace.
Professor Jane Stout said: “Increased intensification of land use, both in the countryside and in cities, and consequent habitat loss, are recognised as primary drivers of biodiversity loss.
“However, urban green spaces can host a surprising variety of life.
“Given its unique location in the heart of Dublin – along with the expertise of its staff – Trinity has a role to play in documenting and protecting urban biodiversity.
“Importantly, this project will also provide a baseline for tracking future changes.”
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