Biology student association BIUS already has a 20-year-old tradition of organising research and educational projects all over Croatia. This year, in response to an invitation by a French association called SMILO (Small island organisation) the project will be carried out on Zlarin. In 2016, in accordance with Smilo's procedure, an initiative was launched there with the idea of turning Zlarin into a “sustainable island”.
The main objective of this project is to carry out a research of the vegetation and wildlife of the island of Zlarin and its surrounding underwater areas to complete a georeferenced map with data about biodiversity. With that in mind , our members, the students from the Faculty of Science at the University Of Zagreb, carried out the first field research in May in collaboration with our partners and mentors. In arrangement with the Committee of Zlarin, the participants camped in the courtyard behind hotel Koralj from the 1st to the 8th of May.
Our Association is divided into sections with each section studying a specific field of biology. The research project is structured in the same way. The Algae Section explored the endemic algae species of the Adriatic Fucus (Fucus virsoides), while the Botany and Herbs sections conducted the complete flora research of the island, assisted by mentors Vedran Šegota dipl. ing. Biol., and dr.sc. Nina Vuković. There are as many as 8 caves on Zlarin and their fauna was studied by our Section for Biospeleology. The Section for Marine Biology evaluated the ecological quality of the coast and underwater areas using the CARLIT method. Sections for mushrooms, molluscs, fish, herpetology, mammals, and birds were primarily concerned with the inventory of their groups, while the Birds section also performed the ringing of individuals. The Section for bats explored bats in all cave objects and around areas of water. Our associates from Association Dragodid helped our Entomology sections to investigate the drywall fauna. The members of our Education Section used our stay on the island to hold several educational workshops and lectures in Antun Vrančić Gymnasium and Juraj Šižgorić Elementary School, while in the Zlarin Regional Primary School, cooperating with other sections, they organized several workshops outdoors in nature. We also participated in the recording of the video "Take a break from plastic", organized by the French association La Revolution Albatross.
In order to complete the data collected in May, we are conducting a second field research on Zlarin, which will take place from the 23rd to the 30th of September. During our second stay on the island, we plan to hold an Open Camp Day event where we will present our work to our co-workers and other interested visitors and residents of the island. We hope that in this way we will contribute to the development of a sustainable island management plan and contribute to its successful integration. In addition, we are planning a clean up action of the harbor's sea bed in collaboration with our associates, the Marine Explorers Society 20000 leagues.
Our association's research and education projects are based solely on the volunteer work of our student members and their mentors, professors and other graduates who monitor our work and thus contribute to the successful implementation of our projects. In this way, we try to directly contribute to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, but these projects are also significant for us students as they give us the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in field research and working with people.
Our projects are funded in a variety of ways, through tenders and monetary and non-monetary donations such as food, equipment, accommodation, etc. Each year, this raises enough money to sustain the project. Nevertheless, a fraction of the cost, such as transportation to the research site or food, the participating students have to pay on their own. To enable as many students as possible to take part in the second field research, we have started this crowdfunding. The collected money will cover the cost of a return trip from Zagreb to Zlarin (by train and ferry). Any extra funds will be spent on the participants' diet during the project.
You can find out more about our Association at http://bius.hr/.
You can contact us at [email protected]
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