2016 Oct: Baobab Pollination – become a citizen scientist for a weekend!

BAOBAB BLITZ: It’s happening on 18 & 19 November 2016

What pollinates baobab flowers?  We actually don’t know for sure and that’s why we’re asking for your help!  Many people think it’s bats, but the truth is scientists have never seen bats visiting baobab flowers in Southern Africa.  We have a theory that both hawk moths and bats play a role in pollination.  But we need to find out if this is true.

Scientists from the University of Venda and Texas Tech University (USA), hosted by the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, will be trying to solve this mystery in November 2016.    They will be using Citizen Science methods to collect data on flower visitation rates.  This means that members of the public – yes, that’s YOU –  are being asked to help collect this critical data and the EcoProducts Foundation is part of this project.

Do you have a baobab tree near you?

Get your friends and family involved!  Have a special evening under a baobab tree and help us collect the information we need to answer: “What is pollinating baobab flowers?


How can you participate:

When: 18 and 19 November 2016 (do one or both nights)

Where: Any baobab tree in Limpopo (Alldays, Vivo, Waterpoort, Mopani, Musina, Tshipise, Pafuri)

How: Sit under one baobab tree from 6pm to 12pm and record what is coming to the flowers.  We will send you a form for you to complete which will allow you to record bat, hawk moth and other possible visitors to the flowers.

Register: Send us an email, whats app, facebook message or sms so that we can register you and send you information on how to collect the information. Get full details here.

Contact person: Cathy Vise cath@vhembebiosphere.org

Facebook: Baobab Blitz

Download the Baobab Blitz flyer

What you will need:

  • Strong torch (with extra batteries)
  • Chairs
  • Drinks (water, cool drink, wine and beer (please don’t drink too much)
  • Cell phone camera (to take a photo of your tree) or a normal camera that you can upload the photo.
  • GPS or Smart phone to record your location (lat and long) or the farm name and where the tree is located.
  • Clipboard with pen (extra one just in case)
  • Recording sheets (we will email these to you)
  • Long measuring (10m/15m/20m) tape (to measure the girth of the tree)
  • Watch or phone (to record time)

Feed back

You will receive feed back on what we have found shortly after of the event.   Follow us on facebook or join our mailing list to receive feedback on your contribution.

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