Biodiversity Express Surveys (BES)

Biodiversity Express Surveys (BES) are snapshot biodiversity studies of carefully selected regions. Expeditions typically target understudied and/or threatened areas with an urgent need for more information on the occurring fauna and flora. The results are presented in an Express Report that is made publicly available online for anybody to use. Teams consist of a small number of international specialists and local scientists. Results presented in Express Reports are dynamic and will be updated as new information on identifications from the survey and from observations in the area becomes available.

BES 1 – Savane-Roche Virginie, French Guiana, 2008
We assessed the biodiversity of selected groups on Savane Roche Virginie, a granite outcrop in the tropical rainforest of northern French Guiana. Savane Roche Virginie became easily accessible after the construction of Route National 1 from Régina to Saint George in 2003. Survey results of plants, amphibians, reptiles and selected invertebrate groups are presented in this report. The expedition revealed several species new to science, exclusively associated with this granite outcrop, including a new amblypigid from Achmea sp. bromeliads and an oribatid mite from Clusia sp. leaf litter.

BES 2 – Pico Bonito, Honduras, 2012
On this expedition several birds, amphibians and reptiles and invertebrate species were observed for the first time in Pico Bonito NP.  Also some species new to science were observed on this short expedition, illustrating the lack of information that is available in this region. The observation of endemic species to the Cordillera de Nombre de Dios (e.g. Hyla insolita, Norops purpugularis and Chrysina cavei) and highly threatened species such as bairds tapir and the spider monkeys further emphasizes the conservation value of this region. Greater efforts are needed to protect the area from the encroaching human population.

BES 3 – Belete-Gera Forest, Ethiopia, 2015
The Gera forest is one of the larger remaining fragments of forest left in Ethiopia. The biodiversity within the forest, however, is not well understood. Therefore, we surveyed amphibian, mammal and ground beetle diversity along with opportunistic observations of birds, reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies. This report will be updated with new information once it becomes available. Current version: 3.2 (updated August 2016)

BES 5 – Sheka Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia, 2016
The reserve lies within the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot and comprises one of the larger continuous stretches of forest left in the country. Nonetheless, little is known on the forest biodiversity, although this is a crucial first step for an efficient forest conservation and management, and to start up a monitoring program. We surveyed a selected number of taxa (amphibians, mammals and birds) and complemented this with opportunistic observations of reptile, butterfly and orchid species to better understand the complexity and gradients of biodiversity in different habitats within the reserve. This report will be updated with new information once it becomes available. Current version: 5.0 (September 2016)

BES 6 – Njesi Plateau Expedition, Niassa, Mozambique, 2016
The mountains of northern Mozambique – scattered granite inselbergs topped with evergreen forests remain poorly known biologically. Their long geological isolation from the east African rift combined with the conflict-fractured history of Mozambique meant little research effort has been undertaken until recent years. We surveyed a selected number of taxa (birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and selected groups of invertebrates) to better understand the biogeography of these mountains in East Africa and evaluate the conservation value of this region. 
This report will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Current version: 6.3 (25 October 2017)


Other Reports

Het Schoonbroek, Haacht, 2007
This report presents the results of out inventory study in ‘Het Schoonbroek’, a largely unprotected area in Haacht, Belgium. Observations on flowering plants, mosses, fungi, beetles, snails, butterflies and birds are listed and discussed (only in Dutch).

De Hooiberg, Haacht, 2008-2009
This report presents the results of out inventory study on ‘De Hooiberg’ (translated: the haystack), a largely unprotected area between Haacht and Rijmenam in Belgium. Observations on flowering plants, mosses, fungi, beetles, spiders and birds are listed and discussed (only in Dutch).

Camera traps Meerdaalwoud, Leuven, 2014
A short report about our camera trap project in Meerdaalwoud, Belgium in which we list the species and their capture frequency on the traps (only in Dutch). A short compilation video of the most interesting shots can be seen here, English subtitles available.