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Getting started in the Leenderbos

Four people placing insect traps.

Last week, Arise and the Dutch national forestry service (Staatsbosbeheer) joined forces in order to make progress for Dutch biodiversity. Placing a number of different insect traps in the Leenderbos and the Groote Heide (both in the province of Noord-Brabant) will both yield insights into the biodiversity of the two areas, but also valuable new species for the DNA reference database that we are building. We want to be able to identify all Dutch species by their DNA, after all. 

In the past years, the Arise sampling team started projects in other areas such as the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen (more information), the Oostvaardersplassen and more. In order to get a complete overview of Dutch biodiversity, it is necessary to research the species in all different habitats. The two Brabant areas have six habitats not present in the earlier research areas, and should host a treasure of species that haven’t been put on the genetic map yet. 

Both project areas are managed by Staatsbosbeheer, and the decisions on how to conserve these beautiful habitats are guided by biodiversity information. The traps will help in the comparison of areas that have been managed in different ways. This study, performed by Naturalis Biodiversity Center, will give additional information for nature conservation and management in the future. This mutual initiative is a great example of how science and nature conservation can work together to both protect and better understand biodiversity. 

A Malaise trap in a field of heather


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