Citizen Science

BioLit, observe the biodiversity of the coastline

When it comes to monitoring the health of the French coast and its 3,800 kilometres of coastline, nothing beats the BioLit citizen science program. BioLit invites the general public to observe the species founding nesting in these areas, and to share their data to learn more about its specific biodiversity. This will result in improved preservation of these environments.

The coast is the place where land and sea meet, along with their two ecosystems. This transition zone, which may be submerged by the sea or at least kept humid by spray, has a very specific biodiversity that is subject to severe stresses: high levels of human presence, coastal land development, pollution, etc. In order to better protect this zone and improve our knowledge of it, it is essential to know more about it and to study it. Researchers can’t cover the entire French coastline on their own – they need you! With the BioLit citizen science program, you can share your observations to further the progress of science. And the more of you there are, the more thoroughly the entire length of the coastline can be explored over the long term.

Cover all coasts

You can take part wherever you are, but before you do, take the time to choose one of the six actions available. You can freely describe the range of living things you find, or monitor introduced species. Along the Atlantic and the Channel/North Sea, you are invited to observe brown seaweeds and periwinkles. In the Mediterranean, you also have several options: collecting data on marine seasons, on vegetation or on the public’s perception of threats to the coastline. Once decided, note the name of the selected site, the day and time you arrive there, and then take photographs of the whole site and of all the species monitored. Then all you have to do is transfer the information to the website. If you can, return to the same place several times a year.

Brown seaweeds and periwinkles

On rocky coasts (outside the Mediterranean), large brown algae provide a wonderful habitat for many animal species, which find refuge and food there. This amazing ecosystem is largely unknown to scientists. They lack the information they need to understand how it works and the interactions that take place between the species. Help our researchers to study this organisation and the way these seaweeds and periwinkles coexist.

Share your data

Your contributions are can be viewed by everyone, in order to help identify the species. Several volunteer naturalists and scientists in charge of the program contribute to this work. The data is then integrated into the databases of the Planète Mer association or those of the Museum’s INPN (National Inventory of Natural Heritage). They are used by various laboratories to carry out research work: studying the distribution of species, their evolution, biological phenomena, chance discoveries of protected or, on the other hand, invasive species, etc. They are also very useful to managers of protected areas and natural resources, helping them protect the habitats and species under their responsibility.

The BioLit program is coordinated in partnership with Planète Mer and deployed on territories by numerous relays.