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 11 – Salonga National Park, DRC, 2022

A multitaxon survey in Salonga National Park, the largest rainforest reserve in Africa, in 2022 by BINCO and WWF documented a rich biodiversity, including 160 bird species, 32 herpetofauna, 38 fish, and over 400 invertebrates, revealing several new species like a shrew, frog, dragonfly and many other invertebrates, as well as numerous IUCN RedListed species and range extensions. Current version: 11.1 (28 December 2023)

BES 10 – Malebo Expedition, Mai-Ndombe, DRC, 2021

The Malebo region in DRC is a forest-savanna mosaic home to bonobos and forest elephants. This survey looked at community forests in support of ongoing WWF projects. We encountered largely intact habitat and 160 species of birds, 41 species of herpetofauna, 27 mammal species, 213 butterflies, 15 hawk moths, 41 dragonflies, 7 tiger beetles and 51 spiders. We found several species of conservation concern, range extensions and new spider species. Current version: 10.1 (18 November 2022)

BES 9 – Mount Mulanje and Malawi hills, Malawi, 2019

Across the Malawi Hills region, only a small isolated block of lowland rainforest and some degraded Miombo forest inside the Matandwe Forest Reserve remains. This forest, however, is the home of Rhampholeon chapmanorum. This Biodiversity Express Survey provides insight into the distribution and population size of this endemic and critically endangered pygmy chameleon. Provisionally, we identified 10 mammal, 7 amphibian, 29 reptile, and 84 bird species including a number of species with small distribution ranges and IUCN red listed species. Current version: 9.0 (20 December 2019)

BES 8 – Gura-Ferda expedition, Ethiopia, 2018

This Biodiversity Express Survey was aimed at assessing the distribution of endemic amphibians in Gura-Ferda forested area, Southwest Ethiopia. Previously, the area was not known to harbor any endemic amphibian species, despite having the right habitat and elevation. Additionally we aimed to increase the biodiversity knowledge of the area by undertaking a species inventory of birds, reptiles, larger mammals and butterflies. This in order to understand the conservation value of the area and the potential for meeting criteria under KBA selection. This report shows that the area harbors many different endemic and/or rare species, of which several are considered by the IUCN as threatened with extinction. Besides providing species lists, we highlight some of the key findings of our survey and this report will be further updated when new information becomes available. Current version: 8.1 (3 June 2019)

BES 7 – Kdan Mekong Expedition, Kratie, Cambodia, 2018

This Biodiversity Express Survey was aimed at confirming the presence and gaining insight in the location and density of hog deer in Preak Prasab Wildlife Sanctuary, Kratie province. Additionally we sought to update the biological knowledge by undertaking a rapid multi-disciplinary biological inventory including Sambour Wildlife Sanctuary, in order to understand the conservation value of both areas. These two regions were delineated by WWF Cambodia and the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia as potential nature reserves. We collected information on large and small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and selected invertebrate groups.  This report will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Current version: 7.0 (27 June 2018)

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)

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 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 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 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.

Baseline Reports

Abdij van Park, Heverlee, 2020
The diverse biotopes in the current domain of Park Abbey exist for centuries. Yet little is known about their biodiversity. In this report we present the results from a yearlong survey on carabids, ants and hoverflies with pitfall and Malaise traps. Additionally, we sampled land and freshwater gastropods, carrion and water beetles, moths and vegetation. Based on observed remarkable species, we make recommendations for future nature management (only in Dutch). Current version: 4.1 (updated February 2021)

De Oude Zandgroeve, Korbeek-Lo, 2016–2019
The old sand quarry is a small nature reserve which is privately owned since 2015. The grassland and and pond have the potential to serve as an important stepping stone for many taxa in a mostly urbanized area. During three years of development, we carried out standardized surveys on several invertebrate taxa. Our findings are summarized in the report (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).

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).