BioBlitz is an international brand name for an event that is part contest, part festival, part educational event, part scientific endeavor, and brings together scientists from Research Institutions and other organisations from across the region in a race against time to identify as many species as possible in a 24-hour biological survey of a particular location. New information on the distribution and occurrence of flora and fauna is generated, and associated outreach activities raise public awareness of biodiversity and its relevance to everyday life.
The first New Zealand BioBlitz was coordinated by Landcare Research in Auckland in 2004, and the Hamilton BioBlitz was the fifth event of its kind in New Zealand.
The "base camp" is the hub of the BioBlitz. It is a centralised venue equipped with microscopes, computers, species tally board and other equipment. This is where identifications take place, discoveries are made, and the tally of species is recorded. Supplementary activities, such as demonstrations, relevant exhibits, make-and-take projects and guest speakers are also carried out here. The public is invited to observe the scientists activities, to interact with them, and to participate in other activities that are presented by the organisers and a host of invited nature-oriented organizations. The event includes opening speeches and a closing ceremony where the final tally is announced.