What is nature observation marathon?

Nature observation marathon is a citizen science initiative, which takes place every year and invites naturalists to explore the biodiversity in their favorite area. The maraton is following format of BioBlitz, an international species recording scheme. In BioBlitz volunteers and researchers will identify as many species of animals, plants and fungi as possible in a given place in a given period of time. BioBlitz usually lasts 24 hours to observe the forms of biodiversity throughout the day. In Estonian nature observation marathon the BioBlitz areas are registered all over the country and run by local interest groups or enthusiasts.

Next nature observation marathon takes place on 8–9 June 2024.

If you want a specific public place to be included in marathon, please register it before 5th May 2024. Visiting a marathon area and recording biodiversity there does not need pre-registering.

In 2024, we also encourage registering other European marathon areas around Baltic Sea or in Nordic countries.

REGISTER your observation area.

Nature observation marathon in numbers

2018: 16 observation areas, 2300 observations, more than 200 participants together with side events.
2019: 30 observation areas, 4100 observations, more than 500 participants together with side events.
2020: 32 observation areas, 4500 observations, more than 250 participants together with side events.
2021: 41 observation areas, 7600 observations, close to 600 participants together with side events.
2022: 42 observation areas, 7200 observations, more than 360 participants together with side events.
2023: 46 observation areas, 7700 observations, more than 900 participants together with side events.

Nature observation marathon was awarded as best new initiative in 2018 by Estonian Research Council Science Communication Award. In 2018 Estonian Ministry of Environment also recognised the initiative at the environmental act competition.


Marathon is organized by Unviersity of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, co-organizers Linnuvaatleja and several institutions and volunteers all over Estonia.


Veljo Runnel
Project manager
+372 520 6108

Margit Hirv
Coordinator of marathon areas
523 9736