The rules of The „Species Rally 2019“
1. The Species Rally is aimed at both natural science‘s professionals and nature lovers.
2. Only teams may participate in the Rally. A team consists of 2-5 people.
3. A team may use only one car during the Rally. There are no requirements for the car model.
4. Organizers of the Rally provide the participants with the maps of the territory, program of the event, rules of the Rally, form to listing the species observations.
5. Participants of the Rally may use the equipment, necessary for species capture and identification: binoculars, telescopes, magnifiers, microscopes, cameras, books and species identification keys, mobile phones, and Internet.
6. When a team stops at a certain place, members of the team may temporarily get separated and search for species individually.
7. Traces, feathers, feces, nests, caves, holes made by beetles and birds, mammal bathing, scratching, and other similar marks, that allow reliable identification of a species or genus are recognized as a valid species registration.
8. It is possible to register at both species and genus level, but if a species is registered, the same genus can no longer be listed, and vice versa, if a genus is registered, no species from that genus can be individually listed. For example, if a great tit (Parus major) is included, the entry ‘Parus sp.’ may no longer exist (only blue tit Parus caeruleus, European crested tit Parus cristatus or other exact species of Parus). If Parus sp. is listed, this excludes any exact species (neither Parus major nor other Parus).
9. The final list of species must be submitted no later than the time scheduled at the event program.
10. The team, that lists the biggest number of the species and submitts it‘s species list on time, wins the most points during the competition (the exact species is equal to 1 point and the genus is 0.5 points. For example, white stork = 1 point and only stork = 0.5 points).
11. If a team is late, they will be sanctioned with one minus point for each minute.
12. During the Rally, participants must follow strict environmental and ethical standards and must respect private property. Rare and protected species cannot be taken from the natural environment. Photos should be used to prove species recognition.
13. Participants are required to respect the principles of good faith and to include in the team‘s species list only species that are identified of no doubt to the observers themselves. In case of suspected intentional cheating of this kind, organizers of the Rally may contact other participants of the competition regarding the evaluation of such behavior. If the majority decides that the principle of species registration is not fair, the whole cheating team will be disqualified.
14. Team members must follow the rules of conduct in a public place. The entire team may be disqualified for violating the rules of conduct in a public place.
15. The rare and new species observed in Lithuania during the Rally must be approved by an expert group of an individual organism group (birds, plants, fungi, insects, mammals, etc.) selected before the rally. Observations of rare and new species in Lithuania have to be confirmed during the evaluation of the results. Only confirmed observations are included in the final results of the Rally. The exact locations of rare and new species in Lithuania must be marked on the map. It is highly suggested to make pictures of them so that the uncertainty of the species identification and the factual accuracy are less questioned at a later stage.
16. If three or more teams dispute over certain species identification, the issue is solved by experts.
17. If there is any doubt about the large-scale data falsification, participants of the Rally may inform the organizers in written form. After the competition, the organizers evaluate the questionable species list by forming a jury of experts in the required field. If the commission determines that the data has been falsified, the falsifier will be suspended for 3 years from participating in the Rally.
During the Rally it is prohibited:
- To falsify the observations of species
- To take rare and protected species from their natural environment.
- To drink alcohol, make noise in public places or otherwise discredit the event.
- It is not the organizers but the participants themselves who are responsible for the disturbances committed by the competitors.