Monday, June 11, 2012

BioBlitz Anyone?

At Paignton zoo yesterday, I found out about a BioBlitz at a local park! What's a BioBlitz? According to this Bristol Natural History Consortium page:
A “BioBlitz” is a large scale event that engages large numbers of people with biodiversity, inviting them to get directly involved in surveying and monitoring. During a BioBlitz event scientists and members of the public work together to survey a natural space; seeking, identifying and recording as many species as possible over 24 hours.
The local park BioBlitz seems to be of shorter duration. The event website says:
Throughout the morning you will seek, identify and record as many species as you can find from butterflies to ants and birds to plants. We’ll provide you with all of the equipment you need including animal traps, microscopes and documentation sheets.
According to this Wikipedia page, the first bioblitz was held in the U.S in 1996, and there has been just one bioblitz in California: "The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden organized a BioBlitz of its natural spaces in May 2007." Another name for this kind of activity is Biodiversity Day.

It sounds like a great way to have fun, and promote biodiversity through a dynamic activity that brings scientists and interested people together.

I looked at the California Biodiversity Council web site to see if there are any activities like this going on in our state - which is the most biodiverse state in the US of A - but I didn't find any.

Unfortunately I'll be back home when the Primley Park event goes on -- But it's got me wondering if we can do a BioBlitz in Santa Cruz, or over the hill in Town Mouse's neck of the woods... Sounds like it would take a lot of organizing!

2 comments:

Desert Dweller said...

Interesting for California not to have any bio-blitzes, esp. since each major ecoregion could do this so well as you say with that biodiversity. Not sure New Mexico does, either.

My alma mater (Univ. of Oklahoma) does these annually; they have 3 major ecoregions (forest, prairie, steppe) -
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/bioblitz/BioBlitz.html
(I hope to attend one soon)

Maybe that will give you some ideas, as well as a contact how to set such a thing up. Maybe through one of your local universities, or a collaboration of them?

Country Mouse said...

Thanks for the link! It's not something I would want to organize myself - but could be good if the university took on that challenge. I can check into their ecology dept. web site, see if I can mail them.