What is a bioblitz?

During a bioblitz, participants strive to gather evidence of as many living species as possible found in a particular place over a short period of time. Many people are encouraged to observe combining the efforts of both experts and novices to provide a 'snapshot' of the biodiversity of the area being studied.

The event that first used the word 'bioblitz' to describe itself was held in Washington, D.C.'s Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in 1996. Organizers were surprised to find more than 900 species present even though the area is surrounded by residential and industrial areas.

A Bioblitz offers opportunities for people with varying expertise to work together on a common goal. Observers bring local knowledge of the plants and animals that live there. Taxon experts confirm field identifications. Scientists understand the impact of the bioblitz data on the ecosystems studied. Combining these different spheres of knowledge can lead to the documentation of unexpected habitats or rare species during events.

Early bioblitzes were generally less than a day long and focused on small defined areas. Event organizers remained at the site for the duration of the event to collect the data. Participants could compare and celebrate observations as they occurred. Competition might be encouraged by observer teams and leader boards, increasing the engagement of the participants in the outcome of the event. Additional activities were organized to bolster the skills of people who might be new to observations.

The success of the local bioblitz and the exploding access to digital photography led to organizations to hold bioblitzs that span multiple locations for much longer durations. These events depend on electronic platforms like iNaturalist to gather observations.

Participating in a bioblitz, whether it is a single day local event or part of a larger initiative, continues to be a fun and exciting way for people to learn about biodiversity in their immediate surroundings.

More Reading
Canadian Wildlife Federation: Bioblitz https://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore/bioblitz/
National Geographic: Bioblitz https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bioblitz/
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens 2016 Bioblitz https://inaturalist.ca/projects/2016-national-parks-bioblitz-kenilworth

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 31 de octubre de 2020

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