The First Annual Blogger BioBlitz

Jeremy Bruno of The Voltage Gate sent me an email over the weekend inviting participation in The First Annual Blogger BioBlitz:

In honor of National Wildlife Week, April 21 – 29, I am inviting bloggers from all walks to participate in the First Annual Blogger Bioblitz, where bloggers from across the country will choose a wild or not-so-wild area and find how many of each different species – plant, animal, fungi and anything in between – live in a certain area within a certain time.

Pick a neat little area that you are relatively familiar with and is small enough that you or the group can handle – a small thicket, a pond, a section of stream, or even your backyard – and bring along some taxonomic keys or an Audubon guide, or if you’re lucky enough, an expert in local flora and fauna. Set a time limit. Try to identify the different species of organisms that you find as well as the number of each species that you find. Take pictures if you have a digital camera, compile your numbers, make observations, set up your post however you wish as long as you include your numbers in a digestible fashion (I’ll have more details on that later) – then submit it to me and I’ll include it on the list. We will also be tallying total numbers of each species found, and then a grand total. There has also been talk of coding an interactive Google Map with distribution information, geotagging regions with a blogger’s submitted information.

This is not meant to be a contest, nor is meant to be a hard source of taxonomic data. It is meant to be a fun little excursion to highlight little pockets of biodiversity across the world. I should have a 160×160 button available for distribution in a couple days.

This event was inspired by the National Wildlife Federation’s own project, the Wildlife Watch. They will be posting a downloadable list of springtime critters in the near future that may be of use.

This sounds like a fun activity, and a good way for our fledgling blog to engage in some wider participatory research. So I’ve volunteered to participate, and Reconciliation Ecology will appear in the list of participating sites on Jeremy’s site.

We can discuss the details in class to work out how we participate, and what we can do to make this happen here in the Central Valley. If you are interested in participating, or even simply observing the process of how the network of bloggers takes shape in this project, please join the bulletin board Jeremy has set up. And if you are from the Fresno area, and interested in participating, please leave a comment here, or drop me an email so we can coordinate our local efforts here. And if you know of a cool little local habitat that you would like to learn more about, and this strikes you as an opportunity to get some data, please do share such site suggestions with us also!

Watch this space for more as we work things out.

One thought on “The First Annual Blogger BioBlitz

  1. Jim

    Hmmm…this sounds interesting – identifying all organisms in a wild/non-wild area. I have a question about this. What if we chose an area that was purposely modified by people to resemble nature. Would it still count if we counted those “organisms” that were put there? For instance, if we decided to identify the organisms at the greenhouse/pond area, I would say that there are green sunfish, bluegill, bass, mosquitofish, bullfrog, red slider turtle, red swamp crayfish, California poppy, sedge, water hyacinth, pond lily, stinging nettle, ash tree, oak tree, Indian lettuce, duckweed, elodea, mint, and so on. These organisms were placed there on purpose and so do we still count them? But if we were to count organisms that weren’t put there on purpose (swallow-tail butterfly, carpenter bee, flies, sowbugs, dragonflies, damselflies, etc.), then I’d understand what we’d have to do.

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