When you are outside, have you ever noticed anything interesting or peculiar regarding plants, insects, animals, birds, fungi, or trees, that you wished you could identify? A Bioblitz is a great way to learn what is living in your regional environment.
Join a bioblitz as a volunteer citizen scientist and help identify species near you.
“Bioblitzing” is a fun way to turn ecology into a captivating story. Getting involved is easy. You help scientists collect an inventory of increasing/decreasing species and document how well or poor native/non-native species are doing in their natural/unnatural habitats in our ever-changing climate, locally and globally.
What is a Bioblitz?
A bioblitz is a collaborative intensive quick field study that provides data to scientists over a specific time in a designated region of living things such as plants, animals, insects, fungi, and microorganisms. This study helps identify uncommon or unique habitats for protection and management and identify rare species.
All you need is a camera or a smartphone and an app such as iNaturalist (respected as one of the world’s most popular citizen science data portals.) Follow the app’s setup instructions, record your observations on your preferred device, upload photos with a comment and add them to a chosen organization’s project. Currently on iNaturalist there are 85,406,596 observations. Research-graded data (the highest quality data) includes a photo or sound recording, what was seen or heard, correct identification, GPS recorded location, time and date of encounter, and posting to your account so that you as a citizen scientist get credit for the observation.
Organizations where you may participate
A bioblitz is local, so there is no need to travel far in your scientific journey. If you travel outside of your region, there are many projects you can participate in worldwide. These organizations typically launch bioblitz programs.
- Local, Regional, County, State, and National Parks
- Heritage, Nature, and Watershed Conservancies, Botanical and Aquatic Gardens, Arboretums, Science Centers, Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Universities
- Government agencies such as the Department of Environmental Conservation, Fish and Game Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Urban Connections Programs, and Bureau of Land Management
The time frame for a bioblitz varies.
You can bioblitz for 5-10 minutes in your backyard, viewing the natural world while participating in a community bioblitz project. You can also join in an intense study held for a designated location over a season. The data you collect may include findings of spring ephemerals, macroinvertebrates in streams, and migrating birds. A word of warning; You may find yourself immersed with fresh air, exercise, and a sense of purpose as you look a little closer into the natural world, thereby spending more time as your curiosity peeks into the world of biodiversity.
Have fun out there!