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Volume 31
Number 1
Special Issue 2014
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A young woman gathers flying insects from a white sheet that is backlit at night while a park resource manager looks on. Credit: NPS Photo/Diana Hunt The bioblitz
The bioblitz: Good science, good outreach, good fun

By Gretchen M. Baker, Nancy Duncan, Ted Gostomski, Margaret A. Horner, and David Manski
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
Pages
 
Abstract
  Introduction
What is a bioblitz?
Acadia National Park bioblitz program
Wild in the city: Minnesota bioblitz events at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
Sampling understudied taxa in Great Basin National Park
Literature cited
About the authors
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Introduction

“Wow! Look at that! I never knew that!” The exclamations were coming from a man who, with a small group of people, was participating in a guided bird walk during a bioblitz at a small public park on Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. The group was walking the road along a stand of red and white pines when a noisy flock of crows drew their attention to the top of one tree in particular.

“Watch that tree,” the group leader told them. “Crows make this sort of ruckus when they are mobbing a predator and trying to drive it out of the area. Maybe it will be an owl.”

It was June, early afternoon, and the sun was high. The small group watched the tree, occasionally using binoculars to scan the branches. Suddenly, an oblong form took flight from a branch near the top of the tree—a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus)—and the crows followed close behind it. The group leader was thrilled to add the owl to the list, and the man was thrilled to learn a little about bird behavior and a trick to finding secretive birds like owls in the middle of the day.

Similarly exciting discoveries are made commonly at any bioblitz. All observations like this are good for science and for the parks where bioblitzes are held, but they are most often exciting because the people making them are citizen scientists spending a day in their local national park and contributing to managers’ scientific knowledge of park resources. Some participants may have never been in the park before, and most may have never had an opportunity to spend a day in the field with professional naturalists and to make close personal contact with plants and animals.

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This page updated:  19 December 2014
URL: https://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/index.cfm?ArticleID=667&Page=1



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Biodiversity: Seek, and you will find
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