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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)
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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“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

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From the Editor
Getting Started
National Parks and Biodiversity Discovery
Notes from Abroad
Upcoming Issues/Deadlines
Masthead Information
Biodiversity: Seek, and you will find
Biodiversity and national parks: What’s relevance got to do with it?
Ben Clark, Biodiversity Youth Ambassador
Inventory and monitoring of park biodiversity
Data management for National Park Service–National Geographic Society BioBlitzes
Benefits of biodiversity to human health and well-being
IUCN World Parks Conference to address values and benefits of biodiversity
Synthetic biology offers extraordinary opportunities and challenges for conservation
Synthetic biology and NPS policy
Engaging citizens on a large scale in biodiversity discovery
Saguaro National Park 2011 NPS-NGS BioBlitz!
  The bioblitz: Good science, good outreach, good fun
Ocmulgee National Monument Butterfly Bioblitz
George Washington Carver Bioblitz
Upper Delaware Bioblitz
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The GWMP All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory
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All along the watchtower
The Call to Action Collect Dragonflies
Local experts identify insect biodiversity in Catoctin Mountain Park
The Crayfish Corps
Pollinators in peril?
Great Lakes pollinators
Insect pollinators of Denali
Monitoring bee diversity and abundance in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Biodiversity inventories and the advent of a volunteer-based natural resource management program at Wolf Trap
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Camera-trap surveys in the southeastern Arizona national parks
Mammal diversity monitoring in Saguaro National Park, Arizona
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Engaging park stewards through biodiversity discovery
Using monitoring data to map amphibian breeding hotspots and describe wetland vulnerability in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Environmental DNA: Can it improve our understanding of biodiversity on NPS lands?
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