by Sam Kieschnick, Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Biologist
Last year, we had the first annual “Fall Socially Distant Bioblitz,” so obviously, it’s time we do our second! September 5-11, 2021, we will conduct another Bioblitz in the Dallas/Fort Worth area using the iNaturalist app or website. Much like last year, it will be a competition among the six Master Naturalist chapters in the DFW area. Each chapter will count iNat observations in the counties that they serve (the NTMN counties are Dallas, Rockwall, and Kaufman counties). Which Master Naturalist chapter will have the most observations, most species, and most participation?!?
Last year’s bioblitz was tremendously successful. If you’d like to review the results, here is a link to the umbrella project. We had over 35k observations from 1242 participants of over 2500 species. These numbers are crazy good! I made a lengthy post about some specific results, so if you’ve got a few minutes to read it, go here. The Elm Fork chapter had both the most observations and the most species, but the NTMN’s had the most participation with 388 citizen scientists!
Much like last year, we will have daily challenges (with super hard ‘sub challenges’). Big time props to those who are successful with these challenges!
Ideally, we want you to get iNat observations in a public place (like your local park), but observations anywhere in our three county area will work. If you jump over to Fort Worth and make observations, you’re helping our friends in the Cross Timbers chapter!
It will be quite interesting to compare the results this year to last year’s – nature can fluctuate, and some years we have tremendous populations of one species, but barely any of another. Events like these allow us to watch the ‘ebbs and flows’ of nature. This is why Citizen Science and tools like iNaturalist are so important.
Time spent making iNat observations and time spent curating (uploading your own observations or identifying other observations) will count as Volunteer Hours.
Hopefully you can spend some meaningful time outside engaging with nature. I look forward to seeing what you see!
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out!