The BioBlitz was Fabulous!
Thank You to everyone who participated!
Last Saturday we celebrated Earth Day by co-sponsoring Howard County’s first BioBlitz. 56 people participated, 16 scientist or naturalist leaders, 10 ‘behind-the-scenes’ volunteers and 28 participants. At the beginning of the project we had 3 partners, Transition Howard County, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum. By the end of the project we had five partners, adding The Maryland Biodiversity Project who will be hosting the photographs and the Howard County Bird Club who will be hosting the data. The owl team opened the day at 4:30 am and the frog team closed the day at 9:00 pm. Participants were teamed with experts to search for and help record as many species as possible. We had 13 teams specializing in birds, fish, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies, ants, wetland plants, herbaceous plants, trees, and fungi. As an example of the data collected, our ant expert found 22 native species of ants and one exotic species. It will take several weeks for our experts to key all of the species photographed. We will let you know when the data is available. In the meantime we hope you enjoy the photographs of Homo sapiens participating in the event. We did not get photos of all teams, they were hard to find in the fields, woods and streams. Ann apologizes to those she missed. What follows is just a sample.A special Thank You to our BioBlitz sponsor,
MOM’s Organic Market who provided snacks and beverages throughout the day.
Charlie and Barb opened the registration desk at 7 am.
Margo and Dan helped with registration during the day.
Morning sessions included:
Deciding where to start the search
Searching for fungi
Birding (and in this case finding turtles as well)
More photos to follow…..
The BioBlitz was held on Saturday, 26 April 2014 at the Howard County Living Farm Heritage (HCLFH) Museum Park in West Friendship, MD. A BioBlitz is a survey of the biota in a particular place on a particular date. The survey provides us with baseline data about the biodiversity of an area. The Ecosystem Landscaping Committee, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks and the HCLFH Museum are partnering to host this Bioblitz.
We need leaders who can identify organisms in the field, both native and non-native. Leaders will lead small teams into the field to identify and count plants or animals. Please register below.
We need participants interested in learning about the flora and fauna of Howard County to assist the leaders. This event is for participants 12 years and older.
We need behind-the-scenes helpers who can enter data, direct people to sites, and help in other tasks.
The relevance of the survey to Howard County residents is that we are experiencing rapid land-use changes. Our forests long ago became farmland, and that farmland is now becoming suburban and urban development. This is either fragmenting or destroying what is left of the native habitat. Thus native populations are in decline, including those that we value, including butterflies, dogwoods, bees to pollinate our crops, snakes to eat the mice, and bats to eat mosquitoes.
One goal of the BioBlitz is to determine what lives here, and to use that data for land use management. Another goal is to educate people about biodiversity, landscaping to preserve it, and reducing habitat fragmentation. The HCLFH site has lawn, farm fields, woods and stream to survey.
Questions can be directed to Ann Coren, Chairperson of the Ecosystem Landscaping Committee, at email@example.com.
RegistrationRegistration for the BioBlitz involves two parts. Part 1 is for the event specifics. Part 2 will link you to the Department of Recreation and Park's Volunteer Form. You must fill out both parts to be included in the event.
This event is for participants 12 years and older.
Please be prepared to survey off trails. Dress in long sleeves, long pants and hiking shoes. Bring water and insect repellant. There may be ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and/or poison ivy.
Please complete the appropriate registration form below.
One of the BioBlitz organizers (Ann Coren or Sue Muller) will contact you shortly to set up the logistics of your survey.