Observation of the Week, 10/22/2015

A Black-throated Gray Warbler observed by Donna Pomeroy (@dpom) during the Mountain Lake & Presidio Bioblitz is our Observation of the Week. 

A Bioblitz is an intensive one-day study of biodiversity in a specific location, bringing scientists and volunteer citizen-scientists together to find and record as many species as possible. After Mountain Lake’s recent restoration, the Presidio Trust, California Academy of Sciences, and Nerds for Nature organized a grassroots, smartphone-powered inventory of the area on October 10th, 2015. 

“This baseline [inventory] not only helps the Presidio Trust keep their species list up-to-date, but it can also be used to track future change,” says Allison Young, Citizen Science Engagement Coordinator at the California Academy of Sciences. “By using iNaturalist, not only do we have a platform to compile all these bioblitz observations and make them available to managers and scientists, but it's key in making bioblitzes accessible to everyone, not just experts.” 

One participant was El Granada's California’s Donna Pomeroy, an avid birder who searched the willow thickets around Mountain Lake and “was delighted to find the two [Black-throated Gray] warblers, along with five other species of warblers.” She says that because these warblers breed in oak woodlands, their presence at Mountain Lake shows us its importance as a stopover for migrating birds. 

However, Donna’s nearly 12,000 iNaturalist observations consist of a lot more than birds - she’s recorded many other organisms, with nudibranchs, butterflies and amphibians being particular favorites. “iNaturalist has changed the way I interact with nature by enabling me to use the iNat community to help me learn new taxa. Now when I am out exploring, I take photos of many of the smaller life forms that I would have overlooked or ignored in the past,” she says. 

Citizen Scientists: Keep exploring. Keep sharing. 

Maybe your discovery will become an iNaturalist Observation of the Week!

- By Tony Iwane

Hey, iNaturalists! See something that blows your mind? Click ‘Add to favorites’ so it can be considered for the Observation of the Week!

Posted by loarie loarie, October 31, 2015 01:10

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