Over 100 Bioblitzes on iNat for the National Park Service's 100th Birthday - mostly this weekend!

2016 is the 100th Birthday of the US National Park Service (NPS)! To celebrate, NPS and the National Geographic Society have teamed up with iNaturalist to host over 100 Bioblitzes in different parks across the Nation. And MOST of them are happening this weekend!

Here's a quick summary of whats happened so far and what will go down this Friday and Saturday:

The NPS Servicewide Bioblitz

Bioblitzes are events where scientists and members of the public work together to document as many species as possible in a specified area and time period.

The 'top layer' Bioblitz for the Centennial Celebration counts all observations made within the National Park Service anytime during 2016. At the time of this writing, this NPS Servicewide Bioblitz has logged over 30,000 observations representing over 5,000 species from nearly 2,000 observers. These observations have come from 228 individual parks. Thats over half of all the parks in the National Park Service! The sizes of the orange circles on this map show the number of observations that have been logged so far in 2016 in each individual National Park:



Over 100 Individual Park Bioblitzes

Under the umbrella of this yearlong Servicewide Bioblitz, 126 individual parks in the National Park Service are hosting 'physical' Bioblitz events. This map shows the parks that are hosting Bioblitzes in orange. Tap through to learn more about each Bioblitz.



Some of these Biobltizes, like the March Death Valley National Park Bioblitz have already happened. But nearly two thirds of the Bioblitzes are scheduled for this upcoming Friday and Saturday. Here's a calendar that shows the timing of each Bioblitz as a horizontal orange bar. The vertical gray bar highlights May 20th-21st when most of the Bioblitzes will occur.

Most of the Bioblitzes last 24 to 48 hours and take place within the boundaries of a single National Park. The Saguaro Schoolyard Bioblitz is exceptional because it (a) is not taking place in a National Park but rather across the Tucson region and (b) is lasting all year.

Showcase Bioblitzes in Washington DC

Fifteen of the Bioblitzes will take place this Friday/Saturday in National Parks in Washington DC. These include familiar parks such as Rock Creek Park but also places I didn't know were National Parks like the National Mall.

The National Mall Bioblitz will also be the site of a Biodiversity Festival on Friday/Saturday that will feature two 15 foot Jumbotrons. These Jumbotrons will be mostly streaming a feed of results from iNaturalist that we made just for this event. If you can't make it to DC, you can tune into the iNaturalist feed for the Jumbotron here. This feed summarizes the Servicewide Bioblitz and then loops through all 126 individual Park Bioblitzes showing various stats and highlights from each.

What can you do to help?

Explore your park and post observations!

If you live near a National Park (here's how to find your park), visit and post iNaturalist observations! Here's a tutorial on how to post iNaturalist observations. If you can time your visit with the Bioblitz that your park is hosting all the better. But if not, remember any observation made with in the National Park Service anytime in 2016 will be counted!

Help flag captive/cultivated observations

A lot of new users in lots of landscaped parks (e.g. the National Mall) will undoubtedly result in a lot of unflagged observations of captive and cultivated plants and animals. Help us keep these from getting into the Research Quality data stream by flagging observations that are clearly of captive and cultivated things.

Help Identify observations

There are thousands of observations from the Bioblitzes that need their identifications improved or confirmed. If you know what any of these organisms are, add your identifications! Here's a tutorial on how to identify iNaturalist observations.

Help us promote on Social Media

NPS set up a cool tagboard tracking #BioBlitz2016. Be sure to give us a shout @ iNaturalist on Twitter and Facebook so we can keep track of your Bioblitz stories.

Why is this important?

1. National Parks are some of the front lines of defense against species extinction. They serve as crucial habitat for tens of thousands of plant and animal species. Observations posted to iNaturalist during the Bioblitz provide valuable data to the Park Service to help them better manage these natural resources.

2. In the words of John Muir, the 'father of the National Parks': "When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell." National Parks introduce millions of visitors to the outdoors each year. Bioblitzing helps visitors discover and connect with nature. A well acquainted public will surely be better advocates for nature and better stewards of our National Parks in the coming century!

Still not convinced? Listen to National Park Service Data Ranger Simon Kingston and National Park Service Biologist Daniel George share their thoughts on iNaturalist and the National Parks


Posted by loarie loarie, May 19, 2016 08:53

Comments

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This is extraordinarily exciting. A revolution revolved around caring about nature is currently underway! Magnificent stuff.

Now, on to ID'ing! :)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)

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