NJ Audubon's BioBlitz 2021 Summary Report

New Jersey Audubon’s BioBlitz 2021, the second annual statewide BioBlitz facilitated by New Jersey Audubon (NJA) was held May 3rd-7th, 2021. The iNaturalist project was joined by 285 people across the state of New Jersey and a total of 1,532 observations were submitted. Observations were made in 20 of the 21 counties in New Jersey. Atlantic County had the most observations at 316, followed by Bergen (300) and Gloucester (280). While identifications continue to be made, there were 579 species identified as of May 18th, 2021. The top five most observed species were American Robin (25), Tree Swallow (17), House Sparrow (16), Common Dandelion (16), and Eastern Gray Squirrel (12).

Birds
There were 269 bird observations, and 90 species have been identified. The most observed bird species were American Robin (25), Tree Swallow (17), House Sparrow (16), White-throated Sparrow (11), and Blue Jay (10). Noteworthy observations included Cerulean Warbler, a species of special concern in New Jersey and Brown Booby, a seabird that is rare in the state. Additionally, two species of owls, Great Horned Owl and Barred Owl were observed.

Reptiles and Amphibians
A total of 30 observations were made of 11 species of herptiles (reptiles and amphibians). The most observed species were Common Box Turtle (7), American Bullfrog (6), Fowler’s Toad (3), and Green Frog (2). Some outstanding photos included an Eastern Rat Snake clinging to the trunk of a tree, and an Eastern Box Turtle eating a fish that was dropped by an Osprey!

Mammals
Participants submitted 34 observations of 10 mammal species. The most observed mammals were Eastern Gray Squirrel (12), White-tailed Deer (5), Eastern Cottontail (5), and Groundhog (3). Notable observations included the skull of a Common Bottlenose Dolphin found on the beach and a North American River Otter that fell victim to an automobile collision.

Fish
There were individual observations of five different types of fish. The three observations that were identified to the species level were Atlantic Menhaden, Bluefish and Channel Catfish. The other two observations were identified to the families of minnows/carp, and sunfish.

Insects, Arachnids, and Mollusks
A total of 152 observations were made of 81 species of insects, arachnids and mollusks. The most observed species were Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (3), Blue Blowfly (3), and Eastern Black Carpenter Ant (3). Insect structures were also observed including multiple types of galls, a spittlebug foam nest, and a bagworm moth case.

Plants
There were 898 plant observations with 351 species identified thus far. The most observed species were Common Dandelion (16), Beach Plum (11), Garlic Mustard (9), Greater Periwinkle (8), and Poison Ivy (8). Of the 351 species, 112 are introduced or non-native. Beautiful photos of blooming plants included Pink Lady’s Slipper (a type of orchid), the dainty Primrose-leaved Violet, and the bright yellow Bulbous Buttercup.

Fungi and Lichens
Participants submitted 57 observations of 27 identified species of fungi, including lichens. The most observed species were Juniper-apple Rust (4), Common Greenshield Lichen (3), Turkey Tail (2), and Powdered Ruffle Lichen (2). These organisms were spotted growing on a diversity of surfaces including bark, concrete, soil, and wooden benches.

A big thank you to all who participated in the New Jersey Audubon’s BioBlitz 2021, especially the NJ Watershed Ambassadors who mentored schools across the state, and BASF for their support of STEM education.

Posted by emily_wilmo emily_wilmo, May 20, 2021 14:34

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