BioBlitz: an inventory of all living organisms in a given area. A bioblitz has the dual aims of establishing the degree of biodiversity in an area and popularizing science. Botanists, mycologists and entomologists all play a role. Some BioBlitzes are an annual event. Scientists establish a base at a point close to the area and provide expertise in identifying organisms found by the public as well as doing their own inspection of the area.
A couple of weeks ago, the idea was proposed to have a Blogger BioBlitz in honor of National Wildlife Week (April 21-29). Well, appreciation of the nature in our own communities is something that I’m excited to support, so I jumped on the bandwagon; the problem was, I’m not a botanist, mycologist, or entomologist. So, I contacted Kathie, from the Cornell Mushroom Blog, who is graciously helping to put a BioBlitz for the Ithaca area together, in her own back yard, no less.
So, on Saturday, April 28th, 2007, from 9am-5pm, interested parties are welcome to drop-in as they can. We’ll be covering a “5.5 acre lot that is smack dab in the center of the Ellis Hollow Land Trust Preserve. It has a stream running through, a deep hemlock grove, and some steepish slopes forested in mature oak and stuff.” Kathie, a mycologist, has said that “April isn’t a great time for fungi, but I’m sure we’ll find some, as well as some charismatic megafauna, creepy crawlies, and leafy green things. We’ll also get to know each other a bit, transcending our taxonomic biases. Our data will join those generated by a growing community of bloggers across North America.” We’ll arrange to have a microscope or two handy for identifying small organisms, as well as field guides, so all that participants should need to bring are themselves and their keen interest in nature.
I really hope that this will be a great opportunity to not just popularize nature, but educate, both myself and others, and of course have a lot of fun too!