What is a bioblitz?

Updated: Aug 10

Bioblitzes bring friends, family, and strangers together across the globe each year in pursuit of fun and learning! (And we are all about laughing and learning.)


The Flocking Around crew spent the weekend of July 17th, 2020 at the Wyoming Digital BioBlitz. Never heard of a bioblitz? Here is your guide to what bioblitzes are, and how you can participate in other bioblitzes! And remember, if you want to enjoy all our posts, subscribe to our blog!



What is a BioBlitz?


A bioblitz is a biological survey conducted in a designated area for a set period of time, usually 24 hours. All living organisms are surveyed and recorded in the designated area, often by a variety of scientists and community members alike. Bioblitzes are used to engage the community on environmental learning and issues, while also collecting useful data for conservation efforts.



Who organizes a BioBlitz?


A bioblitz can be organized by anyone! However, they are often organized by nonprofits, universities, and government agencies. Many organizers use a data submission tool like iNaturalist or eBird to track observations made by all participants.


Examples of organized bioblitzes:


National Park Service

iNaturalist BioBlitzes

Audubon International BioBlitz

European BioBlitzes



Where do BioBlitzes Occur?


Bioblitzes occur at the local, county, state, national, and even international level. There is no great single resource that lists every bioblitz, so I recommend using a search engine and searching for a "local" bioblitz.



How to Participate in a BioBlitz?


It is simple to participate in a bioblitz! Find a local bioblitz and register!


OR


Start your own bioblitz! Are you a teacher or parent of a student? Do a classroom or school bioblitz! National Geographic has a great resource for a classroom bioblitz.



Gear for a BioBlitz!


You do not need any gear for a bioblitz. Observations can be recorded with pen and paper, or if you have a smartphone, using the recommended bioblitz app for your local event. However, field guides and references can come in handy if you would like to improve your identification skills. We have provided our recommended list for a variety of organisms, below:


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Bird Guide to North America


Our favorite field guide to birds of North America is The Sibley Guide to Birds from Amazon. It is great for those new and established in the birding world.



Fish Guide to North America


Our recommended field guide to freshwater fishes is the Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes from Amazon. Experienced fishermen may even find some useful information in this guide.



Flower Guides to North America


Plant identification can be intimidating. Even the Flocking Around crew likes to take our sweet time identifying plants. If you are a beginner with flower identification, we recommend National Geographic Pocket Guide to Wildflowers of North America (Amazon). If you have some knowledge of wildflowers, we recommend National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America (Amazon). However, you will likely want a guide that is geared towards local plant life eventually.



Insect & Spider Guide to North America


Our recommended field guide to insects and spiders of North America is the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America from Amazon. While creepy crawlies may not be your favorite, they are still fascinating and amazing!



Mammal Guide to North America


Mammals are some of the most frequently sought organisms when people venture into the wild. To help in your identification, we recommend the National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Mammals of North America or the Peterson Field Guide to Mammals from Amazon.



Reptile & Amphibian Guide to Eastern North America


Our recommended field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern North America is the Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America from Amazon.



Reptile & Amphibian Guide to Western North America


Our recommended field guide to reptiles and amphibians of western North America is the Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians to Western Reptiles & Amphibians from Amazon.



Tracks Guide to North America


Finding scats and tracks is exciting! Okay, maybe not as exciting as finding the animal that made them, but the challenge is thrilling! Gain some great skills from Scats & Tracks of North America from Amazon.





What can be found at a BioBlitz?


Enjoy some photos of great finds at bioblitzes and other citizen and community science events.



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