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 spends a weekend every summer 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!
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What is a bioblitz?
A bioblitz is a biological survey conducted in a designated area for a set 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:
Where do bioblitzes occur?
Bioblitzes occur at the local, county, state, national, and even international levels. 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!
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.
Field Guides 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. 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. 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. If you have some knowledge of wildflowers, we recommend National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
What can be found at a BioBlitz?
Bioblitzes are made to find as many organisms as possible! So, what can be seen? Almost anything! Most bioblitzes host wildlife and ecology professionals, and they help participants to find all these amazing creatures!
Enjoy some photos of great finds at bioblitzes and other citizen and community science events.
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