Sketch by Patricia Kernan

 


BioBlitz
General Information


Introduction

A BioBlitz is a 24-hour qualitative census of the biological resources of a natural area, with an emphasis on studying locations that are often overlooked by researchers. These areas, usually urban parks, may be significant in educating the public about biodiversity, to teach them about the "biodiversity in their backyard". It will be an opportunity not only to inventory the biological resources we have near urban areas, but also to develop relationships within the biodiversity community of the Capital Region.

A BioBlitz event is conducted by coordinating volunteer efforts of local scientists and naturalists with other interested volunteers. The goal is to generate species lists for all or most of the taxonomic groups that inhabit the area being surveyed. The first BioBlitz event was sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Biological Service and was held in Kenilworth Park, Washington D.C. in 1996 (visit http://www.im.nbs.gov/blitz/kenilw.html for more information). This park is surrounded by heavy residential and industrial development and was considered by many to be devoid of any significant biological diversity. However, scientists tallied over 900 species during the BioBlitz. With the first BioBlitz considered a success, organizers have made the Kenilworth BioBlitz an annual event. Results from 1997 and 1998 have added additional species to the parks tally list. Since this first BioBlitz, other organizations have adopted the concept with other parks being successfully "blitzed" in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (visit http://www.bioblitz.org for more information).

 

Justification

The New York State Museum and the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute are organizing a BioBlitz for several reasons. Primarily it will be used to generate public awareness of the concept of biodiversity and to show the biological resources that can exist near urban areas. Additionally, the data obtained during the BioBlitz may be useful as an indicator of the environmental quality and as a baseline for future monitoring or management plans in the park.


Sponsored by the
New York State Museum and the
New York State Biodiversity Research Institute

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