Thursday, September 13, 2018

Arlington Bioblitz 2018

Part of the 92 people who participated in Arlington's first Bioblitz in 2017, which tallied 1245 observations of 468 different species, including this Giant Puffball Fungus
      A bioblitz is a quick, but intense, biotic survey completed within a 24 hour period. Consider it a snap shot in time of what plants and wildlife are found in a certain place during that period of time. While this is certainly not a complete record of what lives there, it provides a vital look at what is there during that period. If you get enough snap shots, then you can get a clear picture of what’s there.
     The Arlington Bioblitz is part of a much larger and longer survey of what we have in Arlington. Over at least a two year period, the results of this and even more surveys will help us know what we have, and compare it to what we have recorded before or what was historically present. This information will help shape the new update of the County’s Natural Resource Management Plan. You can’t manage and preserve what you don’t know you have, so this info is vital. You can see the previous County Board approved plan here:  https://projects.arlingtonva.us/natural-resources-management-plan/  If you’d like to see the technical report (granted also in need of updating using new survey information) that resulted from our previous county biotic surveys, please check here: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/wildlife-arlington/
     The Arlington Bioblitz will kick off many more surveys where we will check on previous records and see how those plants and animals are doing (and get an idea of how our Natural Resources Management Plan has done). But we may also find new flora and fauna that can influence what the new Natural Resources Management Plan update will include. Some of this will be done by County staff, some by contracted experts, and much more with the aid of volunteers and citizen scientists.
     This is where the general public such as you comes in. We hope you can join us that day (and stick around to help with the surveys that follow) to record what you see. Join a Bioblitz survey team. Perhaps you have an expertise and can help lead a team. Perhaps you can help be an extra pair of eyes or help record what is seen. We plan to use the iNaturalist application to collect most of the data. This where regular folks along with experts can record sightings, often using a photograph that can serve as a voucher of what was seen and which can be verified by others. More on this neat process here: http://www.inaturalist.org/ with a tutorial found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGj8gGGxs68&feature=youtu.be 
     Please not that we will have our headquarters at Glencarlyn Park Picnic Pavilion #1 ( 401 South Harrison St, Arlington VA 22204) and will restrict our observations to that park. A project for this Bioblitz has been setup in iNaturalist, which will be our primary recording tool.
     Want to lead a team or get even more info? Check out the County web page:
 https://environment.arlingtonva.us/events/arlington-bioblitz/  or contact Arlington County Parks Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas at either AAbugattas@arlingtonva.us or by phone at 703-2287742. Participating in a bioblitz is not only a lot of fun, but provides some valuable citizen science. To join a team sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0B4FA8AB22A31-20181 Recording these nature discoveries helps us know what we have and how we can better protect them. But it is also a great hands-on way to learn from experts and one another, all in a social and informative manner.

3 comments:

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  2. What a great program! When will posting and sign up begin for the 2019 event?

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