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Berkshire BioBlitz Sponosrs
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Initial tally at the end of the 24 hours was 585 species. Several of the experts are still identifying to species. These numbers will be added to the counts as they come in over the next few months.
With regards to “big finds”, MA State Botanist (Bob Wernerehl), who attended and led our plant survey, found at least one plant new to Massachusetts: a variety of a grass (genus: Poa). It is known from the northern NewEngland states, but this was the first record for Massachusetts.
With regards to lichens: One “big find” is that there were far less “reindeer lichens” (Cladonia species) in the Rounds Rock area than there were 20 years ago.
The tallies are being added regularly to iNaturalist project: Berkshire BioBlitz 2016.
More photos and lists to come!
This year’s event is sponsored by the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance under a grant from National Geographic Education Foundation and Elms College and co-sponsored by Dr. Augie’s Science Education Programs and Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT).
What is a Bioblitz? The BioBlitz is an opportunity for biologists, naturalists and environmentalists to work in collaboration with the general public to gather in a given area and in a 24-hour period to complete a formal survey of all living species and see first-hand the importance of a healthy, active ecosystem in their own community.
Although the biological survey is the “core” of the Berkshire BioBlitz, adds an extra event “Berkshire Biological Identification Days”. This is where the general public is invited to bring their unidentified, curious, baffling biological specimens or items like feathers, fossils, eggs, seeds, insects and weird curly things from personal collections and our experts will take a look and see if they can identify the specimen. If we can’t identify the specimen we will find someone who can!
Berkshire Bioblitz offers a variety of family-friendly, interactive, nature-oriented nature walks and conversations taking place throughout the day. Examples of some programs are mammal tracking workshops, invasive species identification exhibit, a“Firefly Count” and a “Moth-Light” demonstration.
We encourage everyone to take advantage of this unique FREE annual event. It will expand your mind.
Past Berkshire BioBlitzs
Berkshire BioBlitz 2015 at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Pittsfield, was a blast! More folks than planned showed up to collect. The final count: 637 species
Bryophytes Canoe Meadow Bioblitz 2015
Complete Bird List Berkshire BioBlitz 2015
NonLichen Fungi Canoe Meadows BioBlitz 2015
moths canoe meadows datalist
Complete Mammals Berkshire BioBlitz 2015
Complete Canoe Meadows vasc plant list BioBlitz 2015
fish Canoe Meadow Bioblitz 2015
Among the collectors were: Charley Eiseman lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates
Tom Murray author of Insects of New England & New York
Thom Tying author of Snakes of Western Massachusetts
Pam Weatherbee local legendary botanist
2015 Berkshire BioBlitz was sponsored by Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries. The goal, as with every BioBlitz (sometimes called “Biodiversity Day” in some towns), was to see how many species we can find in a given area in the 24 hour period of the BioBlitz.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Lisa Provencher, Dr. Augie’s
Jane Winn, Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Scott LaGreca, Curator Cornell University
Becky Cushing, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries
2014 Berkshire BioBlitz
(a.k.a. Biodiversity Days) took place June 13 & 14, 2014. Our goal was to do a 24-hour bio assessment of the Three Mile Hill Trail/Fountain Pond State Park. We identified birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, fish, insects… everything alive we could find! Thanks to coordinator Collin Adkins. Collin is a AmeriCorps Member – MassLIFT, Service Learning Coordinator, AMC-Berkshires, South Egremont, Greenagers, Great Barrington, MA. He did a great job.
It took place Friday June 1, 2013 at Mt. Greylock in Lanesboro.
Berkshire Bioblitz 2012 was held at Burbank Park at Onota Lake in Pittsfield Massachusetts. The Berkshire Bioblitz is organized by Dr. Augies, Berkshire Community College the Berkshire Museum, and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). It was sponsored in part by Greylock Federal Credit Union and catered by Berkshire UNICO.
The Berkshire Bioblitz is organized by the Berkshire Museum and is co-sponsored by the Berkshire MCLA STEM Pipeline, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and Dr. Augie’s.
The first annual Berkshire BioBlitz 2010 was held at the Pittsfield State Forest. The Berkshire Bioblitz is organized by the Berkshire Museum and is co-sponsored by the Berkshire MCLA STEM Pipeline, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
What is a BioBlitz?
A “BioBlitz” (also called a “Biodiversity Day”) is an action-packed day designed as educational event, scientific endeavor, and part community service event. It brings together scientists and the public in a race against time to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey of a given area. The very first BioBlitz took place in 1998 in Walden Woods, Massachusetts. Its success inspired similar events in a dozen European countries and many US states. In Massachusetts alone, the MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs has sponsored statewide BioBlitzes in over 300 Massachusetts towns.
The BioBlitz is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the variety of life in their immediate area and the services these various species provide to improve the quality of their lives. We usually hear the word “biodiversity” in regard to rainforests with their vast number of species. Yet the diversity of life in our own backyards is phenomenal. We take for granted clean water, fertile soil, and air to breathe. Yet these are all the result of working ecosystems filled with species that provide these resources. From our morning shower to our late-night snack, we are supported by biodiversity every minute of the day. What better way to address the topic than to invite people to share in our 24 hours of discovery and to experience the vast array of species that we can find in their area park in just one cycle of the day?
The BioBlitz is an excellent tool for exciting children about science. These events generate energy and enthusiasm among scientists and lay people alike. It is rare for biologists from many disciplines to have the opportunity to get together, share their passions with each other and the public, and work towards a common goal.
Check-in/Check-out Station Managers – Welcome participants and other volunteers as they arrive. Get each person to sign in on corresponding participant/volunteer sheets. Keep logs of hours that volunteers/scientists put in. Several needed in order to rotate and give breaks!
Data Managers – Track species data as it comes in using iNaturalist, excel and/or written ledgers. Data managers will need to be detail oriented and efficient. This volunteer role is essential!
Runners – Volunteers needed to gather supplies, carry messages, and perform various tasks on a moments notice to help facilitate the event. No experience necessary.
Field Guide Helpers – Assist members of the public to use field guides to identify species. Great volunteer role for anyone who wants to grow their knowledge of the local biodiversity! An eye for detail and/or any background knowledge of New England flora/fauna is helpful!
Info From Last Year’s Bioblitz
The second annual Berkshire BioBlitz (a.k.a. Biodiversity Days) will take place June 10 and 11, 2011, on Mount Greylock in Adams, Massachusetts. Bioblitz is an action-packed day designed as part scientific endeavor, part contest, part environmental festival, and part educational program. During a Bioblitz, scientists come together in a race against time to count as many species as they can in a given area over a 24-hour period.
A BioBlitz increases the public’s awareness of the variety of life in their immediate area, and the importance of that diversity. The word “biodiversity” is often used to refer to rainforests with their vast number of species, while the diversity of life in our own backyards is phenomenal. We may take for granted clean water, fertile soil, and clean air to breathe. Yet these resources are the result of a healthy ecosystem supported by local plants and animals. What better way to address this topic than to experience the vast array of species that can found in just one day?
A BioBlitz is an excellent tool to excite both children and adults about science. During these events, biologists from many disciplines have the rare opportunity to share their passions with people of all ages who will work side-by-side toward a common goal.
The Berkshire Bioblitz is organized by the Berkshire Museum and is co-sponsored by the Berkshire MCLA STEM Pipeline, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and Dr. Augie’s. Come join the fun. All events are free and held at DCR’s Mt Greylock Reservation. Programs are weather-permitting.
Come join us at the reservation!