Berkshire BioBlitz Is Back!

The next Berkshire BioBlitz (a.k.a. Biodiversity Days) will take place June 13 & 14, 2014

  • 24-hour bio assessment of the Three Mile Hill Trail/Fountain Pond State Park. (http://gbtrails.org/pdf_items/3_mile_hill.pdf)
  • The goal is to identify as many species as possible! Birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, fish… everything!
  • Save the Date! June 13 & 14, 2014

FountainPond_LowQ

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.

This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz lead organizer is Collin Adkinse AmeriCorps Member – MassLIFT, Service Learning Coordinator, AMC-Berkshires, South Egremont, MA
Greenagers, Great Barrington, MA. Contact Collin at: americorps@greenagers.org. More information coming soon!

 

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Berkshire Bioblitz 2012 – September 22 & 23

BioBlitz 2012Berkshire Bioblitz is a celebration and scientific research event that shines a light on biodiversity in the Berkshires.

Thank you to all the scientists who scoured the Burbank Park – including the woods, vernal pool, pond, shore, and lake – to document the wide diversity of species present.

The third annual Berkshire Bioblitz was held in Burbank Park in Pittsfield, September 22 and 23, and was organized by Dr. AugiesBerkshire Environmental Action Team, and the Berkshire Museum, with help from Berkshire Community College, Unico, Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department  and the Pittsfield Dept of Parks and Recreation. And this year’s Berkshire BioBlitz was funded in part by Greylock Federal Credit Union.  You can view the schedule on-line or download a pdf.

BioBlitz kicked off on Friday with a group of 75 students and teachers from Egremont School in Pittsfield, where Emma Kerr from the Berkshire Museum has been working with the students to study biodiversity. The students divided into small groups to work with scientists to see what species they could find. The students then delivered brief oral presentations about their work to the entire group.

On Saturday and Sunday, 30 scientists were on hand to explore, identify and educate. We had specialists in lichens, algae, trees, mushrooms, insects,  birds, spiders, plants, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Here are the reports we have so far. We have not yet consolidated them.  The totals are not necessarily all reflected in the report links because some were reported separately. And, some scientists are still keying out specimens collected during the BioBlitz, so there will be more to come.

 

Trees: 33 species (link to report by Bob Leverett)
Lichens: 74 species
Plants (132) report by Joe & Betsy Strauch includes herbs, grasses, vines, trees, shrubs, and ferns
Algae
: 117 species
Aquatic Plants:
32 species at north end of Onota lake
Birds: 61 (link to original list by members of the Hoffmann Bird Club)
Fish: 10 species (we didn’t get several ones that are common in Onota Lake)
Fungi and Slime Mold: 43 and 2 species
Insects: 144 species, and counted separately: Moths 47 and Bees (still to come)

Here is a spreadsheet listing the invertebrates found by Tom Murray during bioblitz.

We had live animals, mammal skulls, mushrooms, lichen, and much more for visitors to look at. Our Owl Prowl and Moth Light were cut short by a huge downpour and heavy wind, but other than that everything went smoothly. Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife brought a boat and sampled the lake.

Fish and Wildlife unloads their boat
What did they catch?

Below: Watching a bald eagle that landed in a nearby tree

watching the bald eagle

Thank you to all the scientists and naturalists:

Name Specialty
Bart Bouricius trees
Alison Dixon aquatics
John Brancazzu fish
Dick Ferrin birds
Karolina Fucikova algae
Jeff Hanson birds
Kyron Hanson birds
John Hall algae
Gael Hurley birds
Katy King bees
Scott Jervis fish
Elizabeth Kneiper lichens
Scott LaGreca lichens
Bob Leverett trees
Andrew Madden fish
Kirsten Martin dragonflies
Mark Mello moths
Joan Milam bees
Karen Murray fish
Tom Murray insects
Dana Ohman fish
Hannah Provencher fish
Lisa Provencher insects
Ann Stengle herps
Betsy Strauch plants
Joe Strauch plants
Tom Tyning generalist
Rene Wendell Jr naturalist/owls
Rene Wendell Sr insects
Audrey Werner birds
John Wheeler fungi
Bruce Winn naturalist

 

2011 at Mt. Greylock State Reservation our scientists and researchers found:

Mosses: 63
Liverworts: 18
Lichens: 50
Fungi: 45
Mammals: 11
Arachnids 19
Bees: 40 (2 newly collected in MA)
Misc. Inverts: 172
Birds: 38
Plants: 66
Herps: 16

Here is a link to Berkshire Bioblitz 2011  info.

If you are interested in helping in next year’s event, or would like to exhibit your environmentally focused organization, or want to join the count, or feel you are an expert in your field– send Lisa at Dr. Augie’s an email.

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