Saguaro National Park, Arizona–When the clock stopped at noon on Saturday, more than 170 scientists and 2,000 students had collected or identified 859 species in the 94,000-acre park.
But as National Geographic Vice president for Research, Conservation, and Exploration John Francis noted, it will take years before the final tally is in — researchers bagged or bottled thousands of specimens for detailed study in the laboratory. And if previous BioBlitzes are anything to go by, not only will the final tally be several hundred species more than what was recorded on Saturday, but there may well be one or two new species to the park, if not to science.
But after the 24-hour inventory, here’s what was confirmed to be living in Saguaro National Park: amphibians (3), birds (86), fungi (205), invertebrates (190), mammals (22), reptiles (27), and vascular plants (325).
David Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.
He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.
Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship.