VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for BioBlitz
Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is a part of the the Golden Gate National Recreation Area best known for its birds and the penitentiary from which no successful escape was recorded. But it is also the home of historic gardens rooted in times when the island was first a military base and then a forbidding prison, planted and tended by personnel and their families, often with the help of inmates. Rehabilitated after decades of neglect, the Gardens of Alcatraz are now a tourist attraction — and they were a big source of species observed for the 2014 BioBlitz in Golden Gate National Parks.
The initial scientific species count as of the 3:45 p.m. BioBlitz Closing Ceremony on Saturday was 2,304, with well over 8,600 observations recorded over the course of the two-day event, the organizers said in a news statement today. More than 80 species are new to the parks species list. At least 15 species were identified as Threatened.
When the sun goes down, the Presidio area of Golden Gate National Parks comes alive with owls, snakes, rodents, moths and, of course, bats. In this video by Bob Hirshon, a Bioblitz 2014 team of bat hunters, armed with ultrasound-detecting devices, hikes through the Lobos Creek and Dunes area of the park, looking and listening for bats.
Until this year, identifying organisms at the BioBlitz was based purely on examining them– looking at their shape, size, color, number of legs, etc– and the species have been limited to multicelled creatures. For 2014, a group from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have introduced the PhyloChip, which can test for the presence of 60,000 varieties of bacteria and Archaea, a large group of primitive single celled organisms.
Veteran BioBlitzer Gary Hevel is at the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz in San Francisco this year, along with hundreds of specimens of insects he collected in his Silver Spring, Maryland backyard, just outside Washington, D.C. Hevel has attended everyone one of the eight annual National Geographic/National Park BioBlitzes.
Students taking part in the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz at Lands End, the rugged northwest corner of San Francisco overlooking the ocean, learned the tricks to being expert birders.
“I know that there was a commitment to do ten BioBlitzes, but what if we say that we want to do ten more,” National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell said at the official launch of the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz in San Francisco today.
Over 300 scientists reported for duty Friday morning, March 28th for a 24-hour species count at San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Parks. The event, known as BioBlitz, brings together local scientists and members of the community to survey a new national park each year. This year, the National Geographic-National Park Service partnership celebrates its 8th…
Northwest view from Mount Barnabe. (Photo by Andrew Howley) As San Francisco prepares for 300 scientists to study its surrounding plants and animals in #BioBlitz 2014, similarly steep hills to the north catch the late afternoon sun and breathe a bit easier, unburdened by houses, streets, and antique cable cars. Still, the human (and specifically…
More than 300 scientists are participating in this year’s National Park Service-National Geographic BioBlitz. The eighth in a series of annual events to inventory species in a national park complex, this year’s BioBlitz is being held in the San Francisco area’s Golden Gate National Parks, the most visited national park region in the U.S. in 2013 (14,300,000 visitors).
Distinguished botanist Peter Raven wishes he could participate personally in this Golden Gate BioBlitz, “because I grew up in San Francisco and became fascinated with nature – first mainly insects, then plants – in the City and around the Bay Area, from the 1940s onward. There is no area more fascinating in its biology, with many differences in relatively small geographical areas.”
In anticipation of the 2014 National Geographic BioBlitz in San Francisco, a California native takes a poetic look at the local banana slug.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the BioBlitz hosted last week by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Geographic Society in Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve yielded hundreds of observations, including the discovery of a rare Louisiana milk snake not previously recorded in the park. “This is the first time anyone has done this level of work on a bottomland, hardwood, freshwater system like this,” said Victoria Bayless, curator at the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.
Whether a tiny invertebrate or a large, invasive nutria, all of the species observations collected during the BioBlitz will be mapped out and visualized on the National Geographic FieldScope tool. FieldScope is a web-based GIS for visualizing and analyzing scientific data collected by professional and citizen scientists. It is also a tool for exploring the geography of a place.
This week, we climb straight up vertical walls with Emily Harrington and learn why Everest isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, we learn how Dr. Edie Widder caught the first giant squid in a camera trap, we set the hang gliding world record high over Texas, and we learn about an adaptation that gives hyenas and dogs similar – but unrelated.