A BioBlitz is a fun way to learn about wildlife near you!
In essence, a BioBlitz is a wildlife scavenger hunt. Participants count as many different species as possible within a given period of time at a specific location. A BioBlitz can occur on school grounds, at a local park or even a National Park. The amount of time needed to conduct a BioBlitz depends on the size of the land being surveyed. Big BioBlitzes at National Parks are usually 24 hours long, but smaller events can be tailored to a school day or just an afternoon. It’s up to you!
The biggest BioBlitz in the country is sponsored by the National Park Service and National Geographic. It changes location every year, with the 2014 event occurring at Golden Gate National Parks in California on May 28-29. Over three thousand people explored the Louisiana swamps durring the 2013 BioBlitz at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana.
There are many benefits to attending or hosting a BioBlitz:
- Learn about your local biodiversity.
- Connect college students and professionals, scientists and biologists, to young people interested in science.
- Share wildlife photography.
- Strengthen inquiry and discovery skills.
- Help a park catalogue species for their research.
- Provide a fun, educational recreational activity.
- The data can be used for science and learning projects.
National Geographic Resources for BioBlitzes
Along with leading the yearly National Park BioBlitz, National Geographic provides numerous resources for bringing BioBlitzes to your backyard.
- View the neighborhood BioBlitz classroom activity and video. The activity can be adapted for a public land, community group or a scout troop.
- Learn about community geography and how National Geographic is using social technology to connect people to their environment.
- Read interactive geostories on a range of topics including wetlands, emerging explorers and geography on the job to see how people around the world are using research skills to benefit the planet.
Examining native grasses
BioBlitz and Volunteerism
A BioBlitz activity is a fun addition to a day of service projects. It is a perfect opportunity to combine the themes of recreation and service together into one project. BioBlitz volunteers hike and wildlife watch through the park counting species as they go. The data they collect is extremely valuable to the park and their research. A BioBlitz would be an exciting project for scout troops, because it teaches important skills, such as how to identify species and conduct a research project.