Bioblitz near Portland, Oregon

John Acorn janature at
Fri May 26 00:31:08 EDT 2000


Jeffrey Caldwell mentioned a bioblitz, and since I just got back from one,
associated with the Meadowlark Festival in Penticton, British Columbia,
Canada, I thought I would give my impressions.  We tallied about 602 species
(final count not yet in), and did a great deal, I hope, to raise local
awareness of the rich diversity in the Okanagan region of Canada.  I hosted
a wrap-up count-call event, in which we had musical entertainment
interspersed with reports on the numbers of species we identified in various
taxa.  People seemed to enjoy it, and found it interesting to hear from
naturalists in a variety of fields.

Two years back I was involved in another, as part of the Texas Tropics
Nature Festival, in McAllen, Texas, and there we counted 997 species.  I
think the main determinant of your total number is the amount of botanical
and entomological expertise you have on hand.  The birders and butterfly
people pretty well know how many species they will find before the event
transpires, and between them it's tough to beat 300.  If you have good moth
people, another hundred might be added.  Past that, and you have to rely on
things like fungi, flowers, and beetles.  2000 sounds like a tough number to
me.  These events are a lot of fun, and they really do challenge you to make
quick, accurate identifications in the field, at whatever level you can

John Acorn
Alberta, Canada

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