Day 3 of our BioBlitz challenge

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday was another very active day for our campus nature challenge. UNC Greensboro closed the gap and for a few hours relegated us to the trailing spot. We've pulled slightly ahead of them again. As of this morning, UNC Wilmington is still leading with over 1,500 observations now, with AppState at 904 and UNCG at 832. We're trailing in terms of number of observers and could use some more folks actively participating. Tell all your class mates, friends and families! UNCW already has cracked the 100 participants threshold, UNCG is following with 54 while AppState has so far 41 active observers contributing.

Among our participants, maxbird1 is leading for number of observations made with the top 5 currently rounded out by leighalobelia, kirnsc, amills9418, and nicole_lowder. Remember we'll have prices in the end for the most observations made and most species observed.

We are doing great with getting things sorted out and identified! In the past challenges, I remember adding a lot of initial IDs for folks who uploaded their observations as "unknown" and this time around I barely have to do that. We are much closer on UNCW's heels in terms of number of species identified with 405 for UNCW, 374 for AppState, and 207 for UNCG. Great job on finding that diversity out there! Looking at my own first day observations, I was able to document six species that I had never observed on iNaturalist before. I'm looking forward to seeing how many new ones we can add to our campus inventory in this BioBlitz round.

A lot of our species observed so far are plants (over 60%). There is only one non-plant among the top 20 species and that is the fall webworm moth coming in at spot 19 with its webs everywhere now. Last fall, we had more animals and fungi recorded than this fall so far. Keep an eye out for those critters and 'shrooms! There are a couple of rain showers in the area this morning, so mushrooms should really pop for the rest of the week. Last fall, we struggled to find them because the weather was so dry. I know I often overlook them but this is a great opportunity to add some stuff not previously observed yet. One tip for mushroom IDs: In addition to a picture from the top, you'll need a picture of the underside of the cap that shows whether it has gills or pores, and often also a side view showing the stipe (stalk).

One question that came up: Do sound recordings count? Yes, they do! Evidence for an organism can be pictures or sound files. If you have recordings of birds or crickets or whatever, you can absolutely upload that as an observation. Accepted formats include wav, mp3, or m4a.

Just a reminder that only wild organisms count for the BioBlitz. Observations of planted trees and shrubs are still valid observations for iNaturalist and will contribute to the AppState tree and shrub inventory but they won't help us win the challenge. If you post observations of landscaping plants, please remember to mark them cultivated (not wild). I know this will make these drop out of the BioBlitz project, but to be able to use our biodiversity data for research purposes it is important to sort out naturally occurring species vs. stuff that was put there by humans.

Lastly a heads-up that we will have an Open Gate BioBlitz event at the Dark Sky Observatory again on Saturday afternoon from 1-4 PM. There will be a guided hike at 1 PM and we'll have some nets for insect sampling. It's about a 25 minute drive from Boone but GPS will send you on a long detour due to the Parkway closure not knowing that the Phillips Gap Rd crossing is open. From Boone, take 421 to 221 to Idlewild to Phillips Gap Rd for the fastest way to get there. I will post more detailed directions on Friday.

Now let's get out there and find some more organisms to observe today!

Posted on September 27, 2023 12:00 PM by annkatrinrose annkatrinrose


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