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BioBlitz survey of species planned June 27-28

June  19, 2014

Augustana student Jessica Flondro, a geography and environmental studies major, participates in the first BioBlitz at the Milan Bottoms last summer. Her Senior Inquiry project was "Assessing the ecosystem Services Provided by Urban Forests, Wetlands, and Green Spaces."

Augustana College will participate in the second annual BioBlitz June 27-28 at Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island.

A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of as many species as possible within a specified area during a 24-hour period. Plant and animal experts, along with members of the public, take part. The idea is to collect basic taxonomic data and to highlight the value of local habitats.

Last year's BioBlitz surveyed the Milan Bottoms and cataloged 751 species of plants and animals.

The event is sponsored by the River Bend Wildland Trust (RBWT), in partnership with the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Other partnering agencies include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Natural History Survey, Western Illinois University, Blackhawk College and Illinois River Watch.

Scientists from all over the Midwest specializing in plants, mammals, insects, birds, amphibians and reptiles, will participate.

The event will run from 3 p.m. on June 27 to 3 p.m. on June 28. The public and media are invited to attend the BioBlitz to watch or assist the scientists in collection or documentation.

RBWT also will  offer guided night and day hikes, including a bird mist netting and banding at 7 a.m., a Hy-Vee lunch stand, native seeds for sale, a species count lottery and a limited edition t-shirt to all volunteers.

Volunteers are needed to run activities and help experts in identifying samples. Sign up on the volunteer page.