Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Minnesota BioBlitz 2010 This Friday and Saturday

Posted by Kirk

This year's Minnesota BioBlitz is at the Vermillion Highlands Research, Recreation and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Vermillion River (WMA) and the event takes place this weekend! The event runs from 5 p.m. Friday, June 11th to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 12th.

I took part in the Bioblitz a few years ago when it was at the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center where I work as a naturalist. We cataloged about 1,200 species in just 24 hours.

A BioBlitz is an intensive 24-hour survey to find all the plants and animals at a specific location. The public helps scientists find the species and you don't have to be an expert on identification to take part.

The main check-in and base camp this year will be at the UMore Park Administration Building at 1605 160th Street W., Rosemount, MN 55068.

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Every year Minnesota BioBlitz attracts hundreds of families and scientists from around the state who use both good old observation skills as well as high tech gadgets to tally and record an area's floral and fauna. Volunteers of all ages work alongside biologists to collect plants and insects and live-trap animals, which are identified before being released back into the wild. Collection stations and inventory "leader boards" will be set up inside at the UMore Park Administration Building.

According the the organizers. "The event aims to increase the public's awareness of an area's biological diversity, offers a chance for citizens to work with scientists, and provides an environmental benchmark for natural resources managers of Minnesota parks." Minnesota.

If you are thinking about attending, here's what you need to know. This year's BioBlitz will take place over an area of about four miles and will require driving from the check-in point to various parking and staging area. Participants should check in the UMore Park Administration Building for a map to the activity sites. There will also be limited shuttled service from the main building throughout the day.

The site has no paved trails so be prepared to walk on uneven surfaces. Participants should bring their own sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water and wear clothese and shoes that are comfortable for walking in tall grass. If you plan to participate in aquatic activities, wear clothing (or a swimsuit) and shoes that can get wet. For safety reasons, we cannot allow bare feet.

Minnesota BioBlitz 2010 Schedule of Events

All events are free of charge and open to the public. Participants should check-in at the main building at UMore Park.

Friday, June 11

5 p.m.

BioBlitz Kick-off

8:30 to 10 p.m.

Nocturnal Animal Survey - Owls and Bats

9:30 to 11 p.m.

Night Insect Collecting

Saturday, June 12

6 to 8 a.m.

Bird Hike

8 to 11 a.m.

Bird Banding

8 to 9 a.m.

Mammal Survey

9 to 10 a.m.


10 to 11 a.m.

Morning Mushroom Survey

11 noon

Aquatics - Insects and Invertebrates

Noon to 1 p.m.

Insect Sweep Netting

1 to 2 p.m.

Afternoon Mushroom Survey

1 to 3 p.m.

Aquatics - Fish Survey