I’m a huge fan of iNaturalist, a phone application used to document biological observations. So when Jasmine, Jhonny, and I were invited to a bioblitz planning meeting, I was obviously excited to talk about the app.
A bioblitz is an event where the local community is invited to help survey plants, animals, and fungi in the project area. Project can vary in their area, some are limited to recreation areas, some to states, or even by taxa (birds, mammals, herps, fungi, etc.).
I love this because it not only encourages people to enjoy nature, but enables them to participate in citizen science and community conservation. When observations are recorded using iNat, they can be confirmed by others (typically professionals with the appropriate identification skills), and become research grade, meaning they can be used in actual scientific literature.
All you need to participate in the Cape Perpetua bioblitz is something to take pictures with, an iNaturalist account, and a sense of scientific adventure.
Apart from getting people out, bioblitzing is a way for people to become interested in nature. Once people start identifying critters, they start talking about their experiences. Since most people aren’t as lucky as us, as they don’t have many field opportunities, it’s sometimes difficult to explain the importance of rare animals.
My main professional goal is to improve human-wildlife relationships. By encouraging people to survey, they become field researchers, and most importantly they become invested in their ecosystems.