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Bioblitz Putting Focus on Wildlife at Oliver Reservoir

Birds, such as this Wilson's phalarope, will be among the wildlife celebrated at the Bioblitz at Oliver Reservoir near Kimball. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)
Birds, such as this Wilson’s phalarope, will be among the wildlife celebrated at the Bioblitz at Oliver Reservoir near Kimball. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

Western Nebraska’s unique and diverse wildlife will again be the focus of Bioblitz, an annual event at Oliver Reservoir Recreation Area near Kimball on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20.

Scientists and other naturalists will tell attendees about local wildlife and practices to improve habitat and monitor species. Educational and entertaining demonstrations and activities, including trapping animals for observation, are scheduled between 3 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Attendees who don’t want to miss any part of the event are being invited to camp at the reservoir. No park entry permit is required and camping is free for the night.

Preregistration is encouraged to gain an accurate head count for sessions and meals, but all are welcome to attend all or portions of the event.

Free Bioblitz T-shirts will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to attendees who register before June 17. More information, preregistration and a list of suggested supplies are available by contacting Alie Mayes, at 660-619-8453 or alexandra.mayes@rmbo.org.

Bioblitz is a cooperative project of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund. In addition, the South Platte Natural Resources District is allowing use of the recreation area for Bioblitz.

The full schedule of events (all times MDT):

Friday, June 19 (Attendees invited to bring dish for potluck dinner) — Plant Survey, 3-5:30 p.m.; Bird Walk, 5:30-6 p.m.; Potluck Dinner and Music, 6-8 p.m.; Mammal Trap Set-Up, 7:30-8:30; Mist Netting for Bats, 7:45-9:45 p.m.; Reptile Trap Set-Up and Frog Call Survey, 8-10 p.m.; Astronomy Program, 9:30-10:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 20 (A light breakfast is available and lunch will be provided) – Bird Point Count, 6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.; Bird Survey, 7-8 a.m.; Insect Terrestrial Survey, 7:30-9:30 a.m.; Check Mammal Traps and Identify Animals, 7:30-9:30 a.m.; Check Reptile Traps and Complete Reptile and Amphibian Survey, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Youth Fishing, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Macroinvertebrate Survey, 1-3 p.m.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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