LINCOLN – Ordinary people become “citizen scientists” during a BioBlitz walk, four of which are being held for the first time in Nebraska this May.
During a BioBlitz event, participants find and identify as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms as possible in a specific area. The information collected is passed on to wildlife biologists and conservationists, who use it to track populations of different species.
“Participating in these hands-on studies is a fun and exciting way for people to learn about biodiversity and better understand how to protect it,” said Adam Jones, a watchable wildlife biologist at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Four BioBlitz events are scheduled for this May; two take place at Nebraska state parks and recreation areas:
• Niobrara State Park, Niobrara, May 14, 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
• Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area, Enders, May 21, 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Additional BioBlitz events will be held at Homestead National Monument in Beatrice on May 21 and Wildlife Safari Park in Ashland on May 21.
BioBlitz events are held throughout the world; the National Geographic Society has conducted one every year since 2007.
Those interested can visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/bioblitz to learn more information and to register for an event.