Biodiversity is the variety of life existing all across the world. But in today’s fast paced culture, how familiar and connected are we to the plants and wildlife that surround us every day?
Human culture has pulled our focus away from the beauty and necessity of nature. Today, many of us could instantly recognize hundreds of corporate logos, but few could identify the species of trees and shrubs in our own yard by their leaf shape. Let’s change this; let’s reconnect to the biodiversity that surrounds us all!
Connecting Through Biology
Dissatisfied with our disconnection with nature, the bio-blitz was born to educate others and ourselves about the biodiversity that surrounds us! A bio-blitz is a 24-hour ecological inventory of one location, an attempt to identify as many living things as possible on one site in one day.
To do so, as many scientists of as many biological disciplines as possible are invited to a site and set loose to find, identify and count! Though it may be easy for some of us to tell a cardinal from a cedar waxwing, teasing out the differences between various mushrooms might prove more difficult.
After a group of biologists have completed their work, we can understand so much more about the living resources of the area; we now have a baseline to compare to in the future. But most importantly, we have something to share and to celebrate with the others.
Gathering a Community
To engage the community in biodiversity and conservation, a bio-blitz also has a public component where people can observe scientists at their work, sorting and identifying species. They can even learn the total number of species that were discovered in 24 hours. (A number that always astounds!)
Visitors can go on naturalist-guided hikes on the property and discover the wonder of nature for themselves. When one leaves a bio-blitz, they will never take a walk through the woods the same way again, their eyes are opened to the great diversity of life around them. We learn to look more closely, and in doing so, we become enriched and more appreciative of that web of life that sustains us all.
Here on the edge of the sea in Corolla, the Donal C. O’Brien Sanctuary and Audubon Center is hosting its very own Bioblitz on April 25 and 26. Scientists and naturalists will start work on the 25th, and the public is invited to join us for discovery from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm on the 26th. At 3:30, we will announce the grand total of species found.
We invite you to come reconnect with nature by discovering the wonderful richness of life at the Sanctuary. You can find more on the Spring Bioblitz online at nc.audubon.org/events/spring-bioblitz-outerbanks-2014 or visit our Facebook page. For more information call 252-453-0603.