Photo: Birds nest in cactus

A Harris hawks' nest rests in a saguaro cactus.

Photograph courtesy National Park Service

The 2011 BioBlitz was held in Saguaro National Park October 21-22, 2011. More than 5,000 people combed the east and west sides of the park flanking Tucson, Arizona. The 24-hour count added over 400 species to park lists, including 190 species of invertebrates and 205 species of fungus previously unknown to the park. At least one species of bryophyte discovered was new to the park and could be potentially new to science. We are still counting and hope to have the final tally posted soon.

The two-day celebration of biodiversity centers on a 24-hour race to count species. Teams of experts and public volunteers explored the park’s mountains, valleys, cactus forests, drainages, and tinaja and identified as many species as possible.

Goals of the BioBlitz:

· Count, map, and learn about the park’s diverse organisms, ranging from microscopic bacteria to migrating birds, elusive mountain lions, and 200-year-old cactus.

· Provide scientists, school kids, and the general public an opportunity to conduct fieldwork together.

· Add to the park’s official species list.

· Highlight the importance of protecting the biodiversity of this extraordinary place.

Useful Documents

•    Map of the Rincon Mountain District

•    Map of the Tucson Mountain District

•    Schedule of talks and entertainment for Biodiversity Festival

•    Waiver, required for all inventory team participants

•    Press Release

BioBlitz Supporters:

Tucson Electric Power, A UniSource Energy Company

Verizon Wireless

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust

Unilever United States Foundation

Friends of Saguaro National Park

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation,

The Martin & Hildegard Gluck Foundation

The Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation

The Norcross Wildlife Foundation

BBVA Compass


Southwest Gas Corporation

Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise

The Arizona Daily Star

Past BioBlitzes