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.
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
Southwest Gas Corporation
Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise
The Arizona Daily Star
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