The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust just completed its month-long virtual Nearby Nature BioBlitz for its second straight year. Every participant became a citizen-scientists, exploring and photo-documenting the nature surrounding them in the DMV. BioBlitz's are interesting and enlightening, as participants examine thousands of species and recognize the world we live in is more exciting and mysterious than what meets the eye.
Participants of our BioBlitz uploaded their fantastic photos to iNaturalist.org, sharing their observations of yellow long-tailed salamanders, beautiful golden-crowned kinglets, cool giant leopard moth caterpillars, and more.
NVCT is proud of our community's participation as BioBlitz data is often used as an open-source database for scientists. This year's NVCT BioBlitz more than tripled its number of scientific observations, from over 20,000 observations to 77,000. The number of species observed more than doubled, from approximately 2,600 to 5,300, with over 8,000 observers compared to just 100 observers a year ago.
"We're thrilled that more than 8,000 participants submitted observations that met criteria for NVCT's 2021 Bioblitz this October," said NVCT's Director of Philanthropy Greg Meyer.
We capped off our month-long virtual BioBlitz with an in-person event on Halloween at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale, where parent and children citizen-scientists observed the nature center's many available species.
"We were excited to partner up with Hidden Oaks to encourage some fun in the outdoors, and the pure joy only emphasized that excitement on these kids' faces while they played on the trails and interacted with the animals in the park," said NVCT Partnerships Coordinator Mary Spindler.
Children came dressed in their Halloween costumes, grabbed goodie bags, and had the opportunity to meet and pet the Hidden Oaks' resident corn snake, Shelley. Their nature center's naturalist ( Need her name) taught onlookers how snakes smell, what they eat, and why cold-blooded animals need to stay warm. Children also learned about owls, bats, and other animals, broadening their understanding and feeding their curiosity about the natural world.
Thank you to all of our citizen-scientists for helping to make NVCT's second Nearby Nature BioBlitz a huge success!
We hope you've enjoyed learning about the incredibly diverse wildlife we are fortunate to have in Northern Virginia. NVCT works to protect the delicate ecosystems that make the plants and animals in our region so unique. To help NVCT continue our goal of saving nearby nature, please consider donating today.
The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) is a regional nonprofit land trust that forever conserves, manages, and advocates for land with natural, historical, and cultural value to our Northern Virginia communities. NVCT works with conservation partners, local governments, and private landowners to preserve, restore, and steward land in Northern Virginia. NVCT's service area includes 2.9 million residents in a fast-growing region that needs more outdoor recreation spaces. Since its founding in 1994, NVCT has protected more than 8,000 acres in urban and rural areas.