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Duff Park BioBlitz 2014 is Coming in September!

A BioBlitz will be held at Duff Park in Murrysville on September 26th and 27th.

The BioBlitz will run from 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 26th, through 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 27th. During this event, experts and the public will work together to inventory all living organisms observed in the park. Download the BioBlitz 2014 Flyer!

The public is most welcome to participate in this investigation of Duff Park!

The park pavilion near the School Road South parking area will serve as the base station for park exploration and experts' identification of organisms. A number of regional scientists and naturalists will be participating. In addition to surveying the trees and other plants, methods of observation will include humane trapping of small mammals, aquatic sampling of macroinvertebrates, light trapping and sweep netting of insects, sifting of leaf litter for molluscs, electrofishing, binocular observations of birds and mammals, listening for calls, and remote video recording of wildlife. A number of tours and events are planned for nature lovers of all ages.

Complete information about BioBlitz activities will be published the week of the event. For now, please mark your calendar to be sure to join the excitement of this exploration of Duff Park!

The BioBlitz has been organized by Dr. Kyle Selcer, and is sponsored by Duquesne University's Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Environmental Research and Education, as well as by the Friends of the Murrysville Parks and the Murrysville Trail Alliance.

What is a BioBlitz?

According to nationalgeographic.com, a BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible.

What are the Goals of a BioBlitz?

A BIOBLITZ IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Discover, count, map, and learn about the living creatures in the park.
  • Provide scientists and the public an opportunity to do fieldwork together.
  • Add to the park's official species list.
  • Highlight the importance of protecting the biodiversity of these extraordinary places and beyond.

Wikipedia indicates that a BioBlitz has different opportunities and benefits than a traditional, scientific field study. Some of these potential benefits include:

  • Enjoyment - Instead of a highly structured and measured field survey, this sort of event has the atmosphere of a festival. The short time frame makes the searching more exciting.
  • Local - The concept of biodiversity tends to be associated with coral reefs or tropical rain forests. A BioBlitz offers the chance for people to visit a nearby setting and see that local parks have biodiversity and are important to conserve.
  • Science - These one-day events gather basic taxonomic information on some groups of species.
  • Meet the Scientists - A BioBlitz encourages people to meet working scientists and ask them questions.
  • Identifying rare and unique species/groups - When volunteers and scientists work together, they are able to identify uncommon or special habitats for protection and management and, in some cases, rare species may be uncovered.
  • Documenting species occurrence - BioBlitzes do not provide a complete species inventory for a site, but they provide a species list which makes a basis for a more complete inventory and will often show what area or what taxon would benefit from a further study.

How Can I Help?

  1. Show up on either Friday after 2:00 or on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and we will pair you with a scientific group.
  2. You can sign up in advance by emailing Dr. Selcer selcer@duq.edu. He can answer any specific questions.