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ST. CROIX BIOBLITZ

Finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time

WHAT IS A BIOBLITZ?

Identifying what lives here

A Bioblitz is an opportunity to answer the question – What lives here? It’s an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. Scientists and other experts in species identification lead teams of volunteers in using established survey techniques to search for their target plants or wildlife, identify everything they find, and add it to a master list of all the biodiversity at that location.

The S.E.A. hosted our 2020 Bioblitz at the Southgate Coastal Reserve on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Our first BioBlitz at Southgate was in 2010 so we were excited to see what has changed in the last ten years. We will be hosting two more Bioblitzes in 2021 at other sites: the Estate Thomas Experimental Forest and the town of Frederiksted. These two events will take place in early 2021 with exact dates to be announced. This will be a great opportunity to compare the flora and fauna at three very different areas of St. Croix.

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Why Do A BIOBLITZ?

Building Conservation Programs

The S.E.A. will use the information gathered during the Southgate Bioblitz to build upon conservation programs at the Nature Reserve. Data collected about plants, animals and marine life help guide programs such as reforestation of the disturbed upland area, replacement of invasive plants with native species, and assessing the potential of the Reserve for restore endangered species like the St. Croix Ground Lizard to St. Croix.

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GET INVOLVED

A key aspect of a successful Bioblitz is community involvement. The more people that are looking for plants and wildlife, the more we will find! It’s also a great opportunity to learn about the nearby flora and fauna and how to identify the different species. Normally, each expert would have a team of volunteers helping them out on the day of the Bioblitz.

 

Unfortunately, COVID prevented us from making this an in-person community event, so we had to limit the number of participants and offer these other fun ways to get involved instead:

Participate in the

St. Croix Community Bioblitz

You can submit your own observations of the wildlife and plants found anywhere on St. Croix using the iNaturalist app, anytime between now and Earth Day, April 22, 2021. You don’t even need to be able to identify what you are seeing – the experts and the iNaturalist community can help you!

How to submit an iNaturalist observation to the St. Croix Community Bioblitz:

  • Download the free iNaturalist app and sign up for an account

  • Join the St. Croix Community Bioblitz Project – select “more” from the menu, select projects, search for the St. Croix Community Bioblitz, and then hit “Join”

  • Go outside and find a plant or animal

  • Choose “Observe” in the app and follow the prompts

  • If you don’t know what the name of the plant or animal is, that’s ok, just leave it blank and others can help ID it

 

If you are having trouble making an observation, check out this website for more specific instructions and guidance: 

 

Flora and Fauna of St. Croix Checklist – We have also created a self-guided scavenger hunt for Flora and Fauna of St. Croix. This scavenger hunt was designed to inspire you to go outside and explore the natural beauty of St. Croix while learning about the local flora and fauna. Not only will this booklet familiarize you with the plants and animals that live on St. Croix, your observations will contribute to science and conservation. The species that you find and record will help the scientific community collect data about the biodiversity of St. Croix. You can download this booklet here:

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BIOBLITZ VIDEOS

We went Live on Facebook for interviews with the experts and a look into all the wildlife and plants that rely on each site for their home. Host, Christina Carter was be in the field talking with each of the experts doing the surveys and took questions from the viewing audience. Click on the links below to see each video on Youtube.

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