Posted by: Kirsten | Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The National Park Service BioBlitz

Contact: David Barna or Jody Lyle (202) 208-6843

National Park Service takes giant leap to find creatures big and small

WASHINGTON – This weekend, scientists and citizens have 24 hours to search trails, look under rocks, and wade through streams to find as many living organisms as possible in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Bioblitz. Hosted by the National Park Service and National Geographic Society, this event will increase understanding of the Los Angeles area’s biodiversity and engage citizens as scientists, particularly children, to help document new discoveries of the natural world.

As Santa Monica Mountains prepares for their big event on May 30 and 31, eight other units in the National Park System are also getting ready to investigate their own species. Big Thicket National Preserve will host a bioblitz June 13-14, Acadia National Park on August 8-11, and Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area will hold an inter-tidal bioblitz on August 18. Additional events and surveys will occur in Channel Islands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, Yosemite National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.

These exciting scientific projects will be funded through the Centennial Challenge, an initiative to prepare for the National Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016. Last month, Congress provided $24.6 million of federal money to match private donations for projects this year, including the unique biodiversity projects. All Centennial Challenge projects depend on dedicated partners to help prepare parks for a second century of preservation.

“The Centennial Challenge is jump-starting a Servicewide effort to catalog the natural wonders we have in parks and use that knowledge to make better decisions about how to protect them,” said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. “A bioblitz is a great way for the entire family to get involved in nature, and a wonderful learning experience for children.”

Many parks have been conducting bioblitzes or other surveys for well over a decade and new discoveries have been documented. For example in 1998, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was one of the first units to undertake a large comprehensive effort to inventory their plants and animals. Along with their non-profit partner, Discover Life in America, they have made incredible discoveries in the last ten years – 5,207 new species have been identified that were not known to live in the park before and 874 species have been discovered that were previously unknown to science.

The Santa Monica Mountains Bioblitz is the second in a series of 10 annual bioblitzes that the National Park Service and National Geographic Society will host together. The first event was last year at Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C.


Editor’s notes:
For more information about the bioblitz at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, visit
For information about the Centennial Challenge, visit
For information about the Great Smoky Mountains All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, visit >


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: