You can add Rocky Mountain National Park to the list of parks that are being scoured for as many species as possible during a 24-hour period, and you can even participate in the inventory.
The BioBlitz, sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service, will be held August 24-25. Teams of scientists, naturalists, community leaders, students and the public will join forces to discover and inventory the biodiversity in this majestic national park in Estes Park, Colorado.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the BioBlitz’s goals are to explore, discover and document the living creatures in the park; provide scientists and the public an opportunity to do field work together; and to better understand how to protect the natural environment in the future.
Last year's BioBlitz was held in Saguaro National Park over the course of October 21-22. More than 5,000 people combed the east and west sides of the park flanking Tucson, Arizona. The 24-hour count added more than 400 species to park lists, including 190 species of invertebrates and 205 species of fungus previously unknown to the park.
This year's Biodiversity Festival at Rocky Mountain will start at 10 a.m. Friday, August 24, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 25. Highlights of the festival include family activities, live music, exhibitors and opportunities to talk with scientists and join them in action.
“Explorers” of all ages are needed. The Biodiversity Festival will serve as the Base Camp for the BioBlitz and will be at the Estes Park Fairgrounds, located at 1209 Manford Avenue. On-site parking and shuttle service to the park will be provided at the Fairgrounds.
The Biodiversity Festival is open and free to the public and does not require advance registration. However, advance online registration is required to participate in BioBlitz activities in the park. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day available, there are activities to engage the whole family.
To learn more about the Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz or to register, log on to www.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz or call (800) 638-6400 ext. 6186.