Spring is a biologically wonderful time of year – buds are bursting, summer birds are returning, larvae are hatching, and biologists are antsy to get outside again. As coordinator for BioBlitz! Oklahoma, I have been asked why don’t we have the event in spring or early summer when all this fun stuff is going on. I agree that spring is an amazing time of year to explore outside – everyone and everything is full of energy. And that is part of the problem – energy. The greatest factor is my decision to not hold BioBlitz! Oklahoma in the spring is the extremely energetic weather that puts our state in national news. As the coordinator of an event of 300+ people held in a remote location overnight, I don’t feel like taking on that anxiety or responsibility. But I know we are missing out on a bunch of biodiversity by holding the event each year in late summer. What to do?
A Spring Virtual BioBlitz! was my answer. It is a month long, state-wide BioBlitz! that uses iNaturalist.org to record everyone’s observations. At day 11, we already have 767 observations, of 326 species, from 21 people! To spur everyone into action, I am giving away prizes for completion of challenges. Check it out!