The sixth annual Rhode Island BioBlitz was held on June 9th & 10th at the Cumberland Monastery, 1464 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI.
Covering more than 500 acres, the property includes large hay fields, abandoned fields, farm ponds, wetlands, a small tributary of the Blackstone River, and a variety of forests. There are areas with high levels of human disturbance, areas where invasive plants pervade, and areas of comparative natural stability. The upland forest and characteristic northern RI soils hosts a different suite of species than found in previous Rhode Island BioBlitzes. BioBlitz 2006 was sponsored by the Town of Cumberland, Cumberland Conservation Commission, Lincoln Land Trust, and Blackstone River Watershed Council with support of Largess Forestry.
Download the species list: Bioblitz 2006 Results PDF:114K
Rain occurred off and on throughout the event, and fell heavily at several points. But the spirits of the participants were not dimmed. Thanks to Matt Largess for leading a tree walk that identified a number of wonderful specimen trees, and for eating poison ivy to show how little allergy he has to it, a display not to be forgotten. Thanks to the local hosts for a lovely cookout even though we had to eat our burgers in the drizzle. Finding and confirming the presence of American larch was a high-light, as was the detection, by lichen leader Doug Greene, of a lichen, rarely reported in North America and then usually on hard-rock mine tailings, that requires zinc-enriched soils. Vezdaea leprosa was located on soil under the galvanized powerline pylons on the north side of the Monastery property.
Scientists and Naturalists with taxonomic expertise form the core of a BioBlitz. However, volunteers of all sorts assisted in the field and with data entry, greeted the public and lent a hand on a myriad of tasks – especially during set-up and break-down. How better to spend time in one of Rhode Island’s beautiful, historic places, than helping to identify and document the state’s amazing biological diversity?
77 Scientists and volunteers participated in Bioblitz 2006:
Kuei Mei Liang