The twelfth annual BioBlitz was held at the Joslin Farm site, part of Providence Water’s Scituate Reservoir Watershed Forest, in Scituate, from 3 p.m. Friday, June 10, to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 11. Providence Water was the land owner and local host and Roger Williams Park Zoo was the lead sponsor.
Joslin Farm is approximately in the center of Rhode Island, located south of the Scituate Reservoir, in the angle between Tunk Hill Road and Old Plainfield Pike. It was to this ridge-top land that one of Scituate’s founding families retreated after the construction of the reservoir. Once a farm, the land was unworked for many years and reforestation well advanced when, in 2009, Providence Water and USDA-NRCS undertook a major grassland and shrubland enhancement project at Joslin Farm. The dramatically scenic bioblitz site includes approximately 600 acres of mature hardwood forest, mixed coniferous/hardwood forest, new and old warm-season grassland, shrubland, and headwater streams, as well as old walls, brush piles, and disturbed locales.
This bioblitz is a unique opportunity to investigate the biodiversity on a long-abandoned farming landscape with large blocks of relatively undisturbed habitat, plus be a good chance to check out the effects of a modern habitat restoration. This is not an area frequented by biologists so anything could be discovered! Browse a series of scouting photos on the RINHS FACEBOOK PAGE (and become a FAN while you’re there!).
CONGRATULATIONS to all the participants on achieving a great success despite dire weather. The count now stands at 916 species. All the teams did a great job. I’d like to single out the Lichen team which surpassed Doug Greene’s count of last year by one species, in his memory and honor; and the hymenoptera team(s) which turned in a record performance, again despite truly unsuitable weather for bees. The count will continue to be updated periodically as people get in their full reports. The most up-to-the-minute information, photos, art, and other media from the event will be available on the Survey’s facebook page.
Records were set for Orthoptera, for ants, wasps, and total Hymenoptera, and for participants. Yes, there was a record human attendance of 209.
The BioBlitz effort is now organized into teams, most oriented around a taxonomic target, though we’ll also have the “event organizing team” as usual, as well as the return of the very successful art team and a new team, the earth science team, this year. An orientation was held Thursday, May 12, at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, attended by 59 people. Attendance at the orientation is not required to participate in BioBlitz, but all participants MUST be registered in advance and assigned a role with a team. To see what the teams are and which still need coordinators and other help, go to the BIOBLITZ TEAM PAGE.
The art team even has its own FACEBOOK PAGE. Don’t be shy artists just because bioblitz is all about taxonomy! Dig out those sketch pads, easels, and what not and get ready for some “en plein air” fun!