BioBlitz 2015—Little Compton

The Plant Team scouts out the marsh at Quicksand Pond.

The Plant Team scouts out the marsh at Quicksand Pond

The 16th annual Rhode Island BioBlitz was held in Little Compton Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13, 2015. Approximately 220 people participated, including once again a class from Central Falls. Over the 24 hour event, the preliminary count of species reached exactly 1,200. Many interesting and unusual things were discovered. The species c count is sure to change as people compare notes and key out mysterious finds and we will also provide the complete species list once it is ready. Stay tuned here for updates.

Two natural areas were investigated: a) The Nature Conservancy’s fabulous Dundery Brook Preserve, with its boardwalk through forest and swamp to Bumblebee Pond, with the adjoining Ponderosa parcel of the Sakonnet Preservation Association; and b) The Nature Conservancy’s incomparable Goosewing Beach Preserve, as well as terrestrial shrub and grassland habitat at the adjoining P.T. Marvell Preserve.

Hudsonia tomentosa, Quicksand Pond

Hudsonia tomentosa, Quicksand Pond

At Goosewing, we were fortunate to be able to use the Benjamin Family Environmental Center as a satellite Science Central. Though geographically remote to most Rhode Islanders, bioblitz showed that these areas are among the state’s most notable conservation successes for their natural features and for the ways they connect nature and the human community.

Unlike other recent Rhode Island bioblitzes, this event also featured a program of informational and educational displays and demonstrations called Little Compton Nature Day, featuring Audubon Society, Roger Williams Park Zoo, The Nature Conservancy, and local garden clubs and conservation organizations. Science Central and Nature Day shared a field at The Commons, in “downtown” Little Compton. The weather was terrific, the first rainless Rhode Island bioblitz in years and years.

We found 1,204 species in 24 hours.
Download the written report, with pictures PDF:770 KB
Download a summary table of the findings HERE PDF:21K
Download the complete species list as a spreadsheet HERE xlsx:220K

Maps of the BioBlitz parcels:
Dundery Brook big map2 sml PDF:400K
Goosewing big map2 sml PDF:240K

bioblitz_logo3Little Compton is justly praised as one of Rhode Island’s most remarkable and idyllic landscapes. Yet out on the coastal plain and remote from academic centers, Little Compton’s characteristic habitats and biodiversity just aren’t that well known. Hopefully BioBlitz changed that by attracting knowledgeable volunteer naturalists and catalyzing greater interest among residents.

What is a BioBlitz? Volunteer naturalists have 24 hours to find as many species of life as possible on a given parcel of land. BioBlitzes are held all around the U.S. and the world. Read all about how we do BioBlitz in Rhode Island HERE.

Rules: As has been the case for past events, all participants in BioBlitz were pre-registered with RINHS and assigned to a team READ ABOUT TEAMS HERE. In order to participate you had to agree to follow the rules and sign a liability waiver. When you checked in you got a copy of the rules and an event map and signed the waiver. REVIEW THE RULES HERE. REVIEW THE WAIVER HERE.

Orientations: Prior to the event, there were orientations: Thursday, April 30, at Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, and Thursday, May 14, at the Community Center in Little Compton.

We are so grateful to our local hosts for the warm welcome we received:

Success was also due to the financial and material support of our sponsors. Thank you to:

All our events are powered by generous community members who believe in the power of first hand encounters between people and nature. We need financial support from individuals and businesses who understand that a healthy environment makes a successful community. Expenses for bioblitz include tents and facilities, printing, publicity, insurance, refreshments, and staff time, costs that are only partially covered by attendees’ registration fees. To make a tax deductible financial contribution in support of Rhode Island Bioblitz, use RINHS’s secure PayPal link using your PayPal account or major credit card. Your generous gift now will permit us to make concrete plans for Nature Day and BioBlitz. Thank you.