A Baltimore oriole, two bald eagles, seven species of dragonflies and four snapping turtles were among the species identified last month at the National Aquarium’s fourth annual BioBlitz at Masonville Cove in South Baltimore. During a BioBlitz, volunteers work together to find, identify and record as many living organisms as they can within a specific time period and geographic area.
More than 100 volunteers joined our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) at the BioBlitz, where they made 306 observations and documented 163 species of animals and plants at Masonville Cove, the first U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership in the nation.
The complete list of observations and species can be found on iNaturalist.org. Volunteers identified and recorded various species of birds, insects, fish, reptiles, plants and more. A pumpkinseed sunfish that was identified during the BioBlitz was the first of its species to be found in a Biohut—a double-caged system that mimics an oyster reef environment—in Masonville Cove.
You don’t have to be a professional naturalist to make meaningful contributions to science through observations and data collection. Getting involved in citizen science initiatives is as easy as joining an event such as a BioBlitz or documenting species in your own free time, through efforts such as the Maryland Biodiversity Project.
Learn how you can get nerdy with nature and get involved with citizen science!