From the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center:
BioBlitz 2012 Anita C. Leight Estuary Center April 28-29
Join scientists from around the Chesapeake Bay to participate in a scientific race against time as we stage our Sixth Annual BioBlitz. So what is a BioBlitz? It’s an environmental treasure hunt! Two fun-filled days of searching the park for plants and animals to document the different species that make Leight Park their home. It is designed to increase the public’s understanding of the variety of flora and fauna at the park. Join us for one or more session
Snails and Herps (Saturday, 12-2 pm): Butch Norden, Chief of Resource Management for Maryland DNR, will lead the group through the forest to find snails, slugs, and salamanders. After the recent rain, we should be able to find plenty! Snails and slugs are one of Butch’s specialties, as are bats.
Fish & other Aquatics (Saturday, 12-2 pm): Glenn Dudderar, retired Michigan State Wildlife Sciences professor, will take a group down to the canoe launch to seine using the 100ft seine net. Glenn is very familiar with species found in the bay and will show people how to id fish and aquatic organisms. Every now and then we find a new or rare species.
Insects of Sunlit habitats (Saturday 1:30-3:30), Terrestrial Arthropods (Saturday 4-6), and Nocturnal Insects (Saturday 7-9): Tom Harkins and Kevin Harkins are professional entomologists who work for U.S. Army Entomological Sciences Program at APG. They provide these three sessions to find hexapods in three distinct habitat types. At BioBlitz in 2010, Tom and Kevin identified hundreds of bugs and found an underwing moth that had never been documented in Harford County.
Zooplankton (Saturday 2-4): Joanne Mattson, a local zooplankton scientist, will take the group to the pontoon boat dock to collect plankton. The group will then go back to the lab to look at live and preserved specimens using the microscopes, camera monitors, and live action camera feeds. We have identified about 12 species in the waters of Otter Point Creek and are interested to find more.
Wetland Plants (Saturday 4-6) and Marsh Plants Canoe Trip (Sunday 10-12 noon): Dan Cockerham, Regional Wetland Plant Specialist, will lead these sessions. Dan regularly does wetland plant surveys and is very familiar with wetland and marsh plants. Jess Baylor, a local expert on Eagles, will co-lead these sessions.
Marsh Mammals (Saturday 4:30-7 pm): Bernard Schuler, graduate of Virginia Tech in Wildlife Sciences and also a past intern at the Estuary Center studying the beaver population, will take the group on the canoe trail to document slides, mounds, and lodges made by beavers, otters, and muskrats; and document the mammals they see.
Marsh Amphibians (Saturday 7-9 pm): Scott McDaniel of the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project will host this session. Participants will focus on documenting frogs and toads in the Bosely Conservancy.
Rails and Owls (Saturday 7-10 pm): Dave Webb, experienced shore-birder, past president of the Harford Bird Club, and statistician at APG, will lead this session. The participants will start by hiking through the Bosely Conservancy to identify owls, then will head out into the marsh in kayaks to document our native Rail population.
Migratory and Resident Birds (Sunday morning 6:30-10:30): Dr. Mark Johnson, an environmental toxicologist at APG and member of the Harford Bird Club will lead this session. Mark has a special interest in the decreasing numbers of birds and species of birds our region is experiencing. Participants will hike through sections of forest and meadow documenting the bird species they see and hear.
Mushroom Foray (Sunday 8-10 am): Mushroom expert Martin Livezey of the Mycological Association of Washington will lead the foray. The recent rain should set us up for many diverse fungi among the hardwoods at the Estuary Center. Participants will hike through the forest, documenting and photographing fungi.
Forest Trees (Sunday 9-12 noon): Harford County Forester Frank Lopez leads this session to characterize the forest and identify trees and habitat suitable for wildlife.