• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

BioBlitz 2013 at Jean Lafitte

Image of young alligator peering through vegetation

BioBlitz is over, but the adventure continues!

Wow---458 species identified---and more to come! (We're still identifying some of the trickier ones.) That was the number at the big reveal on Saturday, May 18, during the closing moments of BioBlitz at Jean Lafitte's Barataria Preserve. (If you didn't make it to BioBlitz, check out the coverage on Jean Lafitte's Facebook page.)

What's a BioBlitz? It's a partnership between the National Park Service and National Geographic where scientists, naturalists, and anyone with an interest in science and nature team up to see, count, identify, and map every plant and animal possible. It's a Biodiversity festival sharing the nature and cultures of Louisiana and featuring music, food, and exhibitors with hands-on activities.

What happened at the Jean Lafitte BioBlitz? Nearly 3,000 people from schoolkids to scientists walked trails, cruised bayous in boats, and looked high and low to find as many species as possible at the preserve. They also enjoyed the free Biodiversity Festival: they talked to scientists about their work, visited exhibitor booths to explore Louisiana from water bugs to black bears, joined the Animal Olympics, met cultural demonstrators in Art Alley, saw how rivers build deltas and erode land, listened for night noises, learned about climate change, and had an experience full of science, nature, and fun! Click here to see a BioBlitz video by Jefferson Parish staff (Jefferson Parish is where the Barataria Preserve is located).

But that was then, and this is now. How do you keep the adventure alive?

  • Follow Jean Lafitte's crew via Facebook or Twitter.
  • Check out the National Geographic BioBlitz Facebook page---all the latest news about BioBlitzes as well as games, videos, and podcasts.
  • Go to National Geographic's Fieldscope to discover Barataria Preserve maps, plants, animals, and more; you can explore, share, and analyze real-world data.
  • Discover the amazing world of arthropods with the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, who led the insect discovery team at BioBlitz. What's an arthropod? It's a invertebrate with an exoskeleton---a creature that has no backbone and wears its skeleton on the outside. Arthropods are everywhere, including on our plates: insects, spiders, crabs, crawfish, shrimp, scorpions....
  • Learn more about past BioBlitz events and check out the BioBlitz video at the NPS BioBlitz site.
  • Watch the "Inspired by Nature" video filmed at BioBlitz by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation's collaborative storytelling project and learn about the NPS Biodiversity Youth Ambassador Program.
  • Stay tuned---the park will share final species lists soon. How will the park use information discovered by BioBlitz adventurers? How can citizen scientists make a difference every day? Watch this space to find out!
 

Did You Know?

St. Louis Cathedral and a statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse in New Orleans' Jackson Square

Tourism has been big business in New Orleans for decades. Before the Civil War, the top must-see site on everyone's New Orleans list was its port, one of the world's busiest at the time. (Early 1800s guides for travelers actually used the term "must-see!")