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Contact: Andrew Bennett, 409-951-6823
On Saturday, May 12, 2018, Big Thicket National Preserve will host a BioBlitz event, where participants are encouraged to photograph and identify as many species as they can in the preserve within a 24-hour time period. This family-friendly event is a great way for visitors of all ages and experience levels to learn about the biodiversity of plant, fungi, and animal species in southeast Texas while exploring the preserve.
Park rangers and biologists will be on hand with their expertise and a collection of field guides to help you identify everything you find. Participants are encouraged to use the iNaturalist app on their smart phones or tablets to join the event and upload their pictures. Park rangers will also be available to assist with setting up the app and will have Wi-Fi available.
“Spring is one of the best times to enjoy the preserve. We know participants will find a host of wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife during the event”, stated Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz. “BioBlitzes are also a valuable way that visitors can contribute to our understanding of the park as citizen scientists.”
The official event will last from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm on May 12th, 2018. Park rangers will be stationed at the Kirby Natural Trail in Hardin County from 9 am to 3 pm to assist participants. The Kirby Natural Trail is located on FM 420, 2.5 miles east of the preserve visitor center on Highway 69, 7.5 miles north of Kountze, Texas.
Big Thicket National Preserve is located in Southeast Texas, near the city of Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 113,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received global interest.
For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/BigThicketNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/BigThicketNPS.