Wow---458 species identified! That was the number at the big reveal on Saturday, May 18, 2013, during the closing moments of BioBlitz at Jean Lafitte's Barataria Preserve.
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!
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.