Release Date: March 14, 2013
Contact: Jennie Kish Albrinck, 760-367-5520
Joshua Tree National Park's third Biodiversity Hunt will take place on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at both Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis. Scientists, students, desert naturalists, community members, and park staff will join forces in a 30-hour race to document every type of living thing in these desert riparian, or wetland, habitats.
From 10 am on Friday until 4 pm on Saturday, BioDiversity Hunt teams will search around the clock at Cottonwood Spring, Lost Palms Oasis, and along the Lost Palms Oasis Trail for insects, birds, reptiles, plants, spiders, mammals, and more. Temporary lighting at Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis on Friday night will aid the search for invertebrates. The resulting documentation will increase our understanding of the species richness in these areas and provide a critical component in creating a baseline to understand potential changes in park biodiversity as a result of climate change.
During the hunt, visitors can hike the Lost Palms Oasis trail, interact with park rangers and scientific teams at Cottonwood Spring, learn more about the park's remarkable riparian biodiversity through interpretive displays and exhibits, and observe BioDiversity Hunt teams racing to find and identify desert flora and fauna.
The Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis BioDiversity Hunt is the third of four species surveys planned at Joshua Tree National Park. Participants at the 2011 Oasis of Mara BioDiversity Hunt and the 49 Palms Oasis BioDiversity Hunt in 2012 found over 600 species at each location, over 80% of which were insects. The fourth Biodiversity Hunt is scheduled for April 26 and April 27, 2013 at Smithwater Canyon.
For more information and to find out how you can participate, contact Biological Science Technician Amelia Rodelo at (760) 367-5579 or firstname.lastname@example.org.