Two days of exploration and documentation in Rocky Mountain National Park captured a vivid snapshot of the plant and animal diversity in the Rocky Mountains. The park hosted the 2012 National Geographic BioBlitz as part of a decade of species inventories in our national parks. Nearly 200 scientists joined forces with the public to count plants, insects, mammals, birds and other creatures that inhabit this majestic park. A companion festival at the Estes Park Fairgrounds celebrated biodiversity and tallied up the numbers. This event added several species that had not been previously documented in the park.
The BioBlitz was part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom. Participants combed the park, recording as many plant and animal species as possible in 24 hours.
Highlights of the Field Inventories
Highlights of the Biodiversity Festival
"This was a fantastic opportunity for the public to meet and work with scientists and to understand and appreciate what makes Rocky Mountain National Park such a special and biologically rich place. For many people, especially schoolchildren, this was their first visit to the park, and it was exciting to have them experience it with amazing scientists and naturalists as their guides." - Vaughn Baker, Rocky Mountain National Park Superintendent.
"Watching scientists, students and the general public in the field exploring and making discoveries put a smile on my face. Scientists joined students and residents from the surrounding communities and celebrated their unique roles as members of the natural systems were they live. It was also exciting to see new technology and smartphone apps being used in the field to document and identify species finds." - John Francis, National Geographic Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration.
Rocky Mountain National Park was the sixth in a series of 10 annual BioBlitzes, hosted by National Geographic and the National Park Service, leading up to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.
Go to the National Geographic BioBlitz website for information on past BioBlitzes associated with this partnership.
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In 2012, Rocky Mountain National Park hosted the National Geogrphic BioBlitz which provided opportunities for citizen scientists and students to explore the biodiversity found in the park.
The Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz was made possible through the generous support of foundations and corporations. Presenting sponsors included Verizon Wireless and GEICO. Additional corporate and foundation support came from Southwest Airlines and the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation.
National Geographic has had a close relationship with the National Park Service (NPS) since the NPS began. The society helped draft legislation to establish the National Park Service in 1916. National Geographic has provided grants to establish or sustain national parks and has covered the parks in its media extensively for nearly a century.
Last updated: September 13, 2019