“It was a spectacular 2 days of ‘treasure hunting’ outside for bugs and plants. We searched all around our 2 acres and saw the property with new eyes. The kids are still bringing to me every bug or weed that they find!”
This is what we’ve been hearing in response to Wyoming BioBlitz 2020. More than 229 groups of participants recorded 5,758 observations! We have taxonomic experts looking at the unidentified species as well as the iNaturalist community, but the current numbers of the identified species are as follows:
748 species of plants, 336 species of insects, 132 species of birds, 49 species of fungi, 41 species of mammals, 22 species of arachnids, 6 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, and 6 species of fish.
Last year over the same 3-day period, only 103 observers documented 544 observations of 238 species. This year, 229 observers documented 5,758 observations of 1,351 species! That's more than a 10x increase in both observations and even more of species! 301 new species for Wyoming were added to iNaturalist.
Increasing our observations significantly over a three-day period will make the iNaturalist algorithm much more accurate with automatic ID of local organisms. Finally, hundreds of new species were added and this gave us a great snapshot of biodiversity across the state at this time of year. Hopefully, that can lead to more community-driven research of our biodiversity!
Here are the most identified species by taxa:
- Birds: American Robin, Turkey Vulture, and Red-tailed Hawk
- Plants: yarrow, silvery lupine, and fireweed
- Mammals: mule deer, pronghorn, and bison
- Insects: western honeybee, northern bluette, and wood nymph
And finally, our winners!
The overall winner was "tinybeanfamily" who are the Moore Family based out of Cheyenne. They observed 195 organisms and identified 139 species!
- Teton, Sublette, Fremont: “mom313” who are the Smith Family from Riverton
- Albany and Carbon: “Sumarich” who is Sue Marich from Saratoga
- Bighorns: “eemond55” who are the Emond Family from Sheridan
- Laramie, Platte, Goshen: “tinybeanfamily” who are the Moore Family based out of Cheyenne
- Park, Washakie, Hot Springs, Big Horn: “Kris307” who are the Phipps Family from Clark
- Natrona, Converse, and Niobrara: Doryo” who is Dory Owen from Windsor, Colorado and "Willefam" who are the Wille Family from Converse County.
- Black Hills: "patygonia" who is Patty Chan, a PhD student from UW Wisconsin - Madison. She also wins "most observations in more than 1 region"
- Lincoln, Sweetwater, and Uinta: "aabb23" is an unknown observer.
Thank you everyone who helped out with the event! Next year it will be on July 23-25th at the Brinton Museum in the Big Horns. Save the date!