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One Hundred Parks and Counting: Biodiversity Findings and Outreach Impacts from a Nationwide BioBlitz

Released: 2017
Morelli, T.L., B. Backiel, J. Briggs, E. Boydston. 2017. One Hundred Parks and Counting: Biodiversity Findings and Outreach Impacts from a Nationwide BioBlitz. George Wright Society Conference, Norfolk, VA. 2-7 April 2017.

The National Park Service (NPS) hosted a national BioBlitz to celebrate its Centennial in 2016. Participants entered species observations including digital photos into iNaturalist, making observations instantly viewable and organized into a single, georeferenced database. This provided an unprecedented look at the intersection of biodiversity and people in parks across the country. We examined what percent of known biodiversity was recorded, how these percentages varied across species groups and parks, and if any climate migrants were identified. We also looked at how public engagement contributed to science and conservation: how did visitor numbers on the BioBlitz weekend compare to other weekends? How many people made observations via iNaturalist? Did numbers and diversity of species recorded depend on the density of participants, other aspects of participant numbers or outreach effort, or the weather? Our analyses enable development of park-specific, regional, and national hypotheses about biodiversity, and for improving methods for directly engaging and benefitting diverse human communities.
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