The Blue Ridge Parkway will soon be holding its first BioBlitz in almost 15 years and would love to have you join us for our next one. A BioBlitz is a 24-hour biological inventory of a designated area conducted by people with a wide variety of specialities and experiences. BioBlitzes have been used on the Parkway and elsewhere to get a better idea of what plants and animals are at a site, and to allow site managers to better manage these important natural resources.
Our job is to protect the natural resources in our park. Unless we know what’s out there, it’s awfully hard to protect it. Your species lists will tell us what we have and what to be concerned about.
It will be fun!!! Normally fun isn’t supposed to be a justification for a scientific endeavor, yet we’re looking forward to getting in the field with old acquaintances and making new friends. What could be better than walking through the woods with fellow naturalists looking for plants and animals?
The BioBlitz will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2015 and continue until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, though people are welcome to begin anytime Friday morning if they are want to get an early start. On-site registration will start at noon at the Rocky Knob Picnic Area pavilion at Milepost 169. Activities for schools will also begin Friday morning. We will hold the BioBlitz rain or shine.
The BioBlitz will be held in and around Rock Castle Gorge in the Rocky Knob area of the Parkway near Floyd (VA). The approximately 3,600-acre site is located along the Parkway between Milepost 165 near Tuggles Gap and Milepost 174 at Rock Castle Gap. This area includes mature second-growth forests, seeps and streams, wetlands, successional forests and agricultural fields.
We are inviting specialists, naturalists and nature lovers to join us for all or part of the 24-hour, 2-day event. Participants will be provided a map and information about the area and then set free to inventory anywhere in the site. There may be opportunity for non-specialists to join specialists with their fieldwork.
Do not travel alone! Let someone know where your group will be and when you will get back.
Only park vehicles in safe locations off of roads and be sure to follow all traffic laws. Pull out of the
way for faster moving vehicles.
Use care hiking on slippery and uneven surfaces. Do not exceed your capabilities. ) Watch where you place your hands if you search crevices rocks, under logs, etc.
Carry a first-aid kit and other safety gear with you.
Weather can rapidly change at this time of year; be prepared for inclement weather.
It will help the Blue Ridge Parkway manage its natural resources.
It’s a great chance to meet face-to-face with people you’ve talked to on the phone or whose publications
you’ve read. Spend the day with your colleagues. Develop new personal and professional relationships.
It’s a chance to learn something about your local area. There’s more to the Parkway than just the road!
Come on out and see what’s out here!
It will be fun!!!
Please turn in a list of what you find, or let us know when you plan to share your findings, before leaving the BioBlitz. Information we would like are species names, locations where they were found, numbers observed, etc. We will happily accept copies of photographs of what you find. Collecting any specimen is only allowed with a permit issued by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Please apply for permits early https://irma.nps.gov/rprs/Investigator/Index . We will have a closing session at 2:30 Saturday afternoon where everyone can share their findings.
Registration can be completed ahead of the event at http://goo.gl/forms/RC9F4fOnVs . Or you can register on-site at the Rocky Knob Picnic Area pavilion at Milepost 169 beginning at noon on Friday. Contact Bob Cherry, Blue Ridge Parkway Wildlife Biologist, by email at Bob_Cherry@nps.gov if you have any questions.