Personal Bioblitz 2016 Results

Personal Bioblitz Spring 2016 results
(updated report, 6/1/16 by Lena Struwe)

The Spring 2016 Personal Bioblitz ran between March 1 and May 15, 2016, and participants reported in any wild or naturalized species they saw any place in the world during this time period. Observations were uploaded to a project on iNaturalist using an smartphone app or website application. The iNaturalist website functions as a forum and database for help with species identification, storage of photos, mapping of locations, and automatic creations of species lists, both for each participant and for the project as a whole. This project was sponsored by the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University, and most participants are from the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University. Here is the summary of

CUMULATIVE FOR 2016 PROJECT

OBSERVATIONS: 12572 observations were reported into our iNaturalist project for 2016. That is 701 more observations than in 2015, when we had 11871 observations, so a new record.

SPECIES: We saw 3437 unique, wild or naturalized species (=taxa), which is a new record. In 2015 we saw ninety less species, 3347 species. In 2014 we had 3563 species, but the 2014 Personal Bioblitz included non-wild species such as food ingredients, pets, and cultivated plants.

OBSERVATIONS/PARTICIPANTS: In 2016, participants reported 1 to 1318 observations each. In 2015 the most observations (1437) was reported by Michael Gochfield.

SPECIES/PARTICIPANT: This year participants reported seeing 1 to 1001 species each, which is a new record for 2016 for wild and naturalized species. In 2015 the most species anybody saw was 800 (by Michael Gochfield). In 2014, when the bioblitz included all species, not just wild ones, the most seen by anybody was 1126 species, reported in by Eva Hedströn.

PARTICIPANTS: We had 76 participants in 2016: 4 alumni, 2 faculty, 6 friends of Rutgers people, 13 graduate students, 3 relatives, 3 retired faculty and staff, 3 staff, and 42(!) undergraduates. In 2015 we had 80 participants.

MOST SPECIES SEEN BY PERSON IN 2016- WINNERS in the friendly competition

(=Taxa - higher ranks count too for organisms that couldn't be identified to species level) (number of taxa in parenthesis after name)
  1st place 2nd place
Undergraduate students Kurtis Himmler (329) Jason Hafstad (283)
Graduate students Nicholas Pollock (208) Joni Baumgarten (200)
Staff Hadas Parag (848) Kevin Wyman (126)
Friends Torbjörn Peterson (516) Jason R Grant (336)
Relatives Eva Hedström (537) Susan Miller (37)
Alumni Cailin O'Connor Fitzpatrick (324) Ann Lang (36)
Retired faculty and staff Michael Gochfield (601) Chuck Martin (119)
Faculty Claus Holzapfel (1001) Lena Struwe (594)

Note: This is the third year Nicholas Pollock wins the Graduate Student category, and the second year Kurtis Himmler wins the Undergraduate Student Category. Michael Gochfield, Hadas Parag, Cailin O'Connor Fitzpatrick and Claus Holzapfel both won their categories last year as well. The category Family and Friends were split into two this year, with two international newcomers winning the Friends category - Torbjörn Peterson, Swedish herpetologist, and Jason R Grant, US-Swiss botanist, winning that category.

MOST OBSERVATIONS SEEN BY A PERSON IN 2016- WINNERS in the friendly competition

(number of observations in parenthesis after name)
  1st place 2nd place
Undergraduate students Jason Hafstad (585) Kurtis Himmler (386)
Graduate students Joni Baumgarten (419) Natalie Lemanski (277)
Staff Hadas Parag (877) Kevin Wyman (147)
Friends Torbjörn Peterson (611) Jason R Grant (336)
Relatives Eva Hedström (1020) Susan Miller (62)
Alumni Cailin O'Connor Fitzpatrick (729) Ann Lang (41)
Retired faculty and staff Michael Gochfield (1088) Chuck Martin (128)
Faculty Lena Struwe (1318) Claus Holzapfel (1038)

LOCALLY: We reported 6312 observations (50%) from New Jersey (USA), and of these Cailin O'Connor was the most active observer (725 observations).

NATIONALLY: We had observations from 21 states in the United States (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington),

INTERNATIONALLY: We had observations from 20 countries and one ocean: Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestina, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, US Virgin Islands (Saint Croix) and North Atlantic Ocean.

DATA QUALITY: Observations get graded in iNaturalist as Research Grade (with photo and mapped on map, and species identification confirmed by another iNaturalist user), Needs ID (someone needs to agree with the identification or not identified to species level), or Casual (without photo or cultivated/captive organism). Within the Personal Bioblitz 2016 we had 3135 (25%) Research Grade observations (with most reported by Cailin O'Connor Fitzpatrick), 4133 (33%) as Needs ID, and 5125 (40%) as Casual.

Most observed species -they are all birds!
  1. American Robin: 74 observations
  2. Canada Goose: 70 observations
  3. Mallard: 63 observations
  4. House Sparrow 53: observations
  5. Northern Cardinal 51: observations
Personal Bioblitz 2016 logo

Thanks for your participation in the 2016 Personal Bioblitz!

Lena Struwe and the leadership team