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Spring 2019 Personal Bioblitz

Bioblitz 2019 logo, courtesy of Clayton Leadbetter

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Observation dates are 1 March - 15 May, 2019.

Goal: See as many species as possible wherever you are in the world, and also add them to our Personal Bioblitz project on iNaturalist to see what we can discover together.

Who can participate?

You can be part of the Spring 2019 Personal Bioblitz if you fit one or more of these categories:

How to join?

Fill out the sign-up form. Note, you need to get an iNaturalist account first, then fill in the form, so that you can list the iNaturalist account name on the form and we can add you to the project.

  • Create a free iNaturalist account.
  • On iNaturalist, search for Personal Bioblitz 2019 under Projects, and when you find it, join the project by click on Join.

General Rules


Which species and observations count?

YES, Count it!

  1. The observation or collection date is within the project dates.
  2. You saw or heard the species. Even better, have a photo of it.
  3. Outdoor species, unassisted* (ex. birds, insects, mosses)
  4. Indoor species, unassisted* (ex. cockroaches, mice, bread mold)
  5. Remnants of once alive species (ex. antlers, roadkill, shells, dried fruits) as long as unlabeled and you know its collection date and geographic origin, and it was originally collected during the Bioblitz period [mark the type of remnant in your iNaturalist observation notes field].
  6. Microscopic species (including bacteria and archaea), as long as actual organism is wild-collected during the bioblitz period and observed (not just its effect), and it wasn't ordered or kept in a lab as labeled culture. We highly encourage the use of microscopes to find protozoa, planktons, fungi, parasites, etc.
  7. Species as part of research projects collected in the wild (as long as unidentified specimens and collected during the project time frame).
  8. Humans and feral populations of former pets, crops, and farm animals.
  9. Invasive, parasitic, and alien species (weeds, pests, etc.).
  10. Species effects that can be identified distinctly to a particular species or group of species are allowed, such as galls, tracks, leaf miners, chewing marks, egg cocoons, spider webs, and eggs (but see note below about diseases), but include photos of these.

NO, doesn't count!

  1. The species is already labeled (the idea here is DISCOVERY)
  2. Using human disease symptoms to identify a pathogenic species
  3. Pets, supermarket produce, spices (anything sold and traded with a label on it; exception: wild species that inadvertently show up with such items are OK, like parasites in oysters or spiders in local produce)
  4. Species maintained in greenhouses, museums, zoos, aquaria, gardens, etc.
  5. Anything that can only securely be ID'd with molecular/ DNA data (if you can visually identify it to a higher-ranking group [class, family, etc.], then list it under the higher-ranking group's name)
  6. No viruses (sorry)
  7. If you are uncertain if your species should be counted, please contact the Leadership Team, and they will make a decision on a case-by-case basis.

* Unassisted species are those that live without assistance from humans. Pets, houseplants, and planted crops are considered assisted if they rely on humans to survive. Feral cats and abandoned crop fields are unassisted since they no longer rely on humans.


Getting started on iNaturalist

How do I use iNaturalist for this project?

How do I get help with identification?

Who runs this project? Who do I contact?

The project is led by Dr. Lena Struwe and a Leadership Team consisting of Liti Haramaty, Eva Hedstrom, Natalie Howe, Nicolas Pollock, Sarah Rall, and additional volunteers. For questions, contact Lena Struwe, Natalie Howe, or Nicholas Pollock

This project is run by Chrysler Herbarium at School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University in collaboration with iNaturalist (California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic Society).

bioblitz logo, courtesy of Clayton Leadbetter