WEST GLACIER, MONT. –The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center announces a summer long National Park Service Centennial BioBlitz at Glacier National Park (GNP). Visitors to the park are invited to become citizen scientists by documenting wildlife sightings within GNP on the free iNaturalist app. The public may also sign up for a free account from their computer at http://www.inaturalist.org.
The BioBlitz iNaturalist project “Glacier Wildlife Observations” takes place from May 1 through September 30, 2016. Observation data recorded between Friday May 20 and Sunday May 22 will be displayed in real time on a “jumbotron” at the Biodiversity Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
“All interested visitors to Glacier National Park are encouraged to document wildlife sightings within the park during the NPS Centennial summer,” said Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center Director Tara Carolin. “No animal is too large or insect too small. We are interested in every kind of fauna visitors may encounter during their summer visits to Glacier. Once you #FindYourPark, we invite you to #FindOurFauna.”
The National Park Service has planned a shared nation-wide quest to discover and document biodiversity. More than 100 parks across the country will host BioBlitzes, many occurring simultaneously during the week of May 16 –22. The national bioblitz and the National Biodiversity Festival in Washington, DC are cohosted by the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall. A BioBlitz is an event which brings together professional species experts and members of the public to inventory biodiversity in a specific area. The National Park Service envisions creating a new generation of citizen scientists and stewards through biodiversity discovery. Hundreds of national parks have participated in past biodiversity discovery efforts of various sizes and scope, resulting in the discovery of more than 8,400 species including species both new to the parks and new to science.
Since 2005, the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has utilized citizen scientists to collect population data on species of interest in the park. The Citizen Science Program provides valuable data to park managers and helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier National Park.
Funding and support for the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center’s Citizen Science Program is provided by the Glacier National Park Conservancy. For more information on the Citizen Science Program, contact us at 406-888-7986 or e-mail us, or visit http://www.crownscience.org/getinvolved/citizen-science.