Wildlife

BioBlitz Identifies 859 Species in Saguaro National Park, and Counting …

Saguaro National Park, Arizona–When the clock stopped at noon on Saturday, more than 170 scientists and 2,000 students had collected or identified 859 species in the 94,000-acre park.

But as National Geographic Vice president for Research, Conservation, and Exploration John Francis noted, it will take years before the final tally is in — researchers bagged or bottled thousands of specimens for detailed study in the laboratory. And if previous BioBlitzes are anything to go by, not only will the final tally be several hundred species more than what was recorded on Saturday, but there may well be one or two new species to the park, if not to science.

But after the 24-hour inventory, here’s what was confirmed to be living in Saguaro National Park: amphibians (3), birds (86), fungi (205), invertebrates (190), mammals (22), reptiles (27), and vascular plants (325).

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Heidy Contreras

    David,
    It was great meeting you at the scientist dinner. It was too bad I didn’t have time to go back to Base Camp during the event so that I could take a peek at the cool stuff you got to see. However, I was busy with leading several insect inventory hikes, and I just wanted to report how AWESOME all of the were! I lead a 4th grade group, a high school group and a public group and each one was amazing in it’s own way. I love being able to connect with the public and share with them what I know about this beautiful desert, and lear from them what they know about what is out here. I feels so lucky to have been able to be part of all of this. We identified about 12 species…so, for me, it was a great weekend!

  • Githmi

    As of right now, yes, there’s still some stuff out. It’s supposed to get a lot cooelr this weekend though, so I don’t know how much longer it will last. The BioBlitz organizers were both surprised and very happy that it stayed so warm so long because they were able to find things they might normally only find earlier in the year. It was a really great event though! Sorry you missed it.

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