Colorful Photos From BioBlitz Italy

While locals from New Orleans gather in the wetlands of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park for BioBlitz in the United States this weekend, a few thousand miles away, the Parco Naturale Pantanello, a wetland in Italy is hosting BioBlitz Italia–two events full of wonderful similarities and striking differences.

The most colorful difference was the performance by traditional flag throwers in Corfi, a city dating back to before the founding of Rome. For at least 500 years, vibrant costumes and flags have combined with elements of dance and drill skills to present a distinct form of performance, based on military use of flag signals for long-distance communication.

While birds of prey, turtles, snakes, and fish are found in both parks, the topic of fortified defense is handled quite differently in each: Pantanello lies in the shadow of a medieval castle with huge stone walls, arches, and winding streets; Jean Lafitte Park’s best armament is on the armadillos, bony-plated mammals found only in the Americas.

For all their physical differences, the two BioBlitzes this weekend are in spirit the same: efforts to get adults and students together, with public and private representatives and organizations, with scientists and photographers to explore nature and get to know the wilderness around them more closely, in the hope of making the natural world a bigger part of everyone’s daily life and thoughts.

NEXT: Wild Hogs Roiling Louisiana Park

LEARN MORE: BioBlitz Italia Sito Ufficiale


Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.

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