STARLIGHT – For 24 hours, beginning on June 29, natural scientists and volunteers will descend on a 63.5-acre parcel of the land in the extreme northeast county of Wayne County for a 24-hour period to find and record as many living things as possible. It’s the fourth Upper Delaware BioBlitz.
The piece of property, owned by the Norcross Wildlife Foundation sits at the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Delaware River near Hancock, NY, and was the subject of the first Delaware BioBlitz in 2013, when biologists and volunteers collected and identified more than 1,000 distinct species of aquatic insects, birds, fish, mammals, mosses and lichens, mushrooms, plants grasses and trees, reptiles and amphibians as well as terrestrial bugs.
The goal of the project, which was also conducted in 2014 and 2016 at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in Sullivan County, NY, is to introduce children to the scientist working in the field and the give the entire community the opportunity to appreciate the incredible biodiversity of the Upper Delaware River Valley
The public is invited to get a closer look on Saturday, June 30, from 9 am to 3 pm when many of the specimens catalogued during the BioBlitz will be on display and the biologists and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions. Those who attend can learn to take nature photos from a professional photographer; take walks with scientists to learn about native plants, bugs and mushrooms; learn how to draw nature; and enjoy an original performance of “Trees” by NACL Theater.
A special program has been planned for Friday, June 29, at 8 pm when the public can learn about bat acoustic identification and bug light tent demonstrations.
The organizers are still seeking botany volunteers who can assist with identifying plants, grasses and trees during the event. If you would like to help out, contact Wayne Conservation District Forestry Specialist Kelley Stewart at 570-253-0930 or email KStewart@WayneCountyPA.gov.
Participating organizations and sponsors of the 2018 Upper Delaware BioBlitz include the Academy of Natural Science at Drexel University, Cornell Cooperatice Extension in Sullivan County, NY, Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Delaware Highlands Mushroom Society, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Friends of the Upper Delaware river, National Environmental education Foundation, National Park Service, National Parks Conservation Association, NEPA Audubon Society, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Pennsylvania, Native Plant Society, Sierra Club PA Chapter, Sullivan County Audubon Society, Upper Delaware Council. US Forest Service, Wayne County Community Foundation and Wayne Conservation District.
To learn more visit www.UpperDelawareBioBlitz.com or follow them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/UpperDelawareBioBlitz. For details, email email@example.com.
Pictured is just one of the more than 1,020 species of plants and animals identified and recorded during the first BioBlitz conducted on the Norcross Wildlife Foundation property near Starlight, PA, back in 2013. (photo by Sandy Long)