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Small pink birds with rounded bills wade through the shallow water.
Information icon Roseate spoonbills out in the water. Photo by Corey Douglas.

iNaturalist BioBlitz offers fun opportunities to citizen scientists throughout Southeast

A green logo of an illustrated bird.

Calling all fish and wildlife fans in the Southeastern United States interested in the crossroads of citizen science and fun, from professionals to elementary school students.

Find a new way to connect with nature, through a smartphone camera and your community, while contributing to natural history.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is sponsoring the iNaturalist 2018 BioBlitz at the 130 national wildlife refuges and 14 fish hatcheries in the Service’s Southeastern Region, encouraging everyone to use the iNaturalist smartphone app to record species and share information on them.

iNaturalist is a citizen science and social network app designed to map and share species worldwide. It began as a project by students at the University of California in 2011, became an initiative of the California Academy of Sciences, and is now a joint international initiative with the National Geographic Society.

iNaturalist is similar in concept to the popular eBird app, but not limited to birds. It allows users to record and share all species of plants and animals, and retains a photo record as species documentation. Participants download the app, photograph a species on a smartphone, and upload it to the iNaturalist platform. All participants must sign up on the website and create a free account in order to be tallied.

You can add observations for any refuge or hatchery you visit. Once you have established your user account, why not join the USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System and USFWS National Fish Hatchery System projects to more easily tag your observations?

For non-experts who have trouble with species identification, the app can help identify a species from your photo, and other users can confirm or amend the identification.

The species identifications will help Service employees document species occurrences on refuges and at fish hatcheries and update the national FWSpecies database.

The Service’s Refuge System Inventory & Monitoring Branch hopes to encourage new users of iNaturalist among people visiting our national lands. The BioBlitz runs from June 1-Dec. 1, 2018.

Contact

Janet Ertel, Branch Chief, Inventory and Monitoring
janet_ertel@fws.gov, (678) 772-6336

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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