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A colorful fall scene with a road cutting through.
Information icon Lynn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina. Photo by Matthew Paulson, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Blue Ridge Parkway bio-blitz

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, the National Park Service unit that stretches from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along the Blue Ridge Mountains, to Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, is hosting a bio-blitz in mid-September.

The blitz will be a 24-hour period, when experts on plants, mushrooms, birds, and other forms of life will descend on the Rock Castle Gorge area of the Parkway in southwest Virginia. There, they’ll spend their time simply searching for as many different plant, animal, and other species they can find, with a special emphasis on threatened or endangered species. Bio-blitzes have become an increasingly common tool for land managers to get a deeper picture of the diversity of life in a particular area.

The information gained from the blitz will help Parkway staff manage the area, which sits between milepost 165 and 174 and includes mature second-growth forests, seeps and streams, wetlands, successional forests, and agricultural fields.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance, though registration will also be available beginning noon, September 18 at the Rocky Knob Picnic Area pavilion at Milepost 169.

For more information, call Parkway biologist Bob Cherry at 828295-7591, that’s Bob Cherry at 828295-7591.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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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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