A flash of silver in the creek. A whir of wings from the branches above. A bushy tail disappearing into a tangle of undergrowth.
For most of us, encounters with wildlife in the Golden Gate National Parks are fleeting. Rarely do we have the opportunity to document, share, and fully appreciate the astonishing biodiversity in these parks.
On March 28–29, the entire community is invited to do just that—through the 2014 BioBlitz at Golden Gate, a program of National Geographic, the National Park Service (NPS), Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust.
Our BioBlitz is the eighth in a series of 10—set at national parks all across the country—leading up to the NPS Centennial in 2016. BioBlitz offers people of all ages an up-close experience with the abundant biological richness of our parks—in the heart of a major metropolitan area.
In fact, this protected landscape, where we jog and hike and ride, also is part of the UNESCO Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. This beloved parkland, where we safeguard our cultural heritage, also is part of a region named by Conservation International as one of the world’s 25 global biodiversity hotspots. And this community treasure, where we walk our dogs and picnic with family, also is a preserve that shelters more threatened and endangered species than any other national park in the continental U.S!
“The BioBlitz is a great way to celebrate life—in all shapes and forms—in the park, and remind ourselves of that solemn duty to protect it,” says Greg Moore, President & CEO of the Parks Conservancy.
There are four ways for you to get involved with this historic celebration of conservation.
Participate in an inventory team.
This is the heart of the BioBlitz experience! In a 24-hour period—from noon on Friday, March 28 to noon on Saturday, March 29—volunteers will join team up with naturalists and scientists to tally the plants, mammals, birds, fish, fungi, and other species they observe. Through a tool called iNaturalist, the data will be collected and added to a worldwide database of living organisms.
While specialists take to the water or climb up the redwoods (performing the first-ever canopy inventory at Muir Woods!), you will have the opportunity to sign-up for a two-hour shift at designated national park sites in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties.
Registration is mandatory; for information, visit bit.ly/ggnrablitz. Space is limited, so sign up soon to get your first choice!
Enjoy the Biodiversity Festival.
On both days of BioBlitz (from 9 am–5 pm), bring the whole family to East Beach at Crissy Field for a festival of fun and learning about the biota at Golden Gate. There will be live music, live animals from conservation organizations, hands-on educational exhibits, photography demonstrations by National Geographic pros, and much more. Also, tour Crissy Field Center as it transforms into the BioBlitz “data hub”—gathering observations from all the inventory teams in the park.
No RSVP required; simply show up and enjoy!
Attend BioBlitz-themed events and lectures.
During the month of March, partner institutions such as the California Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay, and the Exploratorium will hold programs that highlight the diversity of organisms in the parks—and our efforts to ensure their long-term survival. Check our calendar (www.parksconservancy.org/calendar) to get the latest on these special events.