Discover the natural world right at home! Though we may be physically distanced this season, we’re still a united community of curious nature lovers and naturalists. This project is for students, teachers, parents, kids, experts, amateurs, and anyone across Vermont looking to explore nature apart but together. From April 20th through May 20th, we invite you to join the Vermont Spring Backyard BioBlitz! sponsored by North Branch Nature Center, the Vermont Alliance for Half-Earth, and the Vermont Atlas of Life at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.
What is a Bioblitz?
A bioblitz is a community science effort to record as many species within a designated location and time period as possible, in this case, our own backyards and properties. Bioblitzes are great ways to connect and learn about the biodiversity around us while generating useful data for science and conservation.
Your Observations Added to the Vermont Atlas of Life
Your observations also help us discover, map and monitor life across Vermont for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist too. Join our growing community of citizen naturalists from around the Green Mountain State in discovering and sharing observations of Vermont life. Your observations can be turned into research-grade, citizen science data that will help us discover, track and ultimately conserve our natural heritage. Over the last 7 years, over 7,600 observers like you have contributed nearly 400,000 observations of about 8,000 species. We’ve discovered new species for the state, documented flower phenology, found new populations of rare plants and animals, and learned about our natural heritage from each other too.
Getting Started in Just Three Easy Steps
- If you don’t already have an account, visit iNaturalist.org and signup.
- Go to the Vermont Spring Backyard BioBlitzProject on iNaturalist and click “Join” in the upper right corner.
- Start submitting observations to iNaturalist using your smart phone or tablet and the free iNaturalist app or a camera and your computer! All the observations you make during the project time period (April 20 – May 20) will be automatically added to this project and the Vermont Atlas of Life.
- Check back on the project regularly to see how many observations you have added and who else has contributed!
Need More Help?
- iNaturalist Getting Started Guide
- Video Tutorials by iNaturalist
- Teachers’ Guide to BioBlitz
- iNaturalist Help Pages
Here’s your chance to find out how many plants and animals share your backyard with you! And the Vermont Spring Backyard Bioblitz and the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist are the perfect tool to help you keep track and learn more. Good luck and see you on iNaturalist!
I am loving this Project! One of the many things I’m learning is that very many of the plants and insects around me—ones I totally associate with Vermont’s natural outdoors—are not native. Could we add a feature to sort the Observations into native and non-native, or maybe flag the ones that are identified as invasive?
Hi Clare, Glad you like it. So much fun! We do have all the species marked in iNaturalist for Vermont as to introduced or not, as well as conservation status. Unfortuantely the icon doesn’t show on the bioblitz project species screen here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-vermont-spring-backyard-bioblitz?tab=species. But if you click on a species, like this one – https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/56222-Tussilago-farfara, you will see status at top. If you go to the Vermont Atlas of Life project on iNaturalist, a permanent project not a bioblitz, https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vermont-atlas-of-life. Under stats, click on the total observations number (green box right side). That takes you to this page: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?project_id=558&place_id=any&verifiable=any&captive=any. Here you can really start to play with Vermont data. FOr example, click the filter box top right. Then check off under Show the introduced item. Then choose a place, like a town or even an address or something. Then run filter. Then, click species on the bar and you will see all the introduced species for that place. Here’s all of them for Woodstock, VT. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?captive=any&introduced&place_id=49667&project_id=558&verifiable=any&view=species. Hope this helps!
So cool!! And thanks for your thorough and speedy reply!