In Bioblitz 2012, teams of scientists, citizen naturalists and students went into the protected uplands and wetlands of the Wekiva River Basin. Their intense three day mission was to document the species of wildlife and plants that can be observed living in this critically important biodiversity hotspot. On April 21, 2012, the 30th anniversary of the Friends of the Wekiva River, the teams reported their tally of species. In this feature you will hear the results of this unique biological event. Length 25:01
Title picture – Ebony jewelwing damselfly courtesy Stephen R. Milrick, Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection
Dr. Jay Exum president of the Friends of the Wekiva River and principal ecologist with AECOM was the leader of Bioblitz 2012. He recruited hundreds of scientists and volunteers in this fieldwork which would highlight the biodiversity of the basin and the importance of its long-term preservation.
Taxonomic teams were created to concentrate on separate categories of species. At the presentation, each of the taxa team leaders reported on the number of species, the health of their habitat and described of the most unique wildlife they found. The climax of Bioblitz 2012 was the announcement of the final total of species observed in this lightning fast survey of the Wekiva River Basin.
Additional Speakers heard at the Bioblitz Tally
- Plants: Randy Mejeur, botanist; associate principal, AECOM
- Aquatic Invertebrates & Fish: Gary L. Warren, principal scientist, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Terrestrial Invertebrates: Derek A. Woller, entomologist, University of Central Florida, Song Lab
- Reptiles and Amphibians: Paul Moler, state herpetologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- Birds: Lorne Malo, senior regulatory scientist, St. Johns River Water Management District
- Mammals: Jack Stout, professor emeritus – biology, University of Central Florida
- Ecological Systems Reed F. Noss, conservation biologist, University of Central Florida