|Coyote caught on camera at Ross Marble|
On Tuesday, September 13, Ijams was pleased to welcome back former AmeriCorps team member, Laura Marsh. During her tenure at Ijams last year, Laura conducted two BioBlitzes on our newest property, the Ross Marble Natural Area.
A BioBlitz is a is a special type of field study, where a group of scientists and volunteers conduct a 24-hour biological inventory, attempting to identify and record the species in a given area.
In May and June, Laura worked round the clock with a fantastic team of local experts and volunteers to survey a wide variety of species from insects and plants to mammals and birds. Over 260 species were documented over the two 24-hour surveys. Some of the highlights included a camera survey and nocturrnal mist net demontration. The cameras captured photographic documentation of two coyotes, a red fox and a gray fox—a species that had not been documented at Ijams prior to the BioBlitz.
Mist nets were used by TVA biologists Charles Hofer and Holly LeGrand. Three individual bats were captured, measured and released. We hope to use the data gained from the surveys to enhance our eduational programs and materials.
A heart-felt “thank you” goes out to all the volunteers and biologists who generously donated so much time to make the BioBlitz efforts such a success!
- Jennifer Roder, Education Director.