Recap: Masonville Cove BioBlitz

On Saturday, June 18, the National Aquarium hosted its 3rd annual BioBlitz at Masonville Cove, an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership in Baltimore City.

Published July 07, 2016

A BioBlitz is an all-day event in which volunteers work together with scientists and specialists to find, identify, and record as many living organisms as they can find within a specific area.  During this year’s BioBlitz, volunteers were given the unique opportunity to explore the Masonville Cove Urban Wildlife Refuge in Baltimore and look for wildlife species under the guidance of our experts.

bioblitz-field-work

Volunteers were encouraged to “Get Nerdy with Nature” with hands-on activities at six wildlife stations dedicated to birds, mammals, insects, aquatics, plants, reptiles, and amphibians! They were able to watch birds through binoculars, make bird feeders, check for mammal tracks, use sweep nets to catch insects, take a closer look at fish found in the Cove, identify plants, and observe a variety of reptile species. 

bioblitz-bug-catching 

The scientists, specialists, and volunteers worked together to identify a total of 172 species this year! Notably, twelve species of bees that had not been previously recorded in Baltimore City were discovered at the insect station, and volunteers found two hatchling red-bellied cooter turtles in a freshwater stream on site!  These findings show that important pollinator species, a native turtle species, and many other wildlife species are utilizing the important habitat areas that Masonville Cove provides.

bioblitz-turtle

All attendees of the BioBlitz were able to collaborate throughout the day to make these contributions to citizen science.  These citizen science efforts provided valuable data that will improve our understanding of urban biodiversity in Maryland. 

For more information about our citizen science program and how you can participate, click here.

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