Caw Caw Bioblitz 2023 Results
The Coastal Master Naturalists Association, hosted what we hope is the first of an annual series of bioblitzes on February 5, 2023. Noted author and naturalist Peter Alden was our guest speaker and field leader. Peter is a naturalist, lecturer, ecotourism guide, and author of fifteen books on North American and African wildlife, including the National Audubon Society’s Regional Field Guide Series. Peter’s interests have widened from his original field of ornithology to include all visible biodiversity, conservation issues, historical changes in the landscape, climate change, and the invasive alien plant and animal crises affecting us today.
Prior to the field events on February 5th, Peter provided a virtual lecture on bioblitzes and how to perform them, which was attended by over fifty participants from many South Carolina natural history-related organizations.
One of the principles in planning the bioblitz was to include as many natural history and nature-loving organizations as possible. Participants in the field day included members of, in alphabetical order, Audubon South Carolina, Charleston Audubon Society, Charleston County Parks and Recreation, Coastal Master Naturalists Association, Coastal Hydrology, Low County Master Naturalist Association, Port Royal Sound Foundation, South Carolina Association of Naturalists, South Carolina Native Plant Society, South Carolina Partnership for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation, and the Tri-County Master Gardener Association. It is not meaningful to list the numbers of participants for each group since many participants belong to multiple groups.
For a more general description of the day from a partipant's perspective, one can check out the CMNA blog post by Colin Hocking (https://www.coastalmasternaturalists.org/articles/113889-caw-caw-bioblitz-with-world-renowned-naturalist-peter-alden). What follows here is more of a data summary.
We used an iNaturalist Project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/caw-caw-bioblitz-feb-2023) to coordinate most non-avian observations and an eBird trip report (https://ebird.org/tripreport/106473) to summarize sightings of the birds.
At the end of a long, somewhat wet and rainy, yet still enjoyable, day, 296 different types of organisms were identified, 206 to species. Of the 90 organisms not identified to species level, 62 were identified to genus level. Plants (94), fungi (84), and birds (71) were the most identified taxonomic groups, with fungi also being the group least identified to species.
From the iNatualist data, partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) and ressurection fern (Pleopeltis michauxiana) and American holly (Ilex opaca) were the plants reported the most frequently (7, 6 and 6 reports respectively), while squirrel treefrogs (Hyla squirella) and cottonmouths (Agkistrodon picivorous) were the most reported animals (7 and 5 reports, respectively) and the orange jelly spot (Dacrymeces chrysospermus) was the most reported fungi identified to species (6 reports). Keep in mind that these numbers don't indicate the number of organisms seen, just the number of different groups or individuals observers who identified and reported that particular organism. As of December 23, 2023, 190 of the iNaturalist observations have reached research grade (46%), which sets a bar for succeeding bioblitzes to try to surpass.
A complete list of organisms identified can be found at https://www.coastalmasternaturalists.org/page/2592550-2023-bioblitz-species-list
Wood Ducks of Four Hole Swamp
On a cool morning in March, I joined fellow Master Naturalist, Edsel Taylor, at his bottomland...
Dolphin feeding and wading birds
The cool December morning bites. The low tide wanes. Herons and egrets fly overhead. There’s a...
Keeping Wildlife Wild: Burrito the Squirrelet’s Story
Release your inspiration...In the midst of hurricane season, we have had several stronger storms...
Prothonotary Warbler Nest Box Installation
A week and a half into March saw an enthusiastic group of Coastal SC Master Naturalists meet in...
Yawkey Wildlife Center
Our second outing in May was to the Yawkey Wildlife Center in Georgetown, SC.It was my first...
Walk & Talk - Cypress Gardens tour with Gabe Schuler
Saturday, May 21, 2022It was a warm but cloudy day, which made it a perfect morning for our walk...