Home Blue Ridge Parkway hosts Bio-Blitz Sept. 18-19

Blue Ridge Parkway hosts Bio-Blitz Sept. 18-19


blue ridgeThe Blue Ridge Parkway is hosting a 24-hour biological inventory or “Bio-Blitz,” beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18.  The event will be held in the Rock Castle Gorge, in southwest Virginia, and will continue through 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 19.

During that time botanists, mycologists, ornithologists, other specialists, and general biologists are invited to comb the woods, fields and streams looking for as many different plant and animal species as they can find. A special emphasis will be placed on threatened or endangered species, and important habitats.

“We would love to see a combination of taxon specialists as well as general naturalists participating this year,” said Parkway Wildlife Biologist Bob Cherry. “There are plenty of plant and animal groups to survey and a wide variety of habitats to search. We have something to offer anyone who would like to participate and help us in learning more about this rich biodiverse area.”

The BioBlitz is designed to catalog species and habitats found in a 3600 acre area around the Parkway, between Milepost 165 near Tuggles Gap and Milepost 174 at Rock Castle Gap known as Rock Castle Gorge. The information collected will assist the Parkway in its management of natural resources in the area. This area includes mature second-growth forests, seeps and streams, wetlands, successional forests and agricultural fields.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance for the event at http://goo.gl/forms/RC9F4fOnVs. Registration will also be available beginning at noon, September 18, 2015, at the Rocky Knob Picnic Area pavilion at Milepost 169. The event will conclude with a wrap-up session at the pavilion on Saturday, September 19th at 2:30 PM. For more information about participating in the BioBlitz please contact Parkway Biologist Bob Cherry at (828) 295-7591 or [email protected].

Parkway education rangers are also scheduling programs for local fourth graders at the site during the day on Friday, September 18, 2015.  For more information and to register for the Friday education programs, contact Plateau District Interpreter Lorrie Knies at (540) 745-9680 or[email protected].

Funding support for the 2015 BioBlitz is provided by the Parkway’s philanthropic partner, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.



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