On June 17th and 18th, the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve hosted their first ever BioBlitz. A BioBlitz is a rapid survey of a particular area done by citizen scientists and volunteers. They are fun and educational events that supply critical data for groups like YDWP. Good information results in quality management decisions for protected areas like the Yellow Dog River Community Forest.
Twenty volunteers took to multiple survey sites to discover which species were present and what habitats they were found in. The most frequently noted species was the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus). This sparrow-sized warbler is often seen on the forest floor in a variety of forest types, but primarily in deciduous forests. A Rare species include the Olive-Sided Flycatcher. The Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), according to IUCN, is near threatened and its population is declining, possibly due to loss of habitat in their wintering grounds. These birds are found along forest edge’s and openings, water edges, and harvested forests where structure and prominent trees remain as singing and foraging posts.
Another rare species is the Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes). This type of fern is found often in the crevices of rocky outcrops and exposed granite and has a Conservation Coefficient of 10 according to University of Michigan’s Herbarium. They are primarily found in the Upper Peninsula due to their range requirements. They ferns are sensitive to human foot traffic on the rocky outcrops.
Overall, 318 records were collected by the volunteers through the rain, bugs, and sun. Of those records, 180 were unique species. Below are spreadsheets of the published information. We will continue to gather information and conduct additional BioBlitz events in the future. Be sure to be a volunteer next time and be part of this amazing event!