On May 31 nearly 100 Indiana scientists—experts in fields ranging from mammals to mussels—will converge on Eagle Marsh, Little River Wetlands Project's nature preserve in southwest Fort Wayne, to conduct a BioBlitz. Members of the Indiana Academy of Science, the scientists will make a 24-hour effort to identify and count all possible species of plants, birds and other wildlife at the preserve. The Academy chose Eagle Marsh from among many Indiana sites for this event.
"Several free 'pre-BioBlitz' programs will take place before the survey weekend," says Amy Silva, LRWP's executive director. "And on the afternoons of May 31 and June 1, the public will be welcome to view educational exhibits and displays at the Eagle Marsh barn, interact with the scientists as they analyze specimens and tally their data, and learn the final survey results." Visit www.lrwp.org for details.
BioBlitz data will begin to give LRWP, the nonprofit that owns three other local preserves as well as Eagle Marsh, a comprehensive "inventory" of what lives at the site and a baseline for future measurements. "Knowing everything that's at the preserve will be especially valuable now," says Silva, "since it will precede the planned federal construction to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds at Eagle Marsh. The results will also help us enhance habitat, where possible, for rare or endangered species found."