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To celebrate 100 years of stewardship, the National Park Service is planning a shared nation-wide quest to discover and document biodiversity. You are invited to join the celebration as parks across the country host BioBlitzes this May. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area’s BioBlitz will be hosted at the Whiskeytown Environmental School within the park, May 13th – 14th.
The BioBlitz will kick-off Friday morning with elementary and highschool students participating in a variety of activities, including a blitz of plants and bees, aquatic invertebrate sampling, butterfly identification, bird activities, mosquito and tick identification, and much more.
The public is invited to a “Friday the 13th Bat Chat” presented by Humboldt State University and National Park Service bat experts, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Whiskeytown Environmental School. Come prepared for a half-hour evening discussion with the scientists, followed by a trapping session starting at sunset to meet the bats in your neighborhood! You’ll have an opportunity to see and hear the echolocation calls of wild bats as they fly past, and if the research team gets lucky at the nets, you’ll get to observe several bat species as they are captured, measured and safely released. Bring water and a flashlight or headlamp (one that includes a red light setting is best). For the best chance of seeing wild bats, expect 1.5-2.5 hours. Bring a camp chair, if desired.
On Saturday, May 14th, the celebration continues with the Biodiversity Festival at the Whiskeytown Environmental School. Enjoy art by local artists, activities for kids, information booths hosted by local agencies and organizations, a presentation by the Local Indians for Education, and some foot-stomping tunes with the Jim Dyer Band at 1:00 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch, or sample some delicious food cooked up by the Savory Spoon. There will be a geocaching activity, and presentations by bat experts and by the wildlife biologist from Sierra Pacific Industries who documented the only known wolverine in California. Additional activities include hikes with the California Native Plant Society, the Wintu Chapter of the Audubon Society, the California Lichen Society, and with butterly and bee experts from UC Davis. The schedule can be found on the park’s website: https://www.nps.gov/whis/learn/education/index.htm.
For additional information about the park’s BioBlitz activities, please contact Jennifer Gibson at (530) 242-3457. To learn more about Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/whis. For more information on BioBlitzes within the National Park Service, please visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/biodiversity/national-parks-bioblitz.htm.