BioBlitz 2013

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Hadar
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BioBlitz 2013

Post by Hadar » July 14th, 2013, 3:16 pm

Sorry to update an old post but I was excited that I finally figured out how to get photos to show here. I've added details too so for anyone who has seen this, there is more new material.

Just wanted to share some of the photos from the BioBlitz in Jean Lafitte National Historic Park, LA this May.

I had lived in Mississippi over a year and never made it to NOLA (aka New Orleans) so JP suggested that for my birthday we make a 5 hour road trip down for the BioBlitz put on by National Geographic and the National Park Service. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about. This is a 24 hour long event in which scientists, students, teachers, families, photographers, and any interested community member come together to find and identify as many possible species of fauna and flora in one of the many incredible national parks. Each year this event is hosted by a different park. Well JP, Andrew, and I volunteered as scientists to lead various inventories. I did insects in the morning leading 50+ elementary schoolers and their terrified teachers, then fish and amphibians in the afternoon, and reptiles in the evening. The name of the inventory is what we aimed for but we counted anything we found.

JP and I stopped to get a copy of E.O. Wilson's Letters to a Young Scientist since he was going to be there and the last time I saw him I didn't have a book on me for him to sign. He ended up having health issues and didn't make it but we ended up seeing him in Alabama April, 2014. Anyways, back to 24 hours in Louisiana summer swamp in search of as many animals as possible.

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One of the really awesome things about the BioBlitz is that you don't really know the people you are with and you get to be pretty good friends by the end of it. One of the guys in my amphibian survey inventory was a botanist at URS who wanted to know more about amphibians. I spotted a couple amphiuma in the water but wasn't sure of the species since it was too far away to determine whether there were 2 or 3 toes. Well this botanist jumped into the water before I could ask for the net.
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I loved his energy! I yelled at him to watch out for the teeth and not to grab too tight because of the slime coat as I removed my camera bag from my back and headed to him to help. Of course I had to photograph the event because I didn't think he would actually be able to wrangle an amphiuma successfully his first time.
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The botanist got a hold of one of the amphiuma, the other was lost in the disturbed water. The amphiuma kept slipping out of his hands so he collapsed on the bank and laid it down so it wouldn't struggle while we checked the toes.
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It turned out to have three, Amphiuma tridactylum, but was not happy that I was checking out his feet and showed me his teeth.
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Then he settled down and we let him go.
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Next we went to some traps that had been set to survey another part of the swamp (all approved by the NPS). There we found several sirens, Siren intermedia nettingi, and more amphiuma.
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I really like Gastrophryne carolinensis so I was excited about how many we found in a couple hours.
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My favorite snake on the move was this Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii.
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There were also a lot of Thamnophis proximus orarius.
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One of which was eating one of the narrowmouths that I enjoy so much.
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Unfortunately we found the first record of the invasive Eleutherodactylus planirostris planirostris in the park.
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We also found pirate perch, Aphredoderus sayanus! Sorry, I study fish professionally and any fish with an anus (cloaca) on their face has my attention.

For the end of our afternoon inventory we found a Coluber constrictor latrunculus. I could identify the racer without needing to catch it so I was going to leave it be but then three of my participants ran into the swamp after it. They returned with one pissed off racer and one of them received many well deserved bites.
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The evening reptile inventory began in palms and muck where we found Eumeces laticeps.
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Not to be confused with Eumeces fasciatus, seen here with the great Matt Chatfield.
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Or Eumeces inexpectatus.
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Soon we hit a floating walkway which allowed us to easily navigate the section of the swamp with high waters. There we found Nerodia fascinta confluens.
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On the side of our path was Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma.
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Pseudemys concinna watched us from afar.
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We stumbled upon Lampropeltis getula holbrooki coming out of the walkway.
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And of course you can't no anywhere in Louisiana and not see Alligator mississippiensis.
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I had gotten used to alligators on campus so I was more excited about the Anolis carolinensis.
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This Scincella lateralis looked gravid to me.
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The kids loved the Terrapene carolina major.
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Soon it got dark and we had to break out the headlamps. That also meant frogs.
Hyla avivoca
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Pseudacris crucifer
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Hyla squirella
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Some snakes too. Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster
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In comparison, earlier in the day.
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We ended the night with more Amphiuma tridactylum.
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Other photos
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Herpers herping

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JakeScott
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by JakeScott » July 15th, 2013, 2:47 pm

Awesome Heather! I think I've seen some of these somewhere....maybe facebook? I dunno, but I re-enjoyed them.

-Jake

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Hadar
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Hadar » May 20th, 2015, 6:00 pm

JakeScott wrote:Awesome Heather! I think I've seen some of these somewhere....maybe facebook? I dunno, but I re-enjoyed them.

-Jake
I finally figured out the photos. :mrgreen: Thanks Jake!

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Antonsrkn
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Antonsrkn » May 21st, 2015, 6:34 pm

Good stuff, I particularly like those Amphiuma! I have never seen one nor really spent much time in their range, are they pretty easy to find in the right habitat?

So how many total species were turned up by the bioblitz?

Nice job, lots of cool finds.

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Hadar
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Hadar » May 21st, 2015, 9:26 pm

Antonsrkn wrote:Good stuff, I particularly like those Amphiuma! I have never seen one nor really spent much time in their range, are they pretty easy to find in the right habitat?

So how many total species were turned up by the bioblitz?

Nice job, lots of cool finds.
Amphiuma are extremely picky about the habitat they occupy. If conditions are right you will find them but typically at night or rainy evenings. The ones we found were the largest I've ever seen. There were 458 species identified in 24 hours.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Kelly Mc » May 21st, 2015, 10:06 pm

Woe 'Phib extravaganza! Outstanding stuff..Love the shot of the king - a portrait really ~*~

Asnyder
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Asnyder » May 22nd, 2015, 9:16 am

Holy moly I'm sweaty in that picture!

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Hadar
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Hadar » May 25th, 2015, 8:45 am

Asnyder wrote:Holy moly I'm sweaty in that picture!
Andrew, aren't you always sweaty??

condyle
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by condyle » May 27th, 2015, 8:59 pm

Fantastic Post!

gretzkyrh4
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by gretzkyrh4 » May 28th, 2015, 5:42 pm

Great post. That was a really fun event. Jeffro and I led a few herp groups that weekend as well. It was a different and enjoyable experience leading novices through the swamp at night.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris

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Jeff
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Jeff » May 29th, 2015, 2:20 pm

Heather

Are you SURE that the Sceloporus and pine tree were part of that particular Bioblitz? Neither are native inhabitants south of Lake Pontchartrain. As the semi-official herpetogeographer for Louisiana, I must ask.

Jeff

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Hadar
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Hadar » June 5th, 2015, 7:29 am

Jeff wrote:Heather

Are you SURE that the Sceloporus and pine tree were part of that particular Bioblitz? Neither are native inhabitants south of Lake Pontchartrain. As the semi-official herpetogeographer for Louisiana, I must ask.

Jeff
Hey Jeff,

I think I joined you for one of your surveys. You were a leader too, right? I double checked my photos and confirmed with the friends I was with. The Sceloporus was at New Orleans City Park. Somehow that photo got put in with the BioBlitz photos because it was the same day and when I was uploading photos two years later I was selecting by date. Sorry about the confusion. I'm not sure what you mean by pine tree. I didn't think I posted photos of any conifers.

Cheers, Heather

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Roki
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Re: BioBlitz 2013

Post by Roki » June 5th, 2015, 7:50 am

Fun post. Lots of great photos of the herps and like the ones of the biologists doing what we do.

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