“BioBlitz” with Indiana Academy of Sciences at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve

Our “BioBlitz” at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in partnership with Indiana Academy of Science was a great success, highlighting the remarkable biodiversity at this wetland preserve and the importance of Indiana’s remaining wetland habitat.

More than 70 scientists joined Sycamore on June 4 and 5, splitting into 13 taxonomic teams for an intensive field study focused on finding and identifying as many species as possible at the nature preserve over a short period of time. They helped document species occurrence to guide further study and identify unique and important habitats for targeted management.

Among the species identified were zig zag iris (Iris brevicaulis), a new discovery which has not been previously documented at the preserve, and Kirtland’s snake (Clonophis kirtlandii), an endangered species in Indiana. Scientists also reported finding a snail-killing fly, watching a gray crested flycatcher nesting, and standing only a few feet from two barred owls fishing for frogs by diving into the wet areas along the edge of the public trail.

Marc Milne, Associate Professor of Biology at University of Indianapolis and President of the Indiana Academy of Science, told us he spotted the biggest spider he has ever seen, a Dolomedes tenebrosus that was nearly 5 inches.

“By recording this biodiversity we are giving Sycamore Land Trust the information they need to manage this land effectively and simultaneously helping the public learn about the precious diversity we are at risk of losing,” Marc said.

Indiana Academy of Science intends to return to Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in ten years to hold another BioBlitz, to see how results have changed over time and as a result of Sycamore Land Trust’s ongoing habitat restoration and management of the protected area.

“It’s important for organizations like Sycamore Land Trust to properly steward and manage wetlands like Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve for the many benefits they provide to improve the health of our environment,” said John Lawrence, Sycamore Land Trust’s Executive Director.  “We are grateful for this opportunity because we will be getting exponentially more data from the Indiana Academy of Science in a weekend than we can collect on our own. This will be an incredible asset for us to better manage the property and better communicate to our members what makes that property so unique.”

Funding for this event was provided through the generosity of the Indiana Academy of Science and the Raymond Foundation.

To learn more, download our press release.