SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lake will host a two-day "bioblitz" on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15.
The goal will be to find as many different plants and animals as possible and catalogue them to create baseline data that can be used in the future by scientists and natural resource managers. The bioblitz is organized by the Center for Adirondack Biodiversity at Paul Smith's College and the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI).
The free event will be led by scientists, who will take groups of volunteers into the field. Anyone interested in participating in the event is welcome to join, regardless of their scientific background.
Volunteers pull in their nets to look for organisms during a bioblitz in Follensby Park in Tupper Lake in June 2010. During the weekend of July 14-15, there will be a bioblitz in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise file photo — Mike Lynch)
"Our experts will basically provide the training needed for any sampling, so there's no experience necessary," said David Patrick, director of the Center for Adirondack Biodiversity. "The groups will be going out for different lengths of time. ... If people need to leave early, we can accommodate that."
Experts will teach members of the public how to catch and hold a dragonfly, identify a frog, where to look for plants and animals and more.
A bioblitz is designed to find and identify as many species as possible during a specific period - in this case, 48 hours. This is the fifth year that a bioblitz will be held in the Adirondacks. Other bioblitzes have taken place at the Adirondack Chapter of Nature Conservancy's Follensby Park in Tupper Lake and at the Newcomb VIC.
Saranac Lake Bioblitz Schedule
Saturday, July 14
- Bird sampling around the village of Saranac Lake (finish by 9:30 a.m.)
- Bird sampling at Lake Colby (finish by 9:30 a.m.)
- Bird sampling by Saranac River (finish by 9:30 a.m.)
- Activities in the Saranac Lake Free Library including experts identifying mystery organisms, exhibits, and real time display of the data collected and species found during the bioblitz (all day)
- Sampling small mammals using live-traps (finish by 10 a.m.)
- Sampling fungi at Dewey Mountain (finish by 10 a.m.)
- Amphibian sampling at Lake Colby (finish by 11a.m.)
- Informal welcome ceremony for the Adirondack All-Taxa-Biodiversity-Inventory Saranac Lake Bioblitz (until 10 a.m.)
- Sampling dragonflies and damselflies on the Saranac River (finish by 5 p.m.)
- Sampling dragonflies and damselflies by Lake Colby (finish by 5 p.m.)
- Sampling plants on Mount Baker (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling wetland plants by Lake Colby (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling plants on Mount Pisgah (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling plants behind McDonalds
- Bird sampling at Dewey Mtn (finish by noon)
- Bird sampling at Pisgah Mountain (finish by noon)
- Bird sampling at Mount Baker (finish by noon)
- Children's bioblitz scavenger hunt in the village (finish by noon)
- Amphibian sampling in Saranac Lake Wild Forest near Lake Colby (finish by 2 p.m.)
- Fungus sampling at Dewey Mountain
- Fungus art demonstration with the artist's conk, Ganaderma applanatum
- Children's bioblitz scavenger hunt in the Village (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling plants around the Village of Saranac Lake
- Sampling terrestrial invertebrates in the village of Saranac Lake (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Fungus sampling at Dewey Mountain
- Keynote presentation by Steve Young, Chief Botanist with New York Natural Heritage "Look what I found! Discovering the rare plants of the Adirondacks." Saranac Lake Free Library (finish by 7 p.m.)
- Acoustic sampling for bats on the shores of Lake Flower
- Wetland biodiversity at night: Sampling for amphibians, insects and others using flashlights in Saranac Lake Wild Forest adjacent to Lake Colby
Sunday, July 15
- Sampling birds at Bloomingdale Bog (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling birds on the Ampersand Mountain trail (finish by 3 p.m.)
- Sampling plants on Ampersand Mountain (until 3 p.m.)
- Sampling fungi on the Ampersand Mountain trail (finish by 1:30 p.m.)
- Sampling plants at Bloomingdale Bog (until 3 p.m.)
- Sampling amphibians and reptiles on the Ampersand Mountain trail
- Sampling dragonflies and damselflies at Bloomingdale Bog (until 5 p.m.)
- Sampling dragonflies and damselflies at the Paul Smith's College VIC (until 5 p.m.)
- Sampling plants in the village of Saranac Lake (until 3 p.m.)
- Wrapping up the bioblitz: Final results and species tally
"This event truly epitomizes the goal of the Adirondack ATBI: To bring scientists and citizens together in sharing their passion for the incredible diversity of life found in the Adirondack Park," Patrick said. "I can't think of another event that will bring together experts on so many different groups of organisms all working together in the same place."
Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, groups will begin heading out from the Saranac Lake Free Library to search for different organisms. Participants can drop by the library throughout the day to join them. Sign-up sheets will be available on Saturday for Sunday's surveys, which will take place farther afield.
The Northern Lights School will offer scavenger hunts for children ages 3 to 12 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. At 6 p.m. Saturday, Steve Young, chief botanist with the New York Natural Heritage Program, will deliver a presentation called "Look What I Found! Discovering the Rare Plants of the Adirondacks."
The bioblitz is being held in Saranac Lake in part because the organizers hope the location will encourage members of the public to participate and learn more about their environment.
Experts will also be available to help people identify photos of plants, animals or fungi they may be curious about. People are asked not to bring the organism itself.
"All of the data that comes back in will be contributing to our long-term access database," Patrick said. "It's made free and available to anyone who wants it. So this is part of a scientific inventory. It's not just a feel-good exercise. People are contributing directly to these baseline data that we will use for long-term monitoring."
Other supporters of this project include SUNY ESF, SUNY Potsdam, The Wild Center, the Village of Saranac Lake, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, New York Natural Heritage, the Paul Smith's College VIC, Northern Lights School, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Adirondack Botanical Society and the Adirondack Mountain Club.