June 15 is Nature Photography Day, and to help celebrate, NANPA is holding another Bioblitz on iNaturalist. From June 7 through June 17, NANPA encourages members and interested photographers to participate in NANPA’s 2023 Nature Photography Day iNaturalist Bioblitz and help document biodiversity in your neighborhood and across the continent.
What the heck is a bioblitz?
A bioblitz is an event where individuals go out to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. For example, a group of volunteers could spend three hours one morning exploring a meadow or repeatedly visit a woods over the course of a week. In either case, they’re creating a snapshot of the biodiversity in that place.
Although scientists are often involved in bioblitzes, they aren’t required. The iNaturalist smartphone app (and website) allow you to photograph, identify, and record species of plants, animals, insects, reptiles, and fungi and records that information for the future use of researchers. In that way, a bioblitz is a valuable community science activity that can have value long after the participants have gone home. NANPA Conservation Committee Chair David Cook explained how iNaturalist works in this article, and Dani Davis, one of NANPA Summit’s College Scholarship awardees, has a great YouTube video that shows how to get started.
Did we mention prizes?
Three $100 VISA cash cards will be awarded: one for the most unique species observed (must be research-grade observations), a special judge’s choice award for an observation deemed most noteworthy and a random prize drawing from among all participants who have submitted at least ten research-grade images. See this page for more information on the contest rules.
And two more things
iNaturalist automatically hides geolocation information from public view for species with a conservation status and users can also hide geolocation for sensitive species or locations.
By default, images submitted to iNaturalist are given a Creative Commons license. Users can turn off that default setting and retain copyright to their images. You don’t need to upload your best images or high resolution files to participate but the photos do have to be good enough to easily identify species.
Of course, you don’t have to do a Bioblitz to mark Nature Photography Day. There are many other ways to mark the occasion, from tagging the photos you share with #NaturePhotographyDay to organizing (and photographing) a stream cleanup, to working with a conservation organization. See NANPA’s Nature Photography Day web page for more ideas.