Bioblitz

Help create a snapshot of biodiversity across North America by participating in a NANPA Bioblitz in iNaturalist.

Student Photographer, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee, USA

Photo by Gabby Salazar

What is a Bioblitz?

A bioblitz is a community event organized to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. The participating community may be comprised of scientists and nature enthusiasts—and of course photographers—of all ages and levels of experience, working together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity.

During our Bioblitz events, we encourage all NANPA members and their friends, families, colleagues, and other interested individuals to survey the species living right beside them in their backyards. In this way, we’ll create a snapshot of the biodiversity across all of North America—and potentially help you find some new tools to support your nature photography goals as well. You’re encouraged to observe and photograph in your literal backyard as well as nearby parks or natural areas, a friend’s place, etc.—anywhere you’re allowed to be. If you’re traveling during the Bioblitz, take and submit images from wherever you are!

When is our Bioblitz?

Our Bioblitz events are announced periodically throughout the year.

Only observations made during a Bioblitz timeframe should be submitted. Strict adherence to these dates helps scientists and nature photographers know exactly what they can expect to see in terms of biodiversity and species’ characteristics at a given place and time.

How to submit observations

All official entries in our Bioblitz are be submitted to NANPA’s iNaturalist collection project by the same name, with one entry for each unique observation. When you upload your images, you’ll need to note the species, date, and location of your observation.

If you do not know the identification down to species level, that’s OK!

Other iNaturalist contributors, including local experts, will help. iNaturalist is an app and website that makes collecting photographs and biological information easy. Nature photographers can not only post and share images there to help researchers but also find it a useful tool for planning photo excursions and identifying subjects photographed in the wild.

How do you win prizes?

The goals of a Bioblitz are different than the goals of a typical “photo contest,” and with that in mind, NANPA will award prizes based on quantity of observations shared rather than the quality of the photographs as pieces of art.

Prize categories

  • Most Observations Posted
  • Most Unique Species Observed
  • Judges’ Choice Award recognizing an observation or observer that NANPA’s Conservation Committee volunteers deem noteworthy

Additionally, all participants posting 30 or more observations will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize of a telephoto lens from Tamron. In order to participate and win, you’ll need to submit your observations—made during a scheduled Bioblitz project in iNaturalist.

Prizes

NANPA’s friends and sponsors generously donate prizes with nature photographers in mind. Review the prizes awarded in our last Bioblitz. Updated prizes will be announced ahead of the next event.

Prize Package 1 – Most Observations Posted

The individual with the most observations posted in the Bioblitz will receive:

Prize Package 2 – Most Unique Species Observed

The individual with the highest number of unique species observations will receive:

Prize Package 3 – Judges’ Choice Award

Grand Prize Drawing – 30 or More Observations Required

All participants posting 30 or more observations to NANPA’s Nature Photography Day Bioblitz will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize of a Tamron 70-300 mm Di III lens for Sony mirrorless (or substitute a 100-400 Di for DSLR) and a Wimberley Ground Plamp.

One lucky participant posting 30 or more observations during the Bioblitz won a Tamron 70-33 mm Di III lens for Sony Mirrorless

Documenting with purpose

But prizes aren’t the only incentives to consider. Lots of stakeholders “win” when you participate in citizen science projects like our Bioblitz, including the animals, plants, fungi, and other living things among us. Nature photographers and scientists who count on iNaturalist to identify what’s alive where benefit from your posted observations.

They can use your observations to answer questions like What wildflowers are blooming in eastern Kansas in early June? How many species of mature frogs are active in upstate New York by mid-June? Where are hummingbirds in their migration path the first week of June?

What can iNaturalist do for you?

Learn more about how iNaturalist supports nature photographers like David Cook of NANPA’s Conservation Committee, and view tutorials to get started.

Learn more