September 20, 2018
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU, MAFB Team Up for 24-Hour BioBlitz at Grassy Pond Sept. 28-29
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University and Moody Air Force Base will host Lowndes County’s very first BioBlitz from 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Grassy Pond.
BioBlitz is an opportunity for community members to work side by side with scientists and naturalists to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time, which, in this case, is 24 hours at the 500-acre recreational area known as Grassy Pond.
Dr. Emily Cantonwine, BioBlitz organizer and a professor in VSU’s Department of Biology, said expertise is not necessary. Participants only need a desire to get outside, to connect with the environment, to learn, to meet new people, and to discover — all while generating useful data for science.
BioBlitz activities will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, with a focus on nocturnal animal observations. Wildlife cameras will be set up throughout the area to help document animal counts, and participants are invited to bring their personal wildlife cameras to support these efforts.
Facilitated by an expert guide, nocturnal animal observations will begin just before sundown and include opportunities to locate evening foraging bats with ultrasonic detection systems; non-flying mammals whose eyes shine when spotlighted; night-flying flocks of migrant songbirds; the red-colored eyes of alligators and the green-colored eyes of frogs; and more. Moths, spiders, and other insects will be collected using light traps.
BioBlitz activities will continue as early as 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the first of many observation hikes led by regional experts of birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, algae, invertebrates, plants, lichens, fungi, and insects. Kid-orientated activities will begin at 10 a.m. with face painting, animal balloons, origami, and a bounce house. There will also be a number of expert-led presentations on everything from food webs and wildlife protection to pond water creatures and more.
The full BioBlitz schedule is available at www.valdosta.edu/bioblitz.
Interested participants are encouraged to visit the “biodiversity” and “observations” links at www.valdosta.edu/bioblitz to see how each organism group will be surveyed and to find ways to contribute to and prepare for the big BioBlitz event.
Grassy Pond is located at 5360 Grassy Pond Road in Lake Park, Georgia. Entry is free for Department of Defense cardholders. Entry for community members is $5 per vehicle of up to six people and $2 for each additional person.
Please visit www.valdosta.edu/bioblitz to learn more.On the Web: