The 2021 Border BioBlitz took place in April under the leadership between the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers and their partners. In an attempt to capture the biodiversity of our border region’s coasts and seas, one day of the BioBlitz is dedicated to documenting the biodiversity of our marine environment. This year, Climate Science Alliance member Paula Ezcurra was able to join the team and participate in this marine-focused BioBlitz.
The annual Border BioBlitz is an event that utilizes community-based science to record as many species as possible along the US-Mexico border. An effort between the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers and their partners, the Border BioBlitz 2021 ran the entire month of April.
A BioBlitz is an event designed to capture the biological diversity of a specified region over a short period of time. These events allow for all people to participate in data gathering, and leads to more interactions between scientists and community members. These concentrated events also increase the likelihood of rare species being documented, and can highlight areas for future study or conservation efforts. Additionally, when done on a regular basis, such as annually, changes in biodiversity can be captured over time, providing information on possible threats or conservation wins occurring in our region.
In an attempt to capture the biodiversity of our border region’s coasts and seas, one day of the BioBlitz is dedicated to documenting the biodiversity of our marine environment. This year, Climate Science Alliance member Paula Ezcurra was able to join the team, which was led by Baja Working Group member Sula Vanderplank, and participate in this marine-focused BioBlitz.
Those who dared brave the chill and morning rain were rewarded with a sunny and breezy afternoon out on the water. But, before even launching out to the open water, the team first spent some time exploring the wildlife that frequents docks, boats, and even crab traps - life abounds!
From left to right: (1) BioBlitz organizer, Sula Vanderplank, looking for life among the sea lettuce algae. (2) A curious reddish egret patrolling the docks of San Diego Bay. (3) A San Diego Sea Squirt hanging out on the rope of a crab trap.
Once out at sea, the team was met by dolphins, a wide variety of seabirds, and was even able to pull up some loose kelp and sargassum to explore the invertebrates that make their home among the algae.
Left: Grabbing at some sargassum seaweed to see what treasures can be found within. Right: Seagulls and cormorants pecking at the bait ball driven up to the surface by the feeding dolphins beneath the waves.
The Border Bioblitz is an annual event. If you missed it this year, you can follow N-Gen and keep up with their updates to join the discovery next year! In the meantime, iNaturalist is something you can use all year long to document and identify the wildlife that surrounds you.