2012 Bioblitz coming to Saranac Lake

Explore the natural world at this two-day event

PAUL SMITHS, NY (07/02/2012)(readMedia)-- Ever wonder how many different kinds of dragonflies live near Lake Flower? Or how many varieties of fungus are in your garden?

The 2012 Saranac Lake Bioblitz can help determine those answers.

On Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, in Saranac Lake, the public is invited to join statewide experts in cataloging a wide variety of organisms. Learn how to catch and hold a dragonfly, identify a frog, where to look for plants and animals, and more. The event is free. No experience is necessary.

The bioblitz is organized by the Center for Adirondack Biodiversity at Paul Smith's College and the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), and will help compile an inventory of organisms living in the park in order to track the health of the environment.

A bioblitz is an event designed to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific period – in this case, 48 hours. This is the fifth year that a bioblitz will be held in the Adirondacks.

"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," said David Patrick, director of the Center for Adirondack Biodiversity. "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 3-12 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."

Experts will also be available to help people identify photos of plants, animals or fungi they may be curious about. (Please don't bring the organism itself.)

Other supporters 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.

For more information: Contact David Patrick at (518) 327-6174 or dpatrick@paulsmiths.edu; visit http://www.adirondackbiodiversity.org; or search for "Adirondack ATBI" on Facebook.