The Transylvania Times -

Blue Ridge Parkway Seeking Biologists To Participate In 24-Hour 'Bio-Blitz'

 


The Blue Ridge Park-way is hosting a 24-hour biological inventory or “Bio-Blitz,” beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18. The event will be held in the Rock Castle Gorge, in southwest Virginia, and will continue through 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. During that time botanists, mycologists, ornithologists, biologists, and other specialists are invited to comb the woods, fields and streams looking for as many different plant and animal species as they can find. A special emphasis will be placed on threatened or endangered species, and important habitats.

“By inviting specialists in many different fields from universities, public agencies and private organizations, we hope to make this a fun event as well as one that will provide us with useful data,” said Parkway Wildlife Biologist Bob Cherry. “Previous Blitzes on the Parkway have been well attended and the participants enjoyed themselves.”

Designed to provide information about the species and habitats found in Rock Castle Gorge, the information will be used to assist the Parkway with managing the natural re-sources in the area. The approximately 3,600 acres around the Parkway, bet-ween Milepost 165 near Tuggles Gap and Milepost 174 at Rock Castle Gap known as Rock Castle Gor-ge, will be surveyed during the Bio Blitz. This area includes mature second-growth forests, seeps and streams, wetlands, successional forests and agricultural fields.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance for the event and inquire about lodging options at http://goo.gl/forms/RC9F4fOnVs. In addition, registration will also be available beginning at noon, Sept. 18, at the Rocky Knob Picnic Area pavilion at Milepost 169 and conclude with a wrap-up session at that same location at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 19.

Parkway education staff is also planning a series of activities and programs open to local students and the public in conjunction with the Rock Castle Gorge Bio Blitz. Additional details about these programs can be found on the Parkway’s website at http://www.nps.gov/ blri.

Funding for the 2015 Bio Blitz is provided by the Blue Ridge Parkway Found-ation. For more information about participating in this event please call Bob Cherry at (828) 295-7591 or Lorrie Knies at (540) 745-9680.

 
 

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