Mohonk Preserve Educator Kate Johnson collecting aquatic samples during the Preserve's first BioBlitz. (photo by Elizabeth Tully)

On Sunday, June 3, Mohonk Preserve hosted its first BioBlitz at the Mohonk Preserve Foothills in New Paltz. A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of the plants and animals in a defined area during a specific time period and generally includes both experts and members of the public. The Preserve’s BioBlitz included about 20 scientists, along with local “citizen scientists,” who worked in six groups focusing on birds, botany, aquatic life, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies and herptiles (amphibians and reptiles).

Together, the groups identified over 300 species of plants and animals on the Foothills site, including several which had not been previously recorded on the Preserve. The Preserve hopes to hold future BioBlitz events as a way to both gather species data and promote community conservation.