Intervale Lowlands all-taxa survey report
Over the past few years, naturalists participating in our all taxa survey have gathered observation data on over 1,000 species on the preserve’s 135 acres. Although not all species that exist on the preserve have been documented in our database, we are making substantial progress in documenting all species. Here are the current totals for all species accounts…
|All taxa – 1057|
|Insects – 382|
|Plants – 375|
|Birds – 170|
|Fungi – 63|
|Mammals – 29|
|Fish – 17|
|Amphibians – 11|
|Arachnids – 4|
|Reptiles – 3|
|Protozoans – 2|
|Mollusks – 1|
These data represents the work of naturalists who work, visit, or live on the preserve. Many naturalists often become experts in the identification of 1 or 2 classes of organisms. For example, birders will specialize in bird identification. Birds are abundant, diverse, and easy to encounter on a casual observation walk. Many naturalists who submit observations to our preserve’s All-taxa database are ornithologists (birds), botanists (plants), and entomologists (insects), which explains the bias towards those species in our current list.
Why are these numbers important? These data serve as a baseline for a biological inventory on this tract of land. The first step to land conservation and management from an ecological perspective is understanding the ecosystems and biodiversity that an area supports. Efforts from large conservation groups like the Nature Conservancy and private landowners to preserve ecologically important lands involves the use of biological inventories in order to make better management decisions on which global areas need the most protection.
Biological inventories also serve other ecological purposes. Understanding the distribution of organisms and how that distribution is being altered by a changing climate is critical in informing today’s conservation decisions.
Naturalists and biologists contribute their identification to biological inventories around the world. Local BioBlitzes ( http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/test-bioblitz ) and full scale national surveys are offering quality ecological data to be used for scientific purposes. Websites like iNaturalist and eBird offer ways for anybody to contribute to large scale biological surveys wherever they go.
Starting your own biological survey on your property in easy and fun to do. Learn how to identify species by using field guides and online resources. Start an iNaturalist (all-taxa) or an eBird (just birds) account and start submitting your own data. Learning the basics of species identification is a great start to becoming a better naturalist.
Come visit Intervale Lowlands Preserve and use your naturalist skills to support our biological inventory! You can report your sightings from your visit to the Preserve on our online databases. For birds, please upload to eBird. For everything else, upload to your iNaturalist account. In addition, check back with us soon and learn about our upcoming interpretive Visual Encounter Survey trail!