November bioblitz ideas

As November in Northern hemisphere is one of the dead months on iNat, it’ll make sense to push observers out of warm houses to see something! I would like to hear your ideas on what theme should it be, most people focus on birds, so I would like to make birds an exclusion of the project, would it make sense to make it “everything but” or one particular group like mosses or lichens? Or what other organisms you would like to see or observe more in that period?


Maybe do a weekend “winter” bio blitz series(I can help) on every other Sunday starting November 6th?
The Discord server has longer bioblitzes that last two weeks, but that idea really doesn’t work for winter. It might be wise to add side bioblitz challenges such as observing as many hawk or duck species, or winter plant identification.
I can create a project @Marina_Gorbunova if a lot of people get on board.


For mosses and lichens, many are notoriously difficult to identify.

Yes, but from experience there’re a lot of species you can id even from phone photos, it’s the same as insects, you’re taught they can’t be ided, but in fact photos are enough for many, the most crucial part is experts, they need to take part, without them it’s always a failure.


I’d say make it everything because that doesn’t leave anyone out.

As for hard-to-ID taxa like mosses and lichens - yes, please! But let’s recruit some experts to give us some hints ahead of time in the field - maybe via journal posts?

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I’m afraid that will make people go for the easiest - birds, there’re already winter bird bioblitzes, duck counts, etc.

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It would be cool do to a different taxa every weekend. That way you get the best of both worlds: specific targets and diversity of interests.


One of the first challenges I participated in was one that eBird several years ago and I believe it was in November. The challenge was turn in 15 checklists from one place during that month. Don’t know if that could be adapted to iNat, but it was quite a bit of fun, and I learned a new site pretty well.

Or use November to catch up on ID’s.

True! So yeah, leaving out birds is a good idea, but include everything else.

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Good idea! If we can get experts to help out, maybe we could concentrate on one area of expertise every week.

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Heh. I’ll choose the Quabbin Reservoir Watershed here in central Massachusetts - almost 120,000 acres in total. I could visit that every day for a month and still not get to every entrance gate (there are 54, although a couple are closed right now).

I did it at a small city park. Became a favorite spot of mine.

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Yeah, I think the point would be to pick a small area and come to know it intimately. I could hike the Quabbin watershed for decades every day and still not know everything about it.

I foresee this bioblitz mainly compounding the problem of the “Needs ID” pile. I still miss ID-a-Thons.

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Sorry, but that’s not a place to discuss that, I already mentioned experts and in every bioblitz I try to maximize their work, so please just don’t.

Maybe a bioblitz focusing on animal tracks or scats? It you wonder the forest long enough, you’re bound to find evidence of something.

It can also be a chance to learn animal prints identification.


Well, I’m not sure I understand the purpose of a bioblitz. There is no shortage of observations being uploaded; just try doing unfiltered IDs and watch the page count go up when you mark as reviewed and refresh.

Now, if there was a part of the world without many observations, or a taxon without many observations, I could understand an event to encourage filling that specific gap; but that’s not what most of these ideas are. November isn’t really a dead month. I have the Identify tab open right now, filtered for just November, and it says that there are 62,571 pages of observations – that’s just the ones at Needs ID that I haven’t reviewed. If I then add a filter for Europe, that leaves 6,574 pages of November observations waiting to be IDed. They aren’t mostly birds, either; the first page has no birds at all, just mushrooms, insects, and plants.

So I guess what I’m saying is, what are you hoping to accomplish with a bioblitz?

That’s a nice winter idea!

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I’m sorry, but it’s like saying why observe anything at all? I’m one of top iders btw, I know what it is and also know if you wish to work hard numbers will go down. I didn’t ask here for opinions on about to do bioblitz or not, I asked about different ideas.

I’m having a hard time seeing the issue. A bioblitz undoubtedly increases Needs ID, but increases Research Grade too. I mean, if we are really obsessed with Needs ID numbers, we should just all take 5-10 years off from observing.

It’s good for a bioblitz to encourage high quality observations. For example, a crayfish bioblitz might provide both a link and a brief summary of How to photograph crayfish for iNaturalist in the project description. But I think it would be odd to say “we have too many Needs ID observations for crayfish so we shouldn’t observe them anymore”.