A BioBlitz is a one-time event designed to produce a rapid assessment of the biodiversity of a special site. Teams of experts canvass the area for a few days, searching the most likely habitats for species, and developing a species list. While not a full species list for a site, this provides a good snapshot of many of the components.
The Asaph Wild Area is a large forested tract managed by DCNR in northern Tioga County Pennsylvania that is high Appalachian plateau with numerous high elevation wetland communities. Approximately 45 specialists converged on this area for 2 days, including Stan Boder and Merlin Benner from Wildlife Specialists. Stan helped develop the herpetological species list, while Merlin worked on bats and mapping some of the wetlands with the UAS of Remote Intelligence.
This photo is one of two rare Silver-haired Bats captured on during the BioBlitz.
Rex Everett took this amazing time lapse video at a rattlesnake den.
Timber Rattlesnake, 84" Black Rat Snake, and an Elk waiting for the Porta Potty
"Few Pennsylvania birds have been cloaked in as much mystery, or elicited such curiosity, as the Northern Saw-whet Owl- the smallest of the Commonwealth's nocturnal raptors and, until recently, the least known (2nd Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pa). It is a common migrant through Pennsylvania and nests mostly in the Northern Appalachian Plateau with a few occurrences in the central Ridge and Valley region. The Northern Saw-whet Owl seems to prefer mature mixed deciduous and coniferous forest for nesting and breeding. It's common prey items are small mammals such as mice, shrews, and voles, and during migration they may supplement their diet with small birds. This individual is most likely a returning migrant to its breeding territory. Its presence was noted mostly by blue jays which squawked at it. The owls response was to open its beak at the blue jays. The blue jays eventually gave up the harassment as they did not seem to bother the little owl. The other winter feeder species did not seem to care about this predator being present as they continued their daily routines by visiting the feeders and sometimes perching within a few feet of the owl. The tiny owl was successful 2 out of 3 attempts going after shrews traveling under the snow pack. For more information on this and other bird species, visit www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search
." -Brett Martin
Winter Work = Building a bat condo that will be migrating south to Tennessee. This one is going to Maryville, Tennessee to a college campus where it will be incorporated into their wildlife program.