WNPR

A 24-Hour Race to Find as Many Species as Possible

Jun 3, 2016

This weekend, nearly 200 scientists joined up with members of the public in a 24-hour race to identify as many plant and animal species as possible. It's called a "BioBlitz."

The Connecticut State BioBlitz is being billed as the largest BioBlitz in the country.

Participants planned to gather at Two Rivers Magnet School in East Hartford, hunt for animals and plants, and try to break the U.S. species count record.

"The Wikipedia record for the most species that's ever been found in 24 hours -- 2,519. We're hoping to beat that," said David Wagner, an entomologist at UConn who is helping to organize the event. "It will be difficult. We'll need some good weather. We'll need some good luck."

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, he said the BioBlitz will include scientists representing all branches of the tree of life -- and will feature lots of interactive exhibits for adults and children, too: insect displays, field walks, lectures, reptile exhibits, and raptor demonstrations.

"All these other BioBlitzes, most of them are going on in national parks -- maybe pristine areas," said Wagner. "We didn't want to do that, we wanted to bring awareness about biodiversity right to the city. Right to East Hartford -- right to Hartford. We're challenging ourselves, but we want to make sure that people who live in Hartford can find out about the wonderful plant and animal life that lives within five miles of the city."

The event is open to the public on Saturday, June 4, starting at 10:00 am.