Berkshire BioBlitz

butterfly girl 2017This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz was be held on on September 16-17, 2017 in Great Barrington MA at Thomas & Palmer Brook as part of the 50 year celebration of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council.

Finally tally for the day was: 542 species. More to come as the identifications start rolling in. Thanks to everyone who participated!

32 Birds
268 Vascular Plants
192 Insects
6 Mollusks
25 Fungi
10 Algae
3 Mammals
6 Reptiles & Amphibians

We found one of the biggest red oak trees in Berkshire County measuring 16 feet across! Some rare algae, and the beaver entertained us during the owl prowl by slapping his tail and getting water all over Berkshire Naturalist: Jason Crockwell.

This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz was hosted by Berkshire Natural Resources Council, and sponsored by Dr. Augie’s and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). Special thanks to Mariah from BNRC and Elizabeth from BEAT for all their help and organization.


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net collectingBerkshire BioBlitz 2016 took place in the area around Mt. Greylock Reservation Visitor’s Center Saturday June 18 to Sunday June 19, 2016.

John mushrooms

Initial tally at the end of the 24 hours was 585 species. Several of the experts are still identifying to species. These numbers will be added to the counts as they come in over the next few months.

Vascular plants: 120
Fungi: 42
Lichens: 46
Bryophytes (mosses etc.): 34
Insects: 271
Spiders: 5
Mollusks: 2
Amphibians: 4
Reptiles: 1
Birds: 55
Mammals: 5

With regards to “big finds”,  MA State Botanist (Bob Wernerehl), who attended and led our plant survey, found at least one plant new to Massachusetts: a variety of a grass (genus: Poa). It is known from the northern New England states, but this was the first record for Massachusetts.

With regards to lichens: One “big find” is that there were far less “reindeer lichens” (Cladonia species) in the Rounds Rock area than there were 20 years ago.

The tallies are being added regularly to iNaturalist project: Berkshire BioBlitz 2016

1This year’s event was sponsored by the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance under a grant from National Geographic Education Foundation and Elms College and co-sponsored by Dr. Augie’s Science Education Programs and Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT).

bioblitz press release 2016

2016 poster


collecting frogsBerkshire BioBlitz 2015 was held at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Pittsfield, it was a blast! More folks than planned showed up to collect. The final count was a record: 637 species

Vascular Plants

Canoe Meadows is part of a wildlife corridor from October Mountain and abundant in flora and fauna.

Among the collectors were: Charley Eiseman lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates
Tom Murray author of Insects of New England & New York
Thom Tying author of Snakes of Western Massachusetts
Pam Weatherbee local legendary botanist

This year’s Berkshire BioBlitz was sponsored by Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries. The goal, as with every BioBlitz (sometimes called “Biodiversity Day” in some towns), is to see how many species we can find in a given area in the 24 hour period of the BioBlitz.

Canoe Meadows sign

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Provencher, Dr. Augie’s
Jane Winn, Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Scott LaGreca, Curator Cornell University
Becky Cushing, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries

Tom Murray’s insect photos and identifications.

yellow mushroom water strider the frog sweeping net sexing a bird set up releasing the frog oriental bittersweetBecky Cushingcollecting dataholding a snake orange mushrooms night collecting mushroom collection munched mushroom lisa collectingbug trap  john little fish holding a bird fishfly dead mans fingers paws cap mushrooms



Berkshire BioBlitz  (a.k.a. Biodiversity Days) took place June 13 & 14, 2014. Our goal was to do a 24-hour bio assessment of the Three Mile Hill Trail/Fountain Pond State Park. We identified birds, reptiles, mammals, plants, fish, insects… everything alive we could find! You can view the BioBlitz2014Report here. Thanks to coordinator Collin Adkins. Collin is a AmeriCorps Member – MassLIFT, Service Learning Coordinator, AMC-Berkshires, South Egremont, Greenagers, Great Barrington, MA. He did a great job. caroline  aquatics   **************************************************************************** Results for mini-Berkshire BioBlitz 2013: Friday June 1, 2013 at Mt. Greylock in Lanesboro. We found a very large and somewhat old False morel, Gyromitra and cup mushroom, Peziza phylogena. Mycologist, Jason Karakehian, was pleased to find Rhytisma punctatum on Acer saccharum leaves but he said it was very old and not a spore to be seen. He also found a rust on jack-in-the-pulpit Uromyces ari-triphylli. chagasWe found Chaga, or Inonotus obliquus, is actually a fungus in Hymenochaetaceae family. It is parasitic on LIVE birch and other trees. The tree forms a conk that looks like burnt charcoal. The conk is not the fruiting body of the fungus as it would appear, but a mass of black mycelium. The chaga mushroom is considered a medicinal mushroom in Russian and Eastern European folk medicine. Rhytisma, a genus of fungi in the Rhytismataceae family commonly known as ‘tar spot’. cup mushroomPeziza is a cup fungus in the phylum Ascomycotes. Like a mushroom (phylum Basidiomycota), Peziza produces above-ground heterokarkyotic reproductive structures that come from an underground mycelium. One way that Peziza differs from mushrooms is that it produces spores on top of its cup, not underneath like a mushroom. daddy long leg“daddy long-legs” or Opiliones are an order of arachnids commonly known as harvest men. Select list of insects: soldier beetles, Podabrus punctatus Click beetle, Cardiophorius gagates Fireflies, Lampyridae Froghoppers, Cercopidae Dragonflies, Gomphidae Wheel bug, Arilus cristatus parasitic wasp, genus Glypta Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa mountain ashFor select list of plants we saw: American Mountain Ash, Sorbus americana Stinging nettle,Urtica dioica Jack in the pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum ramps, Allium tricoccum red and white trillium Invasive: garlic mustard, a biennial flowering plant in the Mustard family, Brassicaceae. oriental bittersweet, Celastraceae family

Jason pressing leaves

bioblitz 2012 024 BERKSHIRE BIOBLITZ 2012 Berkshire Bioblitz, biodiversity day, is 24 hours of intense biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area in Berkshire County. For the past three years teams scientists, naturalists and volunteers have conduct intensive field studies in the Pittsfield State Forest, Mt. Greylock and Burbank Park. Our  goal is to get the public interested in biodiversity. Last years Berkshire BioBlitz was a blast! Thank you to all the visitors and participants that made the 2012  event successful. A special thanks goes out to Jane and Bruce Winn and Scott LaGreca that made this event possible. Part celebration and scientific survey this event is probably one of the nerdiest events in the Berkshires. This year’s event was held in Burbank Park in Pittsfield, September 22 and 23, and was organized by Dr. AugiesBerkshire Environmental Action Team, and the Berkshire Museum, with help from Berkshire Community College, Unico, Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department  and the Pittsfield Dept of Parks and Recreation. And this year’s Berkshire BioBlitz was funded in part by Greylock Federal Credit Union.  For the program you can download the BioBlitz 12 program here. bioblitz kids 2012 009BioBlitz kicked off a day early with a group of 75 students and teachers from Egremont School in Pittsfield, where Emma Kerr from the Berkshire Museum has been working with the students to study biodiversity through Project Noah. The students divided into small groups set off with scientists and naturalists to see what species they could find. The students then delivered brief oral presentations about their work to the entire group. On Saturday and Sunday, 30 scientists were on hand to explore, identify and educate. We had specialists in lichens, algae, trees, mushrooms, insects,  birds, spiders, plants, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. We had live animals, mammal skulls, mushrooms, lichen, and much more for visitors to look at. Our Owl Prowl and Moth Light were cut short by a huge downpour and heavy wind, just to make the adventure more fun. Here are the survey results so far. Some scientists are still keying out specimens collected during the BioBlitz, so there will be more to come. Native Trees 33 species (link to report by Bob Leverett) Lichens 74 species Plants includes herbs, grasses, vines, trees, shrubs, and ferns Algae117 species Aquatic Plants 32 species at north end of Onota lake Birds : 61 (link to original list by members of the Hoffmann Bird Club) Fish: 10 species (we didn’t get several ones that are common in Onota Lake) Fungi: 43 and 2 species Insects: 144 species, and counted separately: Moths , Invertebrates. looking at bugs bioblitz 12Contributing organizations: Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Berkshire Community College Environmental Science Department, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Education Department, Berkshire Museum, Hoffman Bird Club, Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Pittsfield Department of Parks and Recreation, Berkshire County Sherriff’s Department, Lloyd Center for the Environment, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, UConn Storrs, Williams College, Cornell University and Trustees of Reservations. Specialists: Bart Bouricius (trees) Alison Dixon (aquatics) John Brancazzu (fish) Dick Ferrin (birds) Karolina Fucikova (algae) Jeff Hanson (birds) Kyron Hanson (birds) John Hall (algae) Gael Hurley (birds) Katy King  (bees) Scott Jervis (fish) Elizabeth Kneiper (lichens) Scott LaGreca (lichens) Bob Leverett (trees) Andrew Madden (fish) Kirsten Martin (dragonflies) Mark Mello (moths) Joan Milam (bees) Karen Murray (fish) Tom Murray (insects) Dana Ohman (fish) Hannah Provencher (fish) Lisa Provencher (insects) Ann Stengle (herps) Betsy Strauch (plants) Joe Strauch (plants) Tom Tyning (generalist) Rene Wendell Jr (naturalist/owls) Rene Wendell Sr (insects) Audrey Werner (birds) John Wheeler (fungi) Bruce Winn (naturalist) banner skulls scott and elizabeth puff balls photographing the eagle night collecting lightening strike inky caps garter snake electro fishing catch of the day carp


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