Have you ever wanted to get a closer look at a bat? Be able to identify a bird by its song? Or learn the difference first-hand between venomous and non-venomous snake species? At the 2012 BioBlitz, hosted by the Reinhardt School of Mathematics and Sciences, April 13-14, you’ll get the chance to experience the unique biodiversity right here on the University campus. This event is free, and the community is invited and welcome to attend this event.
“One thing Cherokee County can be proud of is its amazing biodiversity!” said Dr. Zach Felix, assistant professor of biology. “We have species found here that are not found anywhere else on Earth. This biodiversity is being displaced and we are losing part of our heritage. The BioBlitz is a way to come together and celebrate some really neat animals and document their presence here on our beautiful campus.”
The two-day event begins on Friday, April 13, as Mark Yates, assistant professor of biology at LaGrange College, will set up nets to capture bats and use listening devices to record their echolocation calls. This activity is from 6-10 p.m. outside of the Samuel C. Dobbs Science Hall.
Sweet sounds will welcome participants for the second day of the Bio Blitz. On Saturday, April 14, from 8-9:30 a.m., three groups of birders will comb the campus for songbirds, led by local bird-watching experts, including Reinhardt’s own Bruce Bynum, director of development and alumni.
A special lecture given by Dr. Felix, 9:30-11 a.m. in the Dobbs Lecture Hall, will feature an introduction to the BioBlitz and a presentation on “Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals.”
After a bring-your-own-lunch break from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., members from the North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA) will take small groups out on campus to seine net fishes. Those interested in participating should meet in front of Dobbs Science Hall by 1 p.m.
Participants can slither over to the top floor of the Hill Freeman Library at 4 p.m. for an exciting snake show! Bryan Hudson, herpetologist and Chattahoochee Nature Center volunteer, will bring a variety of venomous and non-venomous snake species native to the Southeast and give more information about these most-misunderstood reptiles.
The BioBlitz will wrap up at 5 p.m. in the Dobbs Zoology Lab with dinner and an overview of all the discoveries made from this exciting event.
For more information, contact Felix at ZIF@reinhardt.edu or 770-720-5936.