Earlier this month CNHP ecologist Renée Rondeau and Denver Botanic Gardens Curator Dina Clark coordinated a bioblitz of the JE Canyon Ranch in southeast Colorado. A bioblitz is an intensive survey of the biodiversity of an area. For this one, more than 50 participants, including botanists, entomologists, mycologists, zoologists, ecologists, ranchers and others converged on the ranch for about 24 hours, documenting every species they could find. The final tally was 924 species:
• Plants: 322
• Mammals 20
• Birds: 62
• Amphibians and Reptiles: 18
• Fish: 3
• Moths: 181
• Butterflies: 29
• Other Insects: 280
Participants had a pool to guess the final tally, which was won by CNHP director Dave Anderson with a guesstimate of 940. The prize was a guided trip, led by Dina Clark, to the Denver Botanic Gardens for him and his family.
The Denver Botanic Gardens has posted Renée's summary of some preliminary highlights on their blog.
Here are some additional photos from Dave Anderson:
Buffalo grass (Buchloë dactyloides) in flower. This important shortgrass prairie species has both male and female plants.
A native species of brome (Bromopsis pumpelliana). Nice to see the native species instead of the common introduced species.
Dalea jamesii, a member of the pea family, found on sandstone rimrock and sandy arroyos in southeastern Colorado.
A wild buckwheat (Eriogonum tenellum), also common on rocky areas in southeastern Colorado.
The spectacular Gunnison's mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii)
Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) fruits.
The small-flowered mock-orange (Philadelphus microphyllus).
The only red-flowered penstemon on Colorado's eastern slope (Penstemon barbatus).
More photos soon! (Inlcuding some people and animal shots, we promise!)
Thanks again to all the participants! Special thanks go to Jerry Wenger and his family, Ralph and Curtis Tichnor, Jim Davis, and Chris West. This effort wouldn't have been possible without you. Thanks also to the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust for all the help with planning and logistics.
Meteor shower in a sky full of stars over southeast Colorado.