Friday, May 27, 2011

Piceance Basin Bioblitz

Last week, CNHP botanists Jill Handwerk, Bernadette Kuhn, Peggy Lyon, and Dee Malone participated in a search for new occurrences of two endemic plant species in Rio Blanco County. The Dudley Bluffs twinpod (Physaria obcordata) and the Dudley Bluffs bladderpod (Lesquerella congesta) are both listed as Threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. 

CNHP staff joined volunteers from the Colorado Native Plant Society, and staff of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, White River National Forest, and Colorado Natural Areas Program, at a campsite on the Ryan Creek Road. Botanists were able to sample 80 random points as a test of a new habitat model developed by CNHP. We hope that the data will allow us to further refine the model, and eventually lead to discoveries of additional occurrences of the two species.

Breakfast strategy meeting – assigning locations to field teams. 
Photo by Bernadette Kuhn.

The diminutive Lesquerella congesta in full bloom. 
Photo by Jill Handwerk.

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