Star Island Bioblitz

by Dennis O'Keefe

Snow-in-summer, by Dennis O’Keefe

Earlier this month, All Star I conferees organized the first Star Island Bioblitz, an inventory of the biological diversity in and around the island conducted by enthusiasts and experts of all ages. Results are still being posted at the iNaturalist project but early estimates are that we saw at least 168 species, including red-backed salamanders, a polyphemus moth, and a surprise visit from a banded Peregrine Falcon who posed for photographs on the chapel!

More than 35 people participated, including 6 team leaders and 10 young people. Activities on July 2 included an Intertidal Biocube and Hula Hoop meadow transects. The Life Under Logs team found spiders and a centipede, and the Rock Pools team brought back samples with water boatmen and copepods.

We couldn’t have done it without the Rutledge Marine Lab’s Arthur Eves and his able volunteers, Chris and George Wilson. Our speaker of the week (Rob Raguso) and his wife (Laurel Hester) provided scientific guidance and inspiration. Stay tuned for final results which may take awhile. And feel free to add your own photos and observations to the iNaturalist project—no reason to stop finding species we missed. For more information, contact Cyndy Parr.

A peregrine falcon on the Star Island chapel steeple, by Bart Bouricius.

A peregrine falcon on the Star Island chapel steeple, by Bart Bouricius.

A cubic foot of the beach was sampled between high and low tide.

Sampling a cubic foot of the beach between high and low tide.

Hula hoop transect

Hula hoop transect

Centipede

A centipede, ~ 2 centimeters long.

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