The Voltage Gate

UPDATES: Part I, Part II

In honor of National Wildlife Week, April 21 – 29, I am inviting bloggers from all walks to participate in the First Annual Blogger Bioblitz, where bloggers from across the world will choose a wild or not-so-wild area and find how many of each different species – plant, animal, fungi and anything in between – live in a certain area within a certain time.

Pick a neat little area that you are relatively familiar with and is small enough that you or the group can handle – a small thicket, a pond, a section of stream, or even your backyard – and bring along some taxonomic keys or an Audubon guide, or if you’re lucky enough, an expert in local flora and fauna. Set a time limit. Try to identify the different species of organisms that you find as well as the number of each species that you find. Take pictures if you have a digital camera, compile your numbers, make observations, set up your post however you wish as long as you include your numbers in a digestible fashion (I’ll have more details on that later) – then submit it to me and I’ll include it on the list. We will also be tallying total numbers of each species found, and then a grand total. There has also been talk of coding an interactive Google Map with distribution information, geotagging regions with a blogger’s submitted information.

This is not meant to be a contest, nor is meant to be a hard source of taxonomic data. It is meant to be a fun little excursion to highlight little pockets of biodiversity across the world. I should have a 160×160 button available for distribution in a couple days.

This event was inspired by the National Wildlife Federation’s own project, the Wildlife Watch. They will be posting a downloadable list of springtime critters in the near future that may be of use.

So far we have the following participants:

Contact me at thevoltagegate [at] or leave a comment on this thread with your e-mail address if you’d like to be added to the list. Participants will be kept informed by mailing lists. I will pass on more info as it becomes available.


  1. #1 RPM
    March 26, 2007

    Sadly, the majority of life will go undocumented unless you plan to make microscope slides of every square inch of soil or do some metagenomics. It would be cool if someone with a good understanding of microscopic life could take a stab at the non-macro-dioversity.

  2. #2 Jeremy
    March 26, 2007

    Yeah, I agree. I’m tempted to take some water/soil samples myself, but time is a bit of a constraint. I would love some volunteers…

  3. #3 Bill LaLonde
    March 26, 2007

    What a cool idea… count me in!

  4. #4 Laelaps
    March 26, 2007

    Great idea! I’ll be joining in myself and surveying New Brunswick, NJ.

  5. #5 Sara
    March 26, 2007

    Ok, count me in.

  6. #6 Judith Bush
    March 26, 2007

    I’ll be surveying at the mouth of Stevens Creek where it enters into San Francisco Bay in Santa Clara county, CA.

  7. #7 Susannah
    March 26, 2007

    If a backyard is enough, I’m in.

  8. #8 Troy
    March 27, 2007

    Great idea. I’m in for a wetland in central Maryland.

  9. #9 Jim
    March 27, 2007

    Hi there. I think my class and I will also be participating in this event as well. But I have a question in regards to what we count. Do we count organisms that were attracted to the area of our choice or do we count any organism. For instance, if we go to a park, do we count the domesticated ducks(they were put there for our amusement) as well, or do we only count in the “wild” organisms that were attracted to the park (i.e. wild ducks, butterflies, etc.). Thanks.

  10. #10 Susan Farmer
    March 27, 2007

    As a participant with the ATBI that’s going on in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, BioBlitz’s are cool!

    It’s not exactly a BioBlitz, but that’s the week of the Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smoky Mountains, I can keep a record of the flowering plants (and what ferns and mosses that I know) as I lead walks in the park on my livejournal …

  11. #11 Jeremy
    March 27, 2007


    I suppose there’s a thin line, but for the most part I would leave the domesticated animals out of the count. But, there could be sound, ecological reasons for keeping them in the count…

    It’s up to you.

    Susan: Sounds like a viable count to me. Welcome!

    Be sure you both register at the Google Group:

  12. #12 neil
    March 30, 2007

    I’m signed up. Thanks for putting this together Jeremy I’m looking forward to it!

  13. #13 Wayne
    March 30, 2007

    Great idea, Jeremy. I’ve written a piece about it, joined the Google Group, and plan on using this as a dry run for an ongoing project.

  14. #14 Birdfreak
    March 31, 2007

    Sign me up!

  15. #15 Dave Shaw
    April 3, 2007

    Count me in. I’ll be exploring (as I do most days) the wonders of Alaska’s boreal forest, camera and binoculars in hand.

  16. #16 Warren Strobel
    April 4, 2007

    Please join us up. We’ll be exploring the oak woods behind our house in Maryland…

  17. #17 pinenut
    April 6, 2007

    Great idea! I’ll think I’ll add the twist of recommending field guides because my new blog’s about nature books. Let me know if anyone has favorites that I should mention. Thanks!

  18. #18 Celeste Pinheiro
    April 8, 2007

    please add me to the bioblitz! I’m in the coast range of Oregon.

  19. #19 Ontario Wanderer
    April 18, 2007

    Sounds like a very interesting project. Count me in please.

    Dean (aka) Ontario Wanderer
    Rural Ontario
    Near Brantford, Ontario

  20. #20 Wendy
    April 21, 2007

    Count me in! This will be a great project for me to do with my son, and I can count it as school (we homeschool). We’ll be surveying our backyard and some open space behind our home in Contra Costa County, California.

  21. #21 James Linzel
    April 24, 2007

    I made this wetpaint wiki awhile ago. I haven’t had the ability to advertise ot promote much myself. Maybe it could be used in some way.

    Please use at your leisure.


  22. #22 Rebecca Hartong
    April 24, 2007

    I’d like to do this too! I’m in Fairfax, Virginia and I’ll be looking at my backyard.

  23. #23 SMC
    April 24, 2007

    It would be cool if someone with a good understanding of microscopic life could take a stab at the non-macro-dioversity.

    I don’t know if I count as having a “good understanding” (it depends on precisely where you set the boundaries of “good”) being a mere undergraduate and all, but I’m interested in giving it a try.

    The catch is, the one location I expect to have much useful information on during this session is kind of “different” from what’s probably being sought here.

    Arguably, I’m investigating microbial diversity somewhere around here but I’m doing it from Southeastern Idaho at the moment.

    If “wild bacteria and yeasts remaining alive in a bottle of imported Belgian lambic ale” counts for this project, count me in. (I figure it may not – my sample is limited to “organisms surviving in a viable state in a bottle of imported lambic which are not obligate aerobes” Even if it doesn’t count, I’m doing it anyway, so if anyone is interested please feel free to follow along at my blog (“The Big Room”)).

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get the sequence analysis on my 8 bacterial isolates – some of which are no doubt duplicates – done by next week, when the lab report’s due…

  24. #24 Pure Portugal
    May 28, 2007

    would like to participate but time is a big constraint – will do our best.

  25. #25 Nina
    August 23, 2007

    What a good idea–does “first annual” really mean you’ll do this next year, too? If so, I’d give it a try, just to see what I can see!

  26. #26 Chat
    December 8, 2007

    Chat Sohbet

  27. #27 Barbie Oyunlar
    January 28, 2008

    Barbie Oyunlar

  28. #28 Edd-seo
    February 29, 2008

    We’ll be surveying our backyard and some open space

  29. #29 chat
    October 6, 2008


  30. #30 muhabbet
    October 6, 2008

    thankschatahh ahhh

  31. #31 chat
    October 15, 2008


  32. #32 chat
    October 15, 2008


  33. #33 chat
    October 15, 2008


  34. #34 sohbet
    October 17, 2008

    Thank you very much

  35. #35 php coder
    June 20, 2009

    was a great experience. Do not be tekradan wonder?

  36. #36 diyet
    June 20, 2009

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get the sequence analysis on my 8 bacterial isolates – some of which are no doubt duplicates – done by next week, when the lab report’s due…

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