Basin and Range National Monument BioBlitz to benefit future planning efforts
More than 50 volunteers, and agency and organization representatives in early June fanned out across eastern Nevada’s 704,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument to observe and record plants, insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians using the iNaturalist application. So far, 470 observations and 183 species have been recorded.
Monument Manager Alicia Styles said data collected in the BioBlitz will benefit future planning efforts. “It will help to focus inventory and monitoring efforts, refine habitat models, and ensure proper care and management of the plant and animal species listed in the 2015 proclamation,” Styles said.
Collaborating with the Bureau of Land Management on the two-day BioBlitz were the U.S. Geological Survey, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and Nevada Division of Natural Heritage. Other participants were the College of Southern Nevada, Conservation Lands Foundation, Friends of Basin and Range, and Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, which is working with the BLM and state wildlife agency on a five-year project to inventory bat species within the monument.
“We’re excited to work with the agencies to provide baseline data, including species present in the monument and their temporal use of these public lands. With threats such as habitat loss and white-nose syndrome, these data will help us to better understand and conserve bats in the monument,” said Susi Algrim, ENLC Executive Director.
A moment of silence was held on the second day of the BioBlitz in memory of Gregory (Greg) Gust who passed away in March 2023. An ENLC botanist, Greg worked extensively on a botanical inventory of the area. “His contributions to eastern Nevada ecology and the bright light he brought to this world live on in our memories,” Algrim said.
This year’s BioBlitz was the monument’s second. Its first BioBlitz was conducted in 2021. The monument was designated in 2015 by Presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act due to its geological, ecological, cultural, historical, paleoecological, seismological, archaeological, and paleoclimatological significance.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.