June 12, 2019

Moth week in DFW!

Here are some of the public mothing events going on in DFW for National Moth Week!

All events are around 8:30 until... well, until we leave. :)

Saturday, 20 July: Acton Nature Center, Acton
Sunday, 21 July: Samuell Farm Park, Mesquite
Tuesday, 23 July: Twelve Hills Nature Center, Dallas
Friday, 26 July: Parr Park, Grapevine
Saturday, 27 July: Heard Museum, McKinney

If you know of others happening in/around DFW, let us know!

Posted on June 12, 2019 17:41 by sambiology sambiology | 10 comments | Leave a comment

June 08, 2019

ID's in Dallas/Fort Worth... Been slacking on these!

I focused a lot of time during the city nature challenge to add in ID's -- tossed on about 6k from Dallas/Fort Worth, and I've not picked up since then! Anyways, just a short note to mention that sooner before later, I'll get back onto adding ID's. :)

Also, just FYI -- here's how I tend to do ID's. I'm just a regional person -- unfortunately, I'm not too knowledgeable about the flora and fauna outside of north central TX (at least, not too knowledgeable yet!).

I search for all observations made per day and switch the filters to those needing ID's and the ones that already have ID's (to check the verifications).

For instance, here are all of the observations uploaded on 1 June 2019 (observations that are uploaded on this date aren't necessarily observed on this date):
33 pages of observations! I start with the last page, and then move my way backwards so that I try to look at each observation. Some will slip through the cracks, but at least I'll try to see most of what people spotted.

The DFW area is pretty loaded with biodiversity - and there's a massive citizen science community here! It's awesome to see what everyone else sees here! :) I'll be back to adding ID's sometime soonish. :)

Posted on June 08, 2019 23:09 by sambiology sambiology | 7 comments | Leave a comment

May 29, 2019

Bullfrogs in ponds around DFW -- know of some good locations?

Thor Larson and Joe Mruzek at UTA are doing a really cool study on bullfrog tadpoles and diatom diets especially in the urban area...

So, they are looking for some locations for bullfrog tadpoles within DFW! Do you know of any? Ideally, look for some of the tadpoles in the pond or at least some of the adult frogs in the margins of the pond. The bigger the population, the better the sampling! :)

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Posted on May 29, 2019 18:37 by sambiology sambiology | 18 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2019

Grapevine biodiversity survey - THIS Friday! Short notice -- anyone want to come?

So, super short notice on this, but this Friday (24 May 2019), we're going to do a somewhat more rigorous flora and fauna survey of an area on the east side of Grapevine Lake - around 140 acres. It's basically across from Rockledge Park... We want to get some foundational knowledge of what's out there before any developments or management decisions are made.


It's a weekday, and we're planning on doing the survey all day and into the evening. We'll break it into a few different parts: a morning survey (like 9 to noon), an afternoon (like 1 – 4), and then we will do some mothing out there too (like 8 – 11ish).

Please let me know soonish if you're interested. It's going to focus a little more on making observations rather than the social parts of a bioblitz, so just FYI on that too. :)

Posted on May 20, 2019 21:55 by sambiology sambiology | 40 comments | Leave a comment

May 13, 2019

Mothing in Portland -- how safe are parks at night? :) Or, where should I moth?

Hey Portland and Oregon/Washington iNatters (most of whom I've never met),

I'll be jumping up to Portland for the International Urban Wildlife Conference (http://urban-wildlife.org/) on 1 - 6 June, and I'll bring a little mothing set-up with a couple black lights. I'll be staying at the University Place Hotel (310 SW Lincoln Street, Portland, OR 97201), and Marquam Nature Park is like half a mile away (definitely walking distance).

Curious to anyone familiar -- is this park relatively safe -- like at night?

I'd been here once before in 2015 (https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sambiology/2015/5/19), but I can't really recall the area as far as safety goes...

If there's another place that could be better for moths (and personal safety!), I'd love to hear some suggestions.

Thanks! :)

Posted on May 13, 2019 03:44 by sambiology sambiology | 9 comments | Leave a comment

May 07, 2019

DFW did GREAT this City Nature Challenge! Again the winner: nature!

7th globally in observations, 9th in species, and 10th in observers! This is incredible!

In Texas, DFW is 1st in both observations and observers and 2nd in species. Amazing.

We documented 2626 species in 36384 observations by 1012 observers. Also, huge props to the folks that dedicated time to ID’ing other folks’ observations. 62% of the observations were identified or verified by others. This is great, and super helpful. If you’re still up for it, there are about 12k observations that are still awaiting ID’s or verifications: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?project_id=city-nature-challenge-2019-dallas-fort-worth

Across the board, we did better than last year and the year before!
2018: 35048 observations of 2441 species by 826 observers
2017: 24077 observations of 2309 species by 542 observers

Most importantly, these numbers are being used. Each observation gives information on where something is found in space and time, and when combined with all of other other observations, we have a pretty good idea of what’s out there! Overtime, this information is becoming more and more useful – we can compare this data to future data. Each time you make an observation, recognize this!

Also, this information is being used by public land managers and policy makers. They’re seeing the biodiversity in the area, but just as importantly, they’re seeing the constituency of naturalists that seek out areas of biodiversity. This is meaningful!

Great job to all! Don’t let the observations stop – it’s still spring and wildlife wants to be documented! ;) Many thanks to all the participants of this year’s City Nature Challenge. It was a great one!

Posted on May 07, 2019 19:45 by sambiology sambiology | 4 comments | Leave a comment

April 01, 2019

Whew -- loads of new observations.... Thanks to those that ID!

So, spring has sprung, and the observations are a'coming in numbers... The trend will continue into April, and the city nature challenge is going to be bonkers with new observations!

Just this past week, in TX alone, there were 19,000 observations:

Lots of new observers too! It's a good thing overall, but some of the observations (particularly from the students being forced to make them) are a bit lacking...

Anyways, a shout out to all of the folks adding in ID's for others! Thank you big time. Just as an encouragement, know that when you add an ID to an observation, it welcomes the observer to the naturalist community. So, please, keep it up!

I've decided to focus a bit more at a region than at a particular taxon or group. Be sure to use the identify screen with a filter for the place -- you can filter by county or by general region (if there's a place created).
I usually use the "cross timbers and blackland prairies ecoregion" place:

Now that more and more observations are coming in, I'll narrow it down to the "DFW metroplex:"

Filter by county, filter by state, or filter by taxon -- each and every ID welcomes new observers! :)

Posted on April 01, 2019 02:23 by sambiology sambiology | 5 comments | Leave a comment

March 06, 2019

City Nature Challenge! Events going on in DFW -- let me know about others!

So, April is sneaking up on me, but I know of a few events going on in the DFW metroplex for the City Nature Challenge this year! Please let me know if you know more details, and I can update. Also, if you know of other places where bioblitzes are happening, leave a comment!

Friday, 26 April:
Tarleton State University Fort Worth Campus Bioblitz: 9 am – 5 pm *
Coyote Loop in Burleson: noon – 3 PM
UT Dallas Monarch Waystation (meet at gazebo): 11 am - 1 pm
Windmill Garden at Brookhaven College: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
LLELA bioblitz: 2 pm - 8:30 pm
Mothing at Mockingbird Nature Park, Midlothian: 8 pm - 10 pm *
Bat BioBlitz in Parr Park, Grapevine: 7:30 pm - 9 pm

Saturday, 27 April:
Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center, Irving: 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Parr Park, Grapevine, how to use iNat and bioblitz: 9 am - 11 am
Dogwood Canyon bioblitz at Cedar Ridge Preserve: 9 am – noon
Dallas Parks and Rec BioBlitz at Gatewark Park on Jim Miller Road: 9 am – noon *
Blackland Prairie Conservatory and Atelier in Dallas: 10 am - noon
SouthWest Nature Preserve: 2 pm - 5 pm
LLELA bioblitz and mothing: 7:30 am - midnight *
Fort Worth Nature Center NatureCon: 9 am – 3 pm
Coppell Nature Park: 10 am - noon

Sunday, 28 April:
Twelve Hills, Dallas: 10 am - noon
Heard Museum, McKinney: 1 pm – 3 pm
Meadowmere Park in Grapevine bioblitz: 1 pm - 4 pm
Lakewood Outdoor Learning Area, Dallas: 1 pm – 3 pm
Chisholm Trail Community Park in Fort Worth: 2 pm – 5 pm

Monday, 29 April:
Frisco Commons Park: 8:15 am - 9:15 am

Posted on March 06, 2019 02:47 by sambiology sambiology | 7 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2019

A great page for iNat tips and tricks -- thanks, cassi!

@bouteloua is a rockstar. :)

cassi put together this great page that shows some of the tips and tricks on iNat. I highly suggest you check these out:

Now, we just need to convince cassi to come down and visit us in Texas some day! :)

Posted on February 20, 2019 05:29 by sambiology sambiology | 10 comments | Leave a comment

February 11, 2019

Lifers! iNaturalist makes traveling more fun. :)

iNaturalist is freaking awesome.

I'm sure that people did bird watching before binoculars, folks gazed up at the stars without a telescope, and people looked close at stuff without magnifying glasses/microscopes. However, because of those tools, the activities were amplified by a tremendous amount!

iNaturalist is a tool that makes traveling so much more fun. I went to Florida last month, and I was blown away by how different it is than Texas -- the wildlife was so unique and amazing. I took photos of a whole slew of things that I had no clue of their identity. However, I knew that when I uploaded them onto iNaturalist, I'd be able to find out the names (or at least get an idea of how to search for them).

I'm extremely grateful to all of the naturalists that spend time going over observations and give ID's. It's such a welcoming act of sharing your knowledge about a taxon or location. It makes the data better, and it is definitely appreciated by the naturalists making the observations! It feels good to know what to call something. :)

I actually like the concept of 'lifers' too -- this is a species that I hadn't seen before (or at least, one that I hadn't documented before). It's likely pretty silly, but I enjoy seeing a critter or plant or fungi for the first time. That organism has existed on the planet for millennia, and I'm fortunate to see it! I'm challenging myself to not just learn the name of a 'lifer,' but to learn a bit more about it -- the stuff it's related to, how it lives, the various adaptations it has, and where all it's found. The name is the first step of the learning process.

Another neat thing about iNaturalist is that one doesn't have to travel far to go exploring! :) Even when I go to a new park, I realize that there's going to be new stuff for me -- even if they're species that I've seen before, I hadn't seen them before in that exact area or that exact time. What fun to explore! :)

So yep, iNaturalist is pretty cool. I'm super lucky to use this tool and be part of this community.

Quote from @scottking 's great new book (https://www.amazon.com/Following-Earth-Around-Scott-King/dp/1545508402/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549862387&sr=8-1&keywords=following+the+earth+around)
"Names introduce species to humanity... All awareness, conservation, and research starts with the question: What species is that?" ~K.D. Dijkstra

Posted on February 11, 2019 05:01 by sambiology sambiology | 7 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment