Public registration is now open for the “BioBlitz” a nassive two-day species count and combined with a “Biodiversity and Cultural Festival” in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, 2015.
“Themed I ka n?n? no a ‘ike (“By observing, one learns”), the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz is part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom excursion and part celebration of biodiversity and culture,” according to the Park Service’s announcement of the Blitz. “It will bring together more than 150 leading scientists and traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners, more than 750 students and thousands from the general public. Together, they will be dispatched across the park’s 333,086 acres to explore and document the biodiversity that thrives in recent lava flows and native rain forests of K?lauea volcano.
“BioBlitz provides an unparalleled opportunity to work alongside leading scientists and cultural practitioners to discover, count and add to the park’s species list; to explore the interconnectedness of plants, animals, Hawaiian people and our daily lives; and to protect this amazing biodiversity and rich culture in our park,” said HVNP Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
To be part of a scientist-led inventory team, participants must register online at nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz. Participation on inventory teams is limited and spots will be filled on a first-come basis. Children ages 8 and older, accompanied by adults, may participate in the free inventory opportunities.
The park is moving its 35th annual Cultural Festival from July to May this year and expanding it to include biodiversity in order to coordinate it with the Blitz. the festival will “offer hands-on science and cultural exhibits, food, art and entertainment, plus the opportunity to meet individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian cultur…everybody can enjoy hands-on fun at the Biodiversity & Cultural Festival. BioBlitz base camp and the Biodiversity & Cultural Festival will be located at the Kahua Hula overlooking Halema‘uma‘u Crater near the K?lauea Visitors Center in the park. No registration is required, to participate in the Festival, which is free and open to the public; Park entrance entrance fees are waived for both days.
The BioBlitz is the ninth of ten similar that are taking place at various national parks around the country–all sponsored jointly by the Park Service and National Geographic Society.