Journal archives for March 2017

06 March, 2017

New guide for the moths of Dallas/Fort Worth

Hey friends,

I updated the moth guide and created a new moth guide of the 165 most commonly observed moths in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Here it is:

Big time thanks to the folks that observe moths and add GREAT images -- you'll probably notice some of these as being your images (@greglasley @gcwarbler @annikaml @krancmm @cgritz @kimberlietx @pfau_tarleton ... several other folks I can't recall right now).

I created this guide by using the observation search, filtering by the place DFW Metroplex, and the species as Lepidoptera.
These are sorted by the number of observations, so these are the most commonly observed ones. I then copy and pasted the species names of the ones that were moths (as opposed to the butterflies), and created the guide with these.

I'd like to know how many folks you think will use this though before I make it available online. @loarie @kueda @pleary @tiwane and the iNat folks mention that it is a burden to the system, so I definitely don't want to do that, unless there are several people that you think would use something like this.

Yippee! Moths! :)

Posted on 06 March, 2017 16:56 by sambiology sambiology | 16 comments | Leave a comment

City Nature Challenge, April 14 – 18 in DFW!

Short message:

Make iNaturalist observations anywhere in Dallas/Fort Worth on April 14 – 18 (Easter weekend)! Show the rest of the country how many different critters and plants and fungi live in our urban area! Citizen scientists unite!

Longer message with more details:

Last year, San Francisco and Los Angeles had a competition on which urban area has the most citizen scientists and most species. Well, they want to extend this competition to the rest of the country. New York City, Boston, Raleigh, Washington DC, Nashville, Duluth, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Austin, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth are the participating cities… Which area has the most citizen scientists and most species?!? Can DFW compete with the rest of the country?!? I think so! We need your help though.

With your family and friends, or even by yourself, go outside anywhere in Dallas/Fort Worth (area defined as anywhere within these counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Wise) and make iNaturalist observations. These observations will automatically be added to the DFW project on iNaturalist. If you don’t know what the organism is that you’re observing, that’s ok! Observe it, and others will help you ID it. If you do know what it is, you can enter in the ID and others will verify it. All observations have to be observed on April 14 through 18, and must be uploaded before April 22 to be counted in this City Nature Challenge. If you need to get out of work or out of school, I’ll write you a doctor’s note with a prescription for nature! ;)

Go to your favorite park or one you’ve not been to before. Observe some of the critters in your own back yard too! All of these count, and this data is useful. We can highlight the areas of high biodiversity, we can see where certain invasive species are, and we can even monitor changes in species distributions through time by documenting it today.

One of the products from this challenge with be updated species guides for our region. This is filterable, so you can search for ‘reptiles’ or ‘beetles’ or ‘legumes’ and get an idea of the ones that people have observed so far. With each observation, we gain more knowledge of the plants, animals, and fungi that live within the DFW urban environment. This digital field guide is the tool for the next generation of naturalists. Let’s embrace it!

We’ll be keeping up with the results daily on the Facebook page. We’ll show off some of the neat things that folks are seeing each day. There’s a Facebook event for this thing too (the Austin and Houston folks are on this too).

We’ll have leaderboards on the TPWD webpage too.

If you’re unfamiliar with the citizen science tool iNaturalist, here is a link to help you explore the website, and here are some handouts on how to use the app.

Now, if you want to get together with other naturalists to make observations, here is the tentative calendar of events going on in the DFW metroplex. Bring a camera, bug net, smart phone, water, snacks, comfortable shoes, and most importantly, your curiosity! Family friendly events.

Friday, April 14…

9 am – noon: Breckinridge Park in Richardson *
9 am – 11 am: White Rock Lake (Bath House) in Dallas
9:30 am – 12:30 pm: Twelve Hills Nature Center in Dallas
11:30 am - 1 pm: UNT campus (by student union and admin building) in Denton
1 pm – 4 pm: Bear Creek Nature Park in Lancaster *
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm: The Mound in Flower Mound
7 pm – 10 pm: Cedar Ridge Preserve in Cedar Hill (mothing!)
7 pm – 10 pm: Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian (mothing!) *

Saturday, April 15…

8 am - 11 am: LLELA in Lewisville
9 am – noon: OS Gray Natural Area in Arlington *
9 am - noon: Marion Sansom Park in Fort Worth
9 am – 1 pm: Heard Museum in McKinney
10 am – 11:30 am: Twelve Hills Nature Center in Dallas (butterfly walk!)
1 pm – 4 pm: South West Nature Preserve in Arlington *
1:30 pm – 3 pm: Fort Worth Nature Center in Fort Worth

Sunday, April 16 (Easter Sunday)…

9 am - 3 pm: Connemara Nature Preserve in Allen

Monday, April 17…

9 am – noon: Mike Lewis Park in Grand Prairie *
1 pm – 4 pm: Cross Timbers Park in North Richland Hills *

Tuesday, April 18…

9:30 am – 11 am: Blackland Prairie Conservatory & Atelier prairie in Dallas
4 pm - 7 pm: Tandy Hills Park in Fort Worth *

If you know of other organizations or parks that would be interested in promoting this city nature challenge or hosting a nature event, give them some flyers, or handouts, and let me know. We can include them on the partners list on the website and on the timeline of events.

Most of all, go outside and enjoy nature. Wildlife exists in the urban area – enjoy it. :)

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. Thanks! Also, the ones with the * sign, I'm planning on being at these. All of the others will have other guides and leaders.

Sam Kieschnick
Urban Wildlife Biologist, DFW
Texas Parks and Wildlife
sambiology on iNaturalist!

Posted on 06 March, 2017 22:59 by sambiology sambiology | 20 comments | Leave a comment

20 March, 2017

Exciting experiment with iNaturalist identifications

Props to the folks at iNat for putting together this experiment. Looking forward to seeing some results!

Posted on 20 March, 2017 14:13 by sambiology sambiology | 18 comments | Leave a comment