How iNaturalist can guide land management...

Areas with biodiversity are healthier than those without.

It's one of those 'no-duh' statements that we all use as naturalists, but what's one way that we can measure biodiversity? Well, let's document the species!

I was joined with about 20 naturalists in a new nature preserve in Rockwall - Pettinger Preserve. In about 4 hours, we documented at least 200 species (so far). Check out the stuff we spotted:

We're compiling the nice species list of the place as well:

So what? What does it mean? Well, this is another example of how useful iNaturalist is in guiding management. The land now belongs to the City of Rockwall, and they'll be using this data to create trails, avoid certain areas with sensitive habitats, target the removal of invasive species, and restore certain habitats that are good for birds, mammals, and all other organisms.

Thanks to my fellow data collectors:
@tfandre @wildcarrot @dfwuw @brentano @fiddleman @cameralenswrangler @bogslogger @connlindajo @jasmineotto @donnadorman @jwn7882 @spqnancy @daniel112 @butterflies4fun @txstack @cwd912nb @bosqueaaron @elizrose @aguilita @jblinde Hope I didn't leave out anyone!

If you're willing to, please help us ID some of the observations taken in Rockwall County. This is part of a much larger project to document ALL species in Rockwall!

I use iNat for lots of reasons... here's another reason that you should too! Your observations help guide management decisions. :)

Posted on 17 September, 2017 20:08 by sambiology sambiology


It was worth the drive from Lee County that should have been a 3+ hour trip according to Google Maps, but took my granddaughter and I at least 6+ hours before arrival at our motel in Rockwall.

I do brake for observations. Don't know if Jasmine was totally appreciative of all my roadside stops.
She was awed to meet Sam in person and is now working on her homeschooling project report about her observations and experiences.

(BTW... she as a minor, she does have a parental consent to be an iNaturalist filed with
Looking forward to the next one!

Posted by connlindajo almost 7 years ago

I definitely enjoyed the experience. I think it was the first time I had been able to participate in one of these, but it certainly won't be the last. The little pond was a good dragonfly spot. I'm looking forward to seeing what the City of Rockwall does with the land.

Posted by jblinde almost 7 years ago

I'm hoping our observations move the boundaries of known species. States like Texas as so huge that describing the actual ranges of many organisms have to be understood in that context. That has to help give a more accurate account for species and I'm sure there will be many surprises regarding range as time goes by.

I appreciate your dedication and expertise on iNat! Although my wife and I don't travel far very often, we have concentrated on our area and have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the numbers and variety of species here in the Central Texas area.


Posted by billarbon over 6 years ago

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