2022 Bioblitz planning

If anyone would like to propose future Texas area bioblitz locations for 2022, feel free to comment here or private message. Proposed locations must have overnight facilities (with restrooms) onsite or nearby. Most state parks might not be ideal because they're extremely crowded on weekends and require reservations months in advance for camping.

Also, I think it might be a good idea to avoid areas of moderate to severe drought when possible.

This Google map documents location of past, planned, and potential bioblitz gatherings:

Scheduled 2022 events:

Potential 2023 event locations:

  • I'd like to do something along the coast and am looking into locations that have overnight facilities on-site or nearby--not easy to find. Camp Mauritz might be available ($4 per person which includes restrooms, showers, and pavilion). This seems like the best "headquarters" for a gathering along the central coast (none of the WMAs allow camping). But need to identify places to access for coastal observations--perhaps Powderhorn WMA)
  • Lake Proctor, Copperas Creek Park (Erath Co.)--Here, the onsite park ranger is interested in hosting us at a group pavilion for an overnight stay.
  • June 4-5: Lance's place (Erath Co.)--Lance, the owner of this private property, will host folks for an overnight stay (tent or car camping).

Posted by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton, October 06, 2021 03:30


Black Gap WMA, Davis Mountains Preserve (with TNC approval), Independence Creek Preserve (with TNC approval), Roy E. Larson Sandyland Preserve, Powderhorn WMA, Falcon Lake, State Park :)

Posted by knightericm 11 months ago (Flag)

I second Falcon Lake State Park. Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, which has a variety of great habitats and accommodating park staff. National Butterfly Center in Mission. Lots of host plants for lepidoptera and Rio Grande river access; super nice staff. Would need approval to do mothing there.

Posted by jcochran706 11 months ago (Flag)

I don't think we've had a bioblitz on the immediate coast that I can remember. The possibilities are vast:
-- Upper Texas Coast: Sea Rim, High Island, Bolivar Peninsula, Anahuac NWR, etc.
-- Matagorda County: Mad Island WMA, Matagorda, mouth of Colorado River, Palacios.
-- Calhoun County: Powderhorn Ranch (if available), Port O'Connor, TOS's Magic Ridge Sanctuary, etc.
-- Coastal Bend: Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Rockport, Copano Causeway.
-- Corpus Christi area: Anything/everything from Lake Corpus Christi to the coast, including Hazel Bazemore Park, Polywog Ponds, the Osa, Packery Channel Co. Park, Mustang Island, N. Padre Island.
-- Kleberg/Kenedy County: Lots of small places to explore; sand plains (distinct veg community); maybe King Ranch access?

I've visited almost all of these locations for birding purposes but I'm eager to explore them for their wider array of plants and animals.

Posted by gcwarbler 11 months ago (Flag)

Hagerman NWR and Caddo LBJ Grasslands (any of the units) in the north Texas region

the panhandle is underrepresented but it's a drive for most of us. Gene Howe WMA near Canadian is really interesting; I never got a chance to hit it hard when I lived in Amarillo but it looks promising. Of course there's also Caprock Canyon and/or Palo Duro.

Lake Meredith/Alibates National Recreation areas are pretty good, but I don't know what the paperwork to have an event there would be like.

Posted by williampaulwhite17 11 months ago (Flag)

I would love to hit panhandle a bit. Don't know what all areas are accessible other than Muleshoe NWR. Second Chuck's mention of coastal areas. And of course far west texas Big Bend area etc are still big holes in my observations.

Posted by brentano 10 months ago (Flag)

East Texas Pineywoods: Caddo Lake NWR, Old Sabine Bottom WMA, Northeast Texas Trail (130 miles long!), SFA Experimental Forest

If you want to go outside Texas:

Pond Creek NWR (Ashdown, AR area)
Little River NWR, Beaver's Bend (McCurtain County, OK)
Soda Lake WMA, Red River NWR (Shreveport, LA)

Posted by cosmiccat 10 months ago (Flag)

I concur with @cosmiccat: Northeast Texas is in need of attention!

Posted by gcwarbler 10 months ago (Flag)

I am for all of these places. :) That's the wonderful thing -- there are SO many spots to explore! And I know whichever place is chosen will be just wonderful. :)

Just FYI -- WMA's really need to be checked with the hunting/management schedules. Sometimes they close for various reasons (hunts/burns/programs). State Parks can have some extra public, so the sooner to get things on the calendar, the better -- and the more likely that more folks can come!

Private lands can be fun, but you definitely need to make sure that the landowner is ok with the data being on iNat. If I can be able to come, they'll need to sign a little landowner permission sheet for me (or any TPWD folks) to come and make observations.
A few years back, we went to Del Rio and to a spot that wasn't really open to the public and ALL of the observations had to be obscured... I didn't really like that too much, but we did do it.

Posted by sambiology 10 months ago (Flag)

Caddo Lake NWR is awesome, and there's some OK-ish hotels and food nearby. So many Cajun restaurants. The state park isn't bad either; would definitely benefit from people set up for kayaking/canoeing with camera equipment

Posted by williampaulwhite17 10 months ago (Flag)

I would like to recommend Indian Creek Ranch (a 10,000 acre unexplored (except a little bit by me) area). It is privately owned, so not open to the public, located about 1/2 an hour SW of Rocksprings, TX. Lat/long is: 29.84797, -100.33126. I have found many poorly documented species here, starting with the infamous Anemone edwardsiana. Others include: Carlowrightia linearifolia (which is way out of documented range) and Muhlenbergia spiciformis (for which it seems I've submitted the first and only oberservation in iNat; go figure).

I have checked with the landowners and there are open to having a group explore the ranch and document what they found. Edwards County in general is overlooked. Observations would not need to be obscured. The landowners are actually interested in what is at the ranch, so I'd need to figure out how to create an official place name for it on iNat so we could share with them what was documented. Those who come would need to sign a waiver in case of injury.

Posted by bacchusrock 10 months ago (Flag)

I like the sound of Indian Creek Ranch! Jo, I'll message you privately about how to set up an area on iNat for the ranch.

Posted by gcwarbler 10 months ago (Flag)

On board for Indian Creek Ranch too! Always up for exploring some of those huge private ranches, especially in that part of the state.

Posted by knightericm 10 months ago (Flag)

Thanks to help from @gcwarbler I've been able to create both a place and a project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/indian-creek-ranch-biodiversity) for Indian Creek Ranch. I started on iNat at the end of 2020 and have managed to find about 660 species at the ranch during this past year. I know I have just scratched the surface but this provides a flavor of what is on the ranch.

Posted by bacchusrock 10 months ago (Flag)

Thanks @bacchusrock! Let us know what dates you have in mind. I think spring would be ideal for that location. I noticed that I've got the 2nd highest number of observations for Indian Creek Ranch (3 anemone seeds)--and I've never even been there!

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago (Flag)

Woo hoo! This looks like a super exciting location. And yeah, if you're able to snag a date sooner before later, it allows lots of us to plan accordingly. :)

Don't let my schedule dictate anything... buuuuuut, I do have weekends of May 7th and May 14th open (all other May weekends are booked). April only has the weekend of 23rd open (the rest are booked already!) for me... Whew! Next year's calendar is already looking bonkers!

Posted by sambiology 10 months ago (Flag)

@sambiology You are clearly in high demand! ..as it should be.

Posted by gcwarbler 10 months ago (Flag)

@gcwarbler -- would you apply to be my intern please? :)

Definitely a good busy! :)

Posted by sambiology 10 months ago (Flag)

..only if I can carry your luggage wherever you go.

Posted by gcwarbler 10 months ago (Flag)

There aren't any restrictions from the landowner perspective in the spring as hunting season for white-tails is over. I just need to give them notice. Reviewing my observations, late April / early May would be good timing. Too late for anemones (the glabrous one was photographed on April 9), but maybe Russell would need to make a special trip to find more of those. Perhaps, then I suggest April 23, May 7, or May 14 and see what would work for the rest of us.

As an FYI, for accommodations, the ranch has an 18 acre landing strip (if someone has a plane, yes, you can fly in) where there is a hangar and plenty of room to park a car or pitch a tent. I will also be asking the landowners if anyone is interesting in hosting. Unless something changes at the border, hotels (if they can be called that) in Rocksprings aren't an option as they are fully booked with state troopers and the like.

Posted by bacchusrock 10 months ago (Flag)

@bacchusrock, could you create a journal post specifically for the Indian Creek Ranch bioblitz? You can share the link here, then we can all mosey over that way to talk about it.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago (Flag)

I've updated this journal post, including the map (up there at the top) and am starting to flesh out additional 2022 events. The problem is, I want to have one every weekend--and deciding what to schedule this year and what to postpone for 2023 is difficult for me.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 7 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for the tag, I'll follow the discussion here and attend where I can!

Posted by gwaithir 7 months ago (Flag)

I second the Hagerman NWR suggestion. We would definitely have to check with them first (hog hunts) and there's no camping on site. Sherman is right down the road for lodgings though.

When is the City Nature Challenge this year?

Posted by k8thegr8 7 months ago (Flag)

Reminder that Master Naturalists have the annual meeting in Houston Oct 20-23rd so that weekend is already booked for me and several others. I'll be at Indian Creek Ranch and if we do something on the coast, I will be there. Otherwise, I'll have to pass as my travel budget is already blown.

Posted by kimberlietx 7 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for the tag! I don't know enough places to suggest anything right now but I'm super excited to get out exploring wherever I can!

Posted by elytrid 7 months ago (Flag)

I don't really have anything to add other than I am just thrilled to be included. I hope to make it wherever we go. Hagerman would be awesome because it is an hour away from me:). I'd love to go far though, too, if I can make that happen.

Posted by baxter-slye 7 months ago (Flag)

All of those areas sound great! I'd still like to hit Mason Mountain WMA sometime.

Posted by bosqueaaron 7 months ago (Flag)

I just saw this today on bugguide. Not in Texas, but not too far away and sounds like fun.

Posted by bosqueaaron 4 months ago (Flag)

@megachile More events you may be interested in.

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

I updated the list with events on May 21st and June 4-5.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 3 months ago (Flag)

@isaaceastland @joel_p_ashman @devinpedraza @haleydaniels @jgoralczyk1 Here are some bioblitzes that you all may be interested in.

Posted by baxter-slye 3 months ago (Flag)

For a Fall destination, I've made contact with folks at two places NE of DFW just south of the Red River. See the list of events in this journal post for information about the Riverby Ranch Mitigation Area and Bois D'Arc Unit of Caddo Nat'l Grasslands near Telephone, TX. The Google map shows the location of both places (they're almost adjacent).

There are overnight accommodations onsite at Riverby (a room with beds, two baths, and a kitchen).

I just need to nail down a date. Does September 23-25 sound OK? If I don't hear a resounding "no" by Monday, I'll make plans for that date.

@alisonnorthup, @amzapp, @annikaml, @bacchusrock, @baxter-slye, @bosqueaaron, @brentano, @catenatus, @cmeckerman, @connlindajo, @currenfrasch, @elytrid, @gcwarbler, @jcochran706, @kimberlietx, @k8thegr8, @knightericm, @lorimalloy, @lovebirder. @mikef451, @sambiology, @tadamcochran

Posted by pfau_tarleton 2 months ago (Flag)

I'm starting to pack!

Posted by connlindajo 2 months ago (Flag)

Sounds great to me!

Posted by annikaml 2 months ago (Flag)

YES! Barring family stuff I'll be there. Bonham and Paris aren't too far and both have hotels too. May bring one or both kids depending.

Posted by williampaulwhite17 2 months ago (Flag)

Looks good to me.

Posted by mikef451 2 months ago (Flag)

Thank you!! I may not be there until Saturday and will have to leave by 3 on Sunday, but I should be there.

Posted by baxter-slye 2 months ago (Flag)

Sounds fun!! I'm a definite maybe. 23-25 will probably work. It's close to my s.o.'s birthday so I may not be able to do the whole weekend.

Posted by tadamcochran 2 months ago (Flag)

An interesting presentation on Riverby Ranch restoration project.


Posted by jcochran706 2 months ago (Flag)

I'm in!

Posted by k8thegr8 2 months ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton May I reserve a bed, please? Thanks.

Posted by connlindajo 2 months ago (Flag)

I'll go tentative on this one. It would be a long drive for me.

Posted by bacchusrock 2 months ago (Flag)

it's on my calendar, but i'm a maybe. have a long trip i'm getting back from the weekend before so just depends if i'm up for it by that friday.

Posted by knightericm 2 months ago (Flag)

I just remembered I have a mothing event locally on Sep 24 that I'm hosting for our TMN chapter, so I'm probably out unless I can convince the organizers to adjust the date.

Posted by jcochran706 2 months ago (Flag)

How many beds are there? I might be coming alone for this one.

Posted by williampaulwhite17 2 months ago (Flag)

I'm a yes barring unseen circumstances!

Posted by elytrid 2 months ago (Flag)

I wouldn't mind a bed if there is any left.

Posted by annikaml 2 months ago (Flag)

It's my understanding that there is one room with 18 beds, 2 restrooms, and a kitchen. After I get the date finalized, I'll make a separate journal post and include all the details there.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 2 months ago (Flag)

I'd also like to get a bed :)

Posted by bosqueaaron 2 months ago (Flag)

I am also part of the scheduled Sept 24 event that Jack mentioned. Thanks for reminding me Jack! Sorry that I can not make this date.

Posted by mikef451 2 months ago (Flag)

I will put it on my calendar.

Posted by brentano 2 months ago (Flag)

How about the weekend prior? Sept 17? I'm looking for an optimum date--nothing set in stone yet.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 2 months ago (Flag)

Sept 17 works for me.

Posted by annikaml 2 months ago (Flag)

The 17th is great for me!

Posted by mikef451 2 months ago (Flag)

Sep 17 will work for me!

Posted by jcochran706 2 months ago (Flag)

Works for me.

Posted by amzapp 2 months ago (Flag)

OK with me.

Posted by connlindajo 2 months ago (Flag)

Works for me.

Posted by bosqueaaron 2 months ago (Flag)

won't work for me, but no worries, i'll catch the next one

Posted by knightericm 2 months ago (Flag)

I can probably do the weekend of the 17th.

Posted by tadamcochran 2 months ago (Flag)

Still good for me.

Posted by williampaulwhite17 2 months ago (Flag)

17th is actually way better for me.

Posted by baxter-slye 2 months ago (Flag)

I'll have to get permission for that weekend. =)

Posted by k8thegr8 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by pfau_tarleton about 2 months ago (Flag)

Most likely I will have to miss this one. :( I'll keep it in mind though if my schedule opens up.

Posted by kimberlietx about 2 months ago (Flag)

Just playing around on the map, it looks like the Sabine Pass area is a little light on observations, especially things that aren't birds, butterflies, or dragonflies. There's several National Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, and J.D. Murphree WMA just south of Port Arthur. Maybe worth looking in to for the future.

Posted by bosqueaaron about 2 months ago (Flag)

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