Journal archives for August 2021

August 02, 2021

July Challenge results

Hey Eco Blitz Team the July Challenge has ended and we had a total of 5 Harris Antelope Squirrels documented at a 2 parks and MC trail. These little guys are fast so difficult to capture on photo! To see results click link below!

<a href="https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?project_id=85529&taxon_id=46256&place_id=any&verifiable=any"

Maybe we will document more next year.
Thank you all!
Juanita
Maricopa County Parks
Natural Resource Specialist

Posted on August 02, 2021 15:06 by juanitajn5 juanitajn5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August Eco-Blitz Challenge

Good day! The monsoon season has been good this year! Keeping it just a little bit cooler for us to get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

The August Challenge is Blond Tarantula Spider- These fascinating spiders are nocturnal but can be found in the early morning hours. The times i have seen these guys is in the early morning high a top the mountain. The pics in the flyer are from the Ford Canyon Trail at White Tank Regional Park.

The desert blond tarantula (DBT) is 3 to 5 inch-large bodied (8-13 cm) spider, the female is usually tan in color. The male has black legs, a copper-colored cephalothorax, and a reddish abdomen. The common name "blond tarantula" refers to the carapace, which is densely covered in pale hairs and contrasts strongly with the all-dark legs and abdomen. Tarantulas are ectothermic, meaning they absorb heat from their environment. DBT’s can live up to 20 years, they become sexually mature at 8-10 years. They are reclusive and nocturnal spiders, that feed on lizards, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, and caterpillars. They also feed on parasites.

They are common throughout the Southwestern United States, especially in Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California. These spiders are usually solitary, they reside in desert soil and create burrows by digging themselves under stones, or using other rodent burrows. They may live in the same burrow for decades.
The flyer can be found here
POWO produces POWO

Posted on August 02, 2021 15:12 by juanitajn5 juanitajn5 | 3 comments | Leave a comment

August 27, 2021

So Exciting!! Butterflies and White Sphinx Moth (caterpillars)

Although this was is not part of the challenge... it would be great if you all where able to get outside an document (take pics of and upload to i-nat) pictures of all the butterflies, moths and caterpillars you see.

Since we had the monsoon season the populations are exploding (figuratively speaking) and it is magnificent. This would be a great way to document this phenomenon!

Even if you are just taking pics in your own backyard or neighborhood!!. The data is stored on here for scientists to use.

Lets see how many observations you can make!

Happy Fall!

News about the 2021 butterfly https://www.kold.com/2021/08/27/butterfly-populations-soar-after-monsoon-rains/

Posted on August 27, 2021 21:27 by juanitajn5 juanitajn5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 31, 2021

August Challenge results

I must sadly say that there were NO observations of the Desert Blond tarantula for this months challenge in the parks. So does no data have meaning? Yes, yes it does, this indicates that either the Desert Blond Tarantulas are not active when most people are in the parks OR that there numbers are very low and there are few encounters of them.

So i checked to see if there have been past observations in I-nat for the Desert Blond tarantula in Maricopa County. The ones that were observed as part of this challenge are mostly in Tonto NF or in other areas. Let that be one of each of your life challenges. Find and document in the parks:-)

I did not know how fortunate i was to come across 2 of these magnificent Desert Blond tarantulas during a Ranger led hike at White Tank Regional Park about 2 years ago (and i will add my old photo to I-nat) . It was during their Ford Canyon hike they host every winter (December). If you are interested in participating in that hike this year check in the next two months on the Maricopa County Parks events calendar https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/events/?F_m=9 Maybe you can get as lucky and the ranger may find a Desert Blond tarantula.

Keep up the great work team! There are plenty of butterflies and caterpillars out there make observations of! Stay Tuned for September's Challenge

Thanks again for all your observations.
You are all contributing to science and helping make a real difference.
Sincerely,
Juanita
Natural Resource Specialist at Maricopa County Parks

Posted on August 31, 2021 19:20 by juanitajn5 juanitajn5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment