WINTER HARBOR — Lepidoptera buffs were out with nets and cameras on the Schoodic Peninsula last weekend, racing to collect and identify as many moths and butterflies as possible.
The BioBlitz event started with check-in at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park and continued through lunch the following day.
A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record certain living species within a designated area and within a continuous time period, usually 24 hours.
About 60 volunteers last weekend participated in the collection and identification of Lepidoptera — butterflies and moths — to assist Acadia National Park managers in understanding the park’s often overlooked biodiversity.
Volunteer citizens, scientists and naturalists collected, sorted, pinned, identified and photographed specimens gleaned on the Schoodic Peninsula.
The annual event is sponsored by the Schoodic Institute, the Maine Entomological Society, the Maine Forest Service, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maine.
The BioBlitz was led by internationally known taxonomist and field naturalist Michael Sabourin, who is the president of the Vermont Entomological Society.
In addition to the physical collecting, the Schoodic Institute, with support from Carrie Seltzer of National Geographic, conducted a workshop on using iNaturalist.
This activity allows for the use of smartphones, iPads and digital cameras to photograph target species and contribute to a biodiversity database devoted to Acadia National Park.