Pitman’s BioBlitz Discovers Several New Species

By: RJ Franceschini, Follow South Jersey Intern

A participant at Pitman’s BioBlitz uses iNaturalist to identify different species. Photo credit: RJ Franceschini.

PITMAN, N.J. – The inaugural Pitman BioBlitz, which took place June 10, has come up with outstanding findings in the local ecology community. With over 60 attendees, the event identified 15 new species, not only for Pitman but also for the state of New Jersey. 

The event was a huge success for first-time host Francesca Mundrick who was excited about the turnout and came back with 837 observations using the app iNaturalist accounting from fish to insects, plants, birds, and other organisms. 

“Alcyon Park is truly special because it signifies a balance between recreational space for people and habitat space for nature,” said Mundrick. “For a small, urban park, Alcyon showcases a wide variety of important ecology. We should all be proud of our park.” 

Some of these species that have not been identified on iNaturalist in NJ were the Metallus lanceolatus (sawfly), Aedes hendersoni (a species of mosquito), Dicranophragma fuscovarium (crane fly), and Dasineura parthenocissi (a gall midge) being only the 35th observation of that species in iNaturalist in the entire world. 

In a letter to the Pitman Town Council Mundrick wrote, “What made this event successful was the precedent that it has set locally. The success of the Pitman BioBlitz has created awareness for such events in the area- it has even sparked Rowan University to host a BioBlitz of their own.” 

The university hopes to host in the spring of 2024 with the actual date still to be determined.

For more information about the BioBlitz, click here.

Attendees of Pitman’s BioBlitz identified over 400 different species at Alcyon Park.

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