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2021 BioBlitz (April 17th – May 1st)

April 17, 2021 - May 1, 2021


In 2014-2016 we focused on the footprint of the Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo. This year (and for the next few years), Save Mount Diablo’s BioBlitz events will be focusing on the SCU Lightning Complex fire footprint. We’ll be exploring regions such as Round Valley and Morgan Territory Regional Preserve down south to Del Puerto Canyon and Mines Roads.

We’re partnering up with CNPS!

To make this year’s BioBlitz even more epic, Save Mount Diablo is partnering up with the California Native Plant Society for their long-term Fire Followers project. We’re asking that all BioBlitz participants upload their observations onto the CNPS iNaturalist project for the SCU Lightning Complex.

We also highly recommend signing up for their mailing list to receive vital safety information, updates on burn sites, iNaturalist project challenges (and prizes!), goal updates and more.

What is the SCU Lightning Complex?

The SCU Lightning Complex began in mid-August of 2020 and lasted into early October of 2020. This Complex was a series of about twenty fires that were broken into three zones: the Canyon Zone, the Calaveras Zone, and the Deer Zone. Altogether, this series of fires lasted forty-four days and scorched over 396,000 acres of land across five different counties in the northern Diablo Range. It’s now the third largest wildfire in California history. We’ve already begun examining the effects of the SCU fires in “Diablo Range Revealed” a series of posts, videos and photo galleries by Joan Hamilton. You can follow the series in SMD’s E-News or through our website.

Our goal now is to monitor how this series of fires impacted the biodiversity of natural land by noting what kinds of things grow or visit the burned sites. We take note of plants, animals, fungi, and many other living things.

Socially Distant BioBlitz

Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to gather for this event like we have in the past. Instead, we are encouraging participants to take part in a socially distant BioBlitz and visit public sites that have been affected by the SCU Lightning Complex fires anytime during a two-week period from Saturday, April 17th to Saturday, May 1st. Please visit the Burn Sites section for ideas of locations to visit.

We are asking participants to please naturalize from the road or sites with open public access and to not trespass on private property. Burn sites are also incredibly sensitive We are asking participants to please follow Leave No Trace principles by staying on the trail and not collecting any organic materials.

BioBlitz Debrief Session

On Thursday, May 6th from 4-6PM, Save Mount Diablo is hosting a BioBlitz debrief session over Zoom. This is an opportunity for experts and naturalists alike to share their observations with the public.

We’ll be hosting several speakers representing different sections of the Diablo Range. We’ll also be highlighting some cool observations and personal BioBlitz stories. Let us know if you have a story you’d like to share and join us for a fun evening exploring what grows and lives on the northern Diablo Range!

This event is free and open to the public. Register through Eventbrite.

Who can join?

Citizen scientists of all ages can join! No special skills are necessary. All you need is:

  • A smartphone device or camera
  • The iNaturalist app downloaded onto your phone (it’s free!)
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • A mask

Help us document the biodiversity after a wildfire! Take photos of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms within the two-week period and upload it onto iNaturalist. It’s okay if you don’t know what kind of specimen it is, there are many experts on iNaturalist that can help you identify what you’ve found. There is no time commitment for this event, so take as many photos as you want and upload them any time of day within the two-weeks.

How to get started:

  1. Sign up for our Info/iNaturalist Overview Session for more information about this event and how to use the iNaturalist app. The event is free and open to the public. You can register through Eventbrite.
  2. Visit any of the sites with open public access that the SCU Lightning Complex fires passed through (such as Morgan Territory or Round Valley Regional Park).
  3. Observe! Head outdoors and take photos of plants, animals, and fungi.
  4. Identify: Identification can be as simple as ‘bird’ or ‘bee’ or as complicated as ‘Sky Lupine’ (Lupinus nanus).
  5. Share! Upload your photos onto iNaturalist. You can attempt to ID your photos and an expert will confirm or make ID suggestions. Share on social media as well! Use #SaveMountDiablo #BioBlitz #FireFollowers


April 17, 2021
May 1, 2021
Event Category:

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