Sitka Bioblitz 2012

A Sample of the 2012 Sitka Bioblitzers (KCAW/Ed Ronco photo)

During a 24-hour period in August 2012, We had over 230 Sitkans an 19 professional scientists and naturalists participate in the “natural history event of the year”, BIOBLITZ!

BIOBLITZ is an annual event practiced throughout the country. The goal is to document as many living species as possible within a geographic area. That means every plant, critter, fungi, moss, liverwort, etc… Typically, a community will choose a specific watershed to document. Because this was the first time ever that Sitka did a BIOBLITZ, we decided to go big and choose a 7.5 mile radius circle as our survey area.

Notonecta kirbyi (R. Armstrong photo)

Notonecta kirbyi (R. Armstrong photo)

The HIGHLIGHT for this year was the first record of the family Notonectidae in Alaska! Notonecta kirbyi (a backswimmer) was collected by Derek Sikes and Sayde Ridling.

We counted 937 species during our 24-hour blitz. The numbers below are still preliminary, as additional identification is still being done (especially for insects):

  •   41     aquatic invertebrates
  • 212     insects
  • 123     fungi
  •   15     mammals (which includes humans!)
  •   45     birds
  •   15     fish
  •   42    mosses
  •   41     liverworts
  •     5     lichens
  • 244    plants
  • 154     algae, marine and intertidal invertebrates

folder-icon-Download-Royalty-free-Vector-File-EPS-3135DATA: click on the folder to view and download an excel spreadsheet of the available species lists.

CONTACT: Download didn’t work, need more information? Contact the SALMoN Coordinator, Scott Harris, at


Click on the radio to hear a feature radio story about Bioblitz on Raven Radio.


Planning and convening BIOBLITZ was a significant effort by many individuals and organizations, including:

  • US Forest Service – Tongass National Forest
  • Sitka Conservation Society
  • University of Alaska Southeast
  • Sitka Sound Science Center
  • Sitka Tribe of Alaska
  • Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
  • Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Park Service
  • Sitka Trail Works
  • Sitka Fine Arts Camp
  • Many other fine individuals not associated with a specific organization