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Adapting the bioblitz to meet conservation needs

Parker, Sophie S., Pauly, Gregory B., Moore, James, Fraga, Naomi S., Knapp, John J., Principe, Zachary, Brown, Brian V., Randall, John M., Cohen, Brian S., Wake, Thomas A.
Conservation biology 2018 v.32 no.5 pp. 1007-1019
biodiversity conservation, botanical gardens, decision making, experts, funding, government agencies, nonprofit corporations, surveys, universities, California
When conservation strategies require new, field‐based information, practitioners must find the best ways to rapidly deliver high‐quality survey data. To address this challenge, several rapid‐assessment approaches have been developed since the early 1990s. These typically involve large areas, take many months to complete, and are not appropriate when conservation‐relevant survey data are urgently needed for a specific locale. In contrast, bioblitzes are designed for quick collection of site‐specific survey data. Although bioblitzes are commonly used to achieve educational or public‐engagement goals, conservation practitioners are increasingly using a modified bioblitz approach to generate conservation‐relevant data while simultaneously enhancing research capacity and building working partnerships focused on conservation concerns. We term these modified events expert bioblitzes. Several expert bioblitzes have taken place on lands of conservation concern in Southern California and have involved collaborative efforts of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, botanic gardens, museums, and universities. The results of expert bioblitzes directly informed on‐the‐ground conservation and decision‐making; increased capacity for rapid deployment of expert bioblitzes in the future; and fostered collaboration and communication among taxonomically and institutionally diverse experts. As research and conservation funding becomes increasingly scarce, expert bioblitzes can play an increasingly important role in biodiversity conservation.