Over 500 Conservancy members, students, scientists and teachers from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, assisted by volunteers from Google, went on a 24 hour “BioBlitz” - an expedition on Monday afternoon to identify and catalogue the plant and animal species found in Central Park. Researchers were equipped with Google glasses, notebooks, nets, cages, boxes, MP3 players and magnifying lenses. An annual Bird Count is conducted every Christmas by the Audubon, but this is the first census of all animal and plant life in the past decade.
The fist census of plant and animal life in Central Park was ten years ago, in which 500 species were documented. The number of visitors has jumped 60% since 2003, to 40 million. Central Park Conservancy is conducting this current study to see how that uptick in tourists, along with current patterns of climate change, have affected the species found in the park. This year researchers anticipate finding something in the area of 800 species.
Conservancy officials say they intend to use the results of the investigation to better manage the park, and will share the results through public lectures, curriculum and conversations with the scientific community.
Photo Credit: Daily News