Diario del proyecto The Preserve at Bull Run Mountains

Archivos de diario de enero 2023

16 de enero de 2023

The Preserve at Bull Run's 2022 iNat Year in Review

Annual Update #3: 2022 in Review
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve

Observational Highlight #1

Callosamia angulifera (Tulip-tree Silkmoth) Observed: Jun 7, 2022
© Michael J. W. Carr, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


Happy 2023 everyone and welcome to the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve's iNaturalist Year in Review!

Thank you for reviewing this year's iNaturalist Year in Review! For those of you unfamiliar with Bull Run Mountain's Natural Area Preserve, having been tagged because of your work as an identifier or even as an infrequent visitor, let me briefly introduce you to our amazing local natural community. The Preserve consists of over 2,486 acres spread across the Bull Run Mountains of Northern Virginia. Together with the Catoctin Mountains, the Bull Run Mountains form the easternmost extent of the Blue Ridge, a part of the greater Appalachian Mountains to the west. From the eastern ridge of these mountains, you can easily observe the sprawl of the encroaching D.C. metropolitan area. From the west, this is juxtaposed by the view of the rolling hills of the rural Virginia Piemont that separates it from its parent mountain range. Its proximity to the coastal plain and piedmont ecoregions, in addition to sheltering nearly a dozen plant community types, coalesce into a unique geography, geologic, and biological feature which supports a grand variety of biodiversity. If you haven't already experienced the preserve, we hope you come and visit us soon!

Now onto the birds and the bees!

This last year was a busy and eventful one, especially when it comes to our iNaturalist community here at the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve. With nearly 2,000 observations made throughout the year, we almost doubled our efforts from the previous year. These observations included many new species, including the amazing feat of introducing two additional Kingdom-level observations and one additional Pyhlum - a large leap forward we likely won't encounter again! The drastic rise in observations across the biotic field is a testament to how far the preserve has come in communicating its importance as a community natural history resource for local residents and for those of the greater Washington, D. C. metropolitan area. There is nothing more fulfilling as a naturalist than to see individuals, both practiced and neophyte, exploring the plentiful dimensions of natural history our culturally significant sanctuary is dutied to protect. Before we dig further into how much you, the visitors of the preserve, accomplished in 2022, I would like to thank you all for participating and supporting the preserve in our ongoing project to better understand the breadth of biodiversity inhabiting this unique and storied preserve!

From the oldest observation made on the preserve (a gorgeous eastern comma butterfly observed by @pgwamsley in 2009) to our last observation of 2022 (a cute parrot mushroom observed by @dendrologith) the project now boasts a total of 7,280 observations. This is accompanied by approximately 1,744 species and includes 118 observers - very impressive numbers! Not that we need to make a competition out of it, but we may be catching up with some of the other big iNaturalist project areas in our region ;)

But without further ado, let's take a look at some of the amazing accomplishments made here on our iNaturalist project in 2022!

Observational Highlight #2

Pantherophis alleghaniensis (Eastern Ratsnake) Observed: Aug 7, 2022
© Jacob Saucier, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Summary of Results from 2022 - What a Year!

Overview of Accomplishments

What successes!

If you've been following the annual reports for the preserve you'll see that this year was, by lightyears, our best one yet. While almost doubling our total annual observations from last year's total, we've also more than doubled our research-grade observations and total species counts! These feats came at no small cost to our observers, whose numbers stayed relatively the same since 2021. Meaning our local naturalists have been working overtime with enthusiasm to bring about the showcase of biodiversity for this 2022 review. Our final number, identifiers, has been growing steadily over the years but came in higher than ever with nearly 400 people chipping in to help get our observations down to species (or as close as they can!). We appreciate everyone's effort in participating in this project, whether aware of it or not. Keep up the amazing work!

Looking for more context to the awesome observations featured above? Check them out below!

Taxonomic Breakdown of 2022 Observations Part 1

Our Most Common Forest Friends!

To no one's surprise, our top-grossing taxonomic kingdoms turned out to be our most appreciated and documented groups of organisms - plants and animals. However, probably due to some bias by the author and a few other observers, Arthropoda came out on top as the most observed Phylum in Animalia. It seems to have been an exceptional year to encounter some of the common and uncommon exoskeletal inhabitants of the preserve. Even more exciting is the number of new species added to our iNaturalist checklist - whether they wear their skeletons internally, externally, or have not a bone in their body. This includes the addition of an entirely new Phylum to our Animalia record since 2021 - Annelida! Despite us all knowing and seeing them around the preserve, we didn't overlook these tiny subterranean explorers. Keep this in mind for 2024 - that no organism, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is a valuable record to be documented!

Looking for more context to the awesome observations featured above? Check them out below!

Taxonomic Breakdown of 2022 Observations Part 2

Our Even More Common, but Less Recognized Forest Friends

With two additional Kingdoms noted since the end of 2021, we also saw a noticeable rise in the observation of fun-guys in the form of fungal fruiting bodies, slime trails, and staining! These amazing observations are some of the most interesting if lacking in some of the physical glory we commonly apply to our oak trees and four-legged mammalian brethren. Fungi, Protozoa, Bateria, and Viruses are ever-present in our lives, both within and beyond the extent of the forest. Viruses alone have been stated to outnumber the stars in the universe, so it is almost surprising that they are not more seldomly stumbled across - or at least their signs. This last year the virus observed at the preserve was perceivable as little more than some extra leaves on a rose stem. Things like these typically go unnoticed, more so even than our previously mentioned Annelida explorers. A seasoned gardener or a botanist may find this sort of observation relatively common among the various ailments of plants in their care, but to the average passerby, these abnormalities which bare the hallmark of a superabundant form of life that is nearly imperceivable. For this reason, observations like these are the most remarkable as they provide us with not only a new field note on how to view a new form of life but also to appreciate a form of life vastly different from ourselves or the panoply of other organisms we appreciate on our normal days.

I hope we continue pushing forward in recording the great diversity of life across our preserve in the coming year -including the documentation of life that some may find arguable!

Looking for more context to the awesome observations featured above? Check them out below!

Observational Highlight #3

Ramaria stricta (Upright Coral Fungus) Observed: Jul 10, 2022
@dendrologith, all rights reserved

General Statistics for 2023 Observations

What Differences!

It's amazing to see how just a handful of individuals can change how observations are recorded over the years. In 2021 and 2022, the summer months were typically the most fruitful times of the year for visiting iNaturalists. In 2021 we also saw a massive spike in observations in the month of December. In 2022 we found ourselves with a new seasonal spike in the Spring months of Match and April bringing the vast majority of our annual totals. I can't wait to see what the new year brings in regards to observational turnout!

Observational Highlight #4

Prionus pocularis (Tooth-necked Longhorn Beetle) Observed: Jul 10, 2022
@bertharris, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

Top Naturalist and Species for 2023!

Accolades of 2022!

With another year behind us let's take a look at some of the most active iNaturalist users in 2022. There are certainly some familiar faces, some reshuffling of recurring Bull Run iNat Masters, and some new faces! If you felt like one of our most observed species looked a bit familiar, you'd be right. Goodyera Pubescens held onto being in the top three from last year! However, our 2021 contender, Notophthalmus viridescens, was beaten out by another well-loved amphibian, in addition to, swapping out an Orchidaceae member for a Liliaceae member. Will you be the next best identifier, observer, ... or species?

Looking for more context to the awesome observations featured above? Check them out below!

Observational Highlight #5

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple) Observed: Apr 24, 2022 (left), Mar 26, 2022 (right)
@janisstone, all rights reserved


Thank you!

Thank you everyone who contributed observations and assisted in identifying our floral and faunal community members! I hope to continue seeing your input into our collection project throughout 2023!






Observational Highlight #6

Liparis liliifolia (Large Twayblade) Observed: May 19, 2022
© dendrologith, all rights reserved

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this year's annual review please leave a comment below to help us gauge community impact for our annual summary. Additionally, if you have any questions, comments, or corrections leave them below. While niche, this platform provides a unique opportunity for naturalists, professionals, and enthusiasts to share their insights and stories regarding the amazing biodiversity that surrounds all of us. If you are interested in visiting the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area preserve or attending public events, please check the links below for more information. Please consider joining the project for more biodiversity content!

Please note that the VOF owned and operated Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is protected by the Commonwealth of Virginia under the Virginia Department of Conservation Recourses. Except for certain specific situations, camping, fires, unleashed pets, hunting, off-road vehicles and removal or destruction of plants, animals, minerals or historic artifacts are prohibited. Please respect our community natural and cultural resources.

ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup: Public events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group
Meetup: Volunteer opportunities: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Volunteers

Publicado el enero 16, 2023 12:37 MAÑANA por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 12 comentarios | Deja un comentario