Bedford Audubon Society

A Northern Westchester & Eastern Putnam Counties, New York
Chapter of the National Audubon Society

Celebrating 98 Years of Conservation 1913 — 2011
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The Ultimate BioBlitz 2007

Updated Results Are Now Up!

Bedford Audubon Receives Grant From Leon Levy Foundation

Box TurtleThanks to a very generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, the Bedford Audubon Society conducted one of the largest BioBlitzes on record. We set the ambitious goal of conducting biodiversity surveys at six locations across northern Westchester: the Leon Levy Preserve (South Salem), the Hunt-Parker Sanctuary (Katonah), the Angle Fly Preserve (Somers), the Guard Hill Preserve (Bedford), the Westchester Wilderness Walk (Pound Ridge), and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Cross River). Due to the number of preserves included in the survey, the event took place over three days, from 2 pm on Friday, June 1, to 4 pm on Sunday, June 3.

Song Sparrow Although Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson and Massachusetts wildlife expert Peter Alden generally take credit for coining the phrase BioBlitz after their first survey around Walden Pond in 1998, the idea of cataloguing all living organisms in a given area within a 24-hour period was, in fact, first implemented in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens National Park in Washington D.C. in 1996. Since then, BioBlitzes have been held in numerous locations all over the country as well as in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Monarch A BioBlitz has the dual aims of establishing the degree of biodiversity in an area and popularizing science. Bedford Audubon Society invited top scientists to participate in the survey, and were excited about the opportunity to contribute to an inventory of all species in these sanctuaries and provide valuable scientific data for planning boards, conservation committees, and the general public.

Indian PipeOur objective was to expand on the knowledge of the area’s biodiversity while enabling conservationists to expand and refine habitat management plans to best reflect and support the species the area is responsible for preserving.

But scientists did not do this alone!

< Bedford Audubon Society relied on dedicated volunteers who got hands-on experience identifying species of plants and animals and working with nationally renowned zoologists, ornithologists, botanists, mycologists, entomologists, etc. They also Garter Snakehelped with clerical work, food logistics, and much more. The BioBlitz was conducted in close cooperation with the Westchester Land Trust, Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, and Somers Land Trust along with several other partner organizations that either manage or contribute to the preservation of the above-mentioned preserves.

Praying MantisWe are very appreciative of the support of the Leon Levy Foundation. The Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, a legendary investor with a long-standing commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation's overarching goal is to continue the tradition of humanism characteristic of Mr. Levy by supporting scholarship at the highest level.

What We Found ― Results of the BioBlitz
The Sites: Click for a map of the properties
Leon Levy Preserve | Hunt-Parker Sanctuary | Angle Fly Preserve | Guard Hill Preserve
Westchester Wilderness Walk | Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Participants, Organizations, and Sponsors

BioBlitz Home Page

Photos Courtesy of and Copyright © by Carol Gracie and Richard L. Becker

Copyright © 2007 Bedford Audubon Society
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