Bioblitz Goals

  • To educate about and foster appreciation for East Baton Rouge’s biodiversity with the public through hands-on exploration and citizen science
  • To provide valuable baseline data to BREC’s Conservation Program on the distribution of species on BREC land
  • To bring attention to BREC’s conservation areas and the efforts of the Conservation Department to protect these resources for the education and enjoyment of EBR’s citizens

Thanks for attending Bioblitz 2024! Check back next year for info on our next Bioblitz. 

Information for Participants/Citizen Scientists

What is a Bioblitz?

A Bioblitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all of the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a continuous time period, usually 24 hours. BREC Conservation uses the Bioblitz data to focus future field surveys and gather information for our natural resource management plans. It allows us to have a better understanding of what is in our parks so we can appropriately manage and protect the land.

What is a Citizen Scientist?

A citizen scientist is someone from the general public who collects and analyzes data relating to the natural world, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists. You do not necessarily have to have prior knowledge of species or survey methods thanks to new technology. You and your family will be the citizen scientists during this event using the app described below to help us document species.

What if I don’t know how to identify anything?

NO PROBLEM! We still need YOUR help to survey. You can help by hiking with a phone loaded with iNaturalist, a free app that is designed to record the location where you found an organism and document what you found by taking a picture. If you don’t know the name of the plant or animal just leave the ID blank and scientists will review it and identify it based on the pictures you took. OR you can join us on a guided survey hike led by an expert/scientist and help to look for whichever organism is the topic of the hike. Also, if you just want to come and see what all the fuss is about we will have a tent set up all day Saturday with specimens that have been collected by scientists so you can see the animals within the park up close and personal. You can also work on your identification skills by attending one of our workshops geared towards training you how to sample and identify certain species groups.

Do I need to register?

For guided hikes, yes, we ask that you register for all expert-led hikes and workshops in advance. Spaces on the day of the event will be limited and will be first-come, first-served. You are allowed to hike and survey independently for the event, but we ask all participants to sign in at the check-in station to confirm you are participating with the Bioblitz.

Family Activities

We have something for the whole family! You can visit our Nature Explorers Field Station to try your hand at fun sampling related crafts, visit the Biodiversity Fair to check out live wildlife specimens and learn about local biodiversity with hands-on activities from local organizations. Don’t forget to register for the Nature Explorers Safari or the Aquatic and Insect sampling which includes hands-on experiences where your kids get to be scientists. Have a family member looking for a more in-depth look at specimens? Register for one of our guided hikes led by local scientists and experts. Check out our Bioblitz Activity Descriptions below and our draft schedule to help plan your day!

Bioblitz Activity Descriptions

Friday Evening Nature Talk

To coincide with our first BioBlitz at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, our evening talks will be focused on celebrating the site looking at its inception and growth as well as celebrating the flora and fauna that can be found at the Swamp in the City. The 2024 Bioblitz also runs parallel to the City Nature Challenge. This four-day event (April 26-29) is a friendly international challenge that encourages citizen scientists to report as many living things in their area. Louisiana Master Naturalist of Greater Baton Rouge, the organization that spearheads this event for the East Baton Rouge Area, will provide more information about the City Nature Challenge and how to participate during our BioBlitz and around our 12 parish region during the 4-day event. 

Night Hike

This is a guided hike through the forest at night looking for tracks and learning about various nocturnal species, especially mammals, bats and owls.

Black Lighting

Black lighting is when lights of various types are shined at sheets to attract invertebrates such as moths and beetles for close observation. You can help to collect specimens that land on the sheets and ID them with scientists.

Guided Survey Hikes

There will be multiple short educational hikes offered throughout the day on Saturday to provide you with an opportunity to meet scientists and learn about various groups of species. During these hikes, you are encouraged to document what you find with the iNaturalist app. See the list of specific hike topics below and be sure to register in advance using the link above.

  • Birds
  • Plants
  • Aquatics Sampling and Insect Netting
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
Nature Explorers Safari

A hands-on experience geared towards your smallest explorers. BREC staff will take kids on an adventure to sample the natural world while learning how to be scientists.

Scat Chats


Root to Pencil Tip: How Nature Journaling Can Make You a Stronger Citizen Scientist 

Nature through an artist’s lens is a window into observation used by the earliest explorers and naturalists.  Learn how nature journaling can help sharpen not only your pencils but your observation and art skills as well. 
Bring your favorite journal or sketchbook or use our paper and pencils provided.  

Nature Photography

Tips on nature photography from a nature enthusiast who has spent joyous hours photographing the wild things of Bluebonnet Swamp. 
Bring your digital camera or your phone if you do not have one. 

Biodiversity Fair

This year we are bringing back the Biodiversity Fair. Take a break from hikes and surveys to meet local organizations and vendors who want to share a world of biodiversity with you. Tables will include hands-on exhibits with live animals and much to learn.

Scientists and Experts

Although our Bioblitz is a citizen science event, we still need the help of science professionals, taxonomic experts and professors to guide the public with their surveys or gather more data in the park. Below are several different ways that you can get involved; check out our draft schedule to get a sense of the event setup.

Guided Hike/Sampling Lead

Our event relies on scientists to guide the public, our citizen scientists, in surveying and identifying species in the park. This year we are offering two rounds of hikes before and after lunch on Saturday. We are limiting registration to stay within social distancing requirements. Below are the taxonomic groups we are looking for hike leads for and our draft schedule

  • Black lighting (not a hike, we have black light set-ups)
  • Bird Hike
  • Plant Hike
  • Aquatic Sampling and Insect Netting (not a hike)
  • Reptile and Amphibian Hike
  • Anything and Everything Hike (not open to the public; survey-focused hike with just scientists and volunteers)
Invasive Species Surveys

This effort involves conducting invasive species surveys to get a lay of the land we have not covered to help guide our management efforts and how successful our progress has been thus far. We will have the park divided into survey plots and each plot will be marked and labeled so they are easy to find. Surveys will be conducted with our iPads or your iPhone using Survey123, an ArcGIS software app. We will teach you how to conduct the survey and it only requires basic plant ID skills, we will provide ID guides.

Independent iNaturalist Surveys

Although the guided hikes make conducting surveys accessible to the public, a large portion of our data comes from individuals and small teams conducting surveys at leisure in the park. These surveys are informal, and data must be captured using the free iNaturalist app. Independent Surveys need to be conducted throughout the 24 hours of the Bioblitz to help document all species found within the park. Surveys can be performed at your own convenience, either individually or with a team, as long as it's within the 24 hours of the Bioblitz.

Biodiversity Fair

This year we are bringing back the biodiversity fair and we are looking for vendors to have a table and share information about local biodiversity. Interactive activities and live animals are encouraged! Register as a vendor at the link below.''

General Volunteers

General Volunteer slots are filled by members of the BREC's Conservation Green Force. To learn more about this group, visit

Volunteers are the backbone of this event. Without your help, it does not happen. If you are interested in helping out but don’t know if you have the necessary knowledge to lead a group please register as a volunteer. This event is not possible without people behind the scenes helping people register, taking pictures, helping manage data, setting up and tearing down, etc. We ask that you register for a minimum commitment of an hour and a half time slot but it would be appreciated if you could commit to 3-4 hours. See the job descriptions below to give you a better idea.

Independent iNaturalist Surveys

These surveys are informal and data must be captured using the free iNaturalist app. Independent Surveys need to be conducted throughout the 24 hour period of the Bioblitz to help document all species found within the park. Surveys can be performed at your own convenience, either individually or with a team, as long as it's within the 24 hour period of the Bioblitz. 

Set-up and Tear Down

There is a lot of moving parts for this event and we will need help getting basecamp set-up and ultimately leaving no trace afterwards. Set-up will take place Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and consists of setting up tents, tables, chairs, banners, directional signage, refreshment stations, etc. Tear-down will take place immediately after the species ceremony on Saturday and consists of taking everything down and packing up in our trailers and vans.

Event Photographer

The event photographer is a roaming photographer helping us capture images to document the event. It is helpful if this person has their own camera and you must be willing to sign a photography release allowing us full use of your photographs with no watermark. This jobs consists primarily of taking photos of people enjoying the event as opposed to specimens.


Registration consists of checking in people or schools who already registered or registering members of the public who are just arriving and did not register online. This is important because you are the face of the event. Friday afternoon you will check in volunteers assisting with the team surveys. Friday night and Saturday we will have a registration table before each hike to register the public for guided survey hikes. 

General Event Logistics

Are you a jack of all trades and just want to help out wherever is needed? We need you too! There is a lot of need for general running around, communicating to people, dropping people off at locations, etc. and these volunteers allow BREC staff to be in multiple places at once essentially.


iNaturalist is an important part of the Bioblitz. iNaturalist is an app, website, database and online social network that allows you to document species and share observations with BREC and the broader naturalist community. You take pictures, collect location information and upload to the online database where the information can be viewed and discussed by a variety of naturalist and biologists. Even if you do not know a species name, if you document it using the app it can be identified at a later date by a team of scientists that monitor the app. BREC uses iNaturalist to help document species within the park system during the blitz and throughout the year. If you would like to contribute data to our Bioblitz, download the app, create an account and begin exploring the website at or visit the iNaturalist Youtube Channel. iNaturalist is compatible with Apple and Android phone and tablets.

All Ages are welcome; bring the whole family!
Free and Open to the public


Bioblitz Results

Click each year to view the results from previous Bioblitz events!

2024 Bioblitz Results

2023 Bioblitz Results

2022 Bioblitz Results

2021 Bioblitz Results

2020 Bioblitz Results

This year’s BREC’s Bioblitz went Virtual
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and CDC safety concerns, this year BREC decided to make the Bioblitz virtual. By spreading the survey out to between 4 parks and over two months, the citizen scientists of East Baton Rouge Parish were still able to get outside and collect data but do so safely. This resulted in our highest species count to date and we are so proud and thankful for all the hard work of those of you who quarantined out in nature! We had 56 people surveying and in the 4 parks you observed 547 total species which were identified through 1,786 observations over the two month period. Because iNaturalist is a community based forum we had the assistance of 285 identifiers from around the world helping to confirm the species of your observations. We can’t wait to see you in person next year!

Click here to view the full results

2019 Bioblitz Results

2018 Bioblitz Results

Click to expand

415 species were documented 

2017 Bioblitz Results