Small is beautiful: discovering Yellowstone’s little creatures in the Park’s first BioBlitz

Bison, wolves, bears, and elk may usually take center stage in Yellowstone, but this weekend its smaller inhabitants get top billing in the park’s first BioBlitz.

The noted Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson developed the concept of the first BioBlitz to catalog the life around Walden Pond. His life work has stressed the importance of biodiversity: “We're coming to realize how terribly important the great population diversity of small organisms are that are the foundation of the ecosystems, and these are the little things that run the earth.”

Over a hundred top scientists—including ichthyologists, ornithologists, mammalogists, entomologists, herpetologists, and botanists—from across the country will spend an intense 24-hours on Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 29 counting as many species of plant and animal life as possible in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Exciting new discoveries may emerge as a result of the event.

On Saturday, August 29 from noon to 3:00 pm the public can visit with the scientists in the Discovery Field Lab in front of the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs to learn about the results of the BioBlitz. A variety of educational programs for adults and families will also be held at that time.

Sponsors of this important event include Big Sky Institute at Montana State Universitythe National Park ServiceCanonthe Yellowstone AssociationRocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, and the Sonoran Institute.