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Second annual BioBlitz in Dedham draws in biologists, interested residents

Posted by Natalie Feulner  July 16, 2012 02:57 PM

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Paul Lauenstein, left, and Rep. Paul McMurtry, participate in the second annual Dedham BioBlitz. Photo by Natalie Feulner

More than a dozen biologists and nature enthusiasts descended on Dedham’s outdoor recreation areas last weekend for the second annual Dedham BioBlitz, a 24-hour attempt to locate and record at least 1,000 species of flora and fauna.

The event was organized by Dedham Natural Wonders, a nonprofit that works to promote awareness of Dedham’s woodlands, parks, and wetlands through educational, recreational, and conservation programs.

This year, the event kicked off Friday evening with a hike along trails at NewBridge on the Charles. Scientists, residents, and state Representative Paul McMurtry, a Dedham Democrat, wandered the trails slowly pointing out each time a new plant or insect was spotted.

Biologist Irina Kadis was quick to tell participants about the various plants and whether they were native or invasive to the area. Kadis said these types of events allows participants see the type of damage development can do to a town’s natural areas but also allows them celebrate wildlife diversity.

“Everywhere you’ve made nice trails, bridges, it’s the little things put by us that you’ll find bring in the invasive plants,” Kadis said. “Some people think invasive is OK, but when native plants get wiped out, they don’t play the same role in the life chains.”

The kick-off hike ended at sunset then a small group of bug enthusiasts spent then spent the rest of Friday night surveying night-flying insects.

BioBlitz continued Saturday morning as multiple teams began surveying the Town Forest, Fowl Meadow, and the wetlands around Wigwam Pond.

The group at Foul Meadow found more than 130 species to add to the overall list, and organizer Stephanie Radner said she expected the rest of the teams to find even more. A full list of species found should be completed later this week and will be available on the organization’s website, www.dedhamnaturalwonders.org.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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