Environmental nonprofit Audubon International has launched the second annual BioBlitz, a free program for golf courses across the world, which will run from Earth Day, April 22nd, to International Migratory Bird Day, May 14th.

BioBlitz is a species-counting competition designed to create awareness among golfers and the general public about the environmental value of the habitats supported by golf courses. The program is open to any golf course worldwide, including those unaffiliated with Audubon International.

 “A BioBlitz is a great way for golf courses to bring naturalists and families out to see the natural beauty golf courses provide in their towns,” said Doug Bechtel, Executive Director of Audubon International. Last year’s participants recorded 3,560 total species, representing over 1,592 plants and fungi and 638 wildlife species, for a total of 2,230 unique species identified. Kim Davidson, Horticulturist at Ironwood Golf Course in Michigan, wrote: “We were able to record 279 species! The blitz was a lot of fun and it opened my eyes to all of the species that call our course home…I am excited to share the list with our golfers so they too can see how many species our course benefits.”

A golf course may invite any number of participants such as golfers and their families, local environmental organizations, youth groups, community members, and local experts to count plant and animal species located on the property. Awards will be given in the categories of Most Species, Most Participants, and Best Photo. Following BioBlitz, Audubon International will compile the lists of plant and animal species recorded and report on the findings.

To register for BioBlitz 2016 and receive your free toolkit, please email Tara Donadio at tara@auduboninternational.org. The deadline to register is April 20th. Visit Audubon International’s website to see photos from last year’s competition. 

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