Dr. Bette Kauffman's innovative use of iNaturalist.org for our Rendezvous 2021 Scavenger Hunt simultaneously shows that a) the iNaturalist platform is very well-suited to such purpose, b) that the Louisiana Master Naturalist Association is operating at the cutting edge of applied information technology, and c) that the southern areas contributed the most observations! Well done, Bette; and well done everybody who participated in what turned out to a be a dynamic and fun project that also has considerable Citizen Science value.
The target list was compiled by a committee consisting of Kauffman, Kimmie and Charles Paxton. As such these people couldn't take part because they had prior knowledge of the target flora and fauna, all were attainable except for the Chanterelle fungi (Genus Cantharellus) and the Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus). This year has been cool and it seems they are not out yet, at least where we have been looking. The list included several invasive species.
In her closing speech, Dr. Kauffman gave a good overview of the activity, declared the Southern chapters to have carried the day, and thanked all the participants: the 31 observers and 160 Identifiers. She noted that there were 120 species identified out of a total of 641 observations with Anolis carolinensis, the most observed species with 25 recorded!
It was a hard-fought contest with a close finish! Karen Pinsonat of Greater Baton Rouge chapter attained a fabulous first place by observing and recording 29 of the 35 target items on the list, with 26 of them confirmed to 'Research Grade' status. This was especially good considering that she didn't play the Anhinga 'wild card'.
Tres Fisher of GNLO, came in a very close second with 27 target items including the wild card. He actually recorded the single greatest number of observations of any type, a formidable count of 73! This man's going to count in the Nature Cities Challenge! I'm sure that they all will!
Kristen Melton, also of GNLO, came a very close third with 26 items including the wild card and 20 of them were research grade.
Honorable mentions were made of Amber King of GBR with 25 observations, 21 being research grade! Also of Barbara Morris who also made a high 25, with 20 of them being research grade!
Dr. Kauffman praised them highly and praised and thanked all of us who took part.
View the wrap-up video of the LMNA Scavenger Hunt here.
She has provided the powerpoint below as a pdf