2023 Bioblitz planning

We have lots of really amazing Texas (and Oklahoma) locations in the planning stages for 2023 and on into 2024.

This Google map documents location of past, planned, and potential bioblitz gatherings:

Date(s) to avoid:

  • Apr 28-May 1: City Nature Challenge
  • Oct 12-15: Master Naturalist conference in McAllen

2023 event locations in the planning stages (that I'm aware of):

Posted on December 13, 2022 11:00 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton


Replying so I can keep up with planning...

Posted by jcochran706 12 months ago

Great map, Russell!

Posted by annikaml 12 months ago

These are great! Thanks for scouting out locations that aren't 9 hours away from Lubbock.

Posted by amzapp 12 months ago

all the named places sound awesome to me. I can't commit at this time though.

Posted by williampaulwhite17 12 months ago

already on your map, but I'll just plug Independence Creek Preserve and Davis Mountains Preserve. Both are Nature Conservancy properties so we'd have to get permission, but they look awesome. Haven't been to either (except for the publicly accessible part of Davis Mountains Preserve which is great). Both are probably farther for most though. I've also heard Clymer Meadows is cool, but never been

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

Love the ideas!
One place that's really cool and has camping is Davis Mountain Preserve - Nature Conservancy. They might entertain a special group event.

Posted by lovebirder 12 months ago

No one has to twist my arm to go to SW Texas. LOVE the Davis Mts. I did my own little bioblitz of a 6000 acre property in Iraan, just north of the Independence Creek Preserve back in June of 2019. So much cool stuff out there! Would love to go again. Maybe we could hit this area in the fall?

Kudos on the map, Russell!

Posted by tadamcochran 12 months ago

I'm interested in Davis also. Never been.

Posted by bosqueaaron 12 months ago

I'm a herp guy so the Davis mountains would be fantastic. Lodging in the general area is a bit tight (and the hotel at the state park is closed for 2023 apparently).

Posted by williampaulwhite17 12 months ago

👀 I'll be watching... Need to put a REAL bioblitz on my calendar before I start twitching and gasping for air.

Posted by kimberlietx 12 months ago

Does anyone have any connections at The Nature Conservancy? I just sent an email to the lady in charge of Davis Mountains Preserve to see if it's possible, but would help if we had any connections.

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

@knightericm I have a couple of contacts. Once we know more info, I can reach out and include Russell on the email.

Posted by baxter-slye 12 months ago

Charlotte Reemts would be the person I would contact as well as Kaylee.

Posted by baxter-slye 12 months ago

Also, the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration is tossing around the idea of having the next annual meeting in Alpine next November. That may be an excellent overlap for a lot of us.

Posted by baxter-slye 12 months ago

Oh cool, thanks Jamie. I emailed Kaylee so hopefully that gets the message across. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

FYI @rlhardin @eric_keith

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

Davis Mountains and or that area is a primary interest in an area that I want to visit. Or even further west/south like around Big Bend Ranch State Park. Especially since I missed the Elephant Mountain gathering.

Posted by brentano 12 months ago

Love @kimberlietx comment: "Need to put a REAL bioblitz on my calendar before I start twitching and gasping for air."!

Posted by connlindajo 12 months ago

I was at Davis Mtns Preserve (the public part) in August. I was hoping to see about planning a spring event there. It's pretty bleak out there in the fall. If we do Powderhorn this spring, I was thinking next spring for Davis Mtns.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 12 months ago

Is there any planning for a post-monsoon rains date at Davis? Or is it too unpredictable?

Posted by bosqueaaron 12 months ago

I doubt anything weather related is predictable now-a-days....but hopefully the folks at Davis Mtns Preserve could give us a better idea--if they're interested in hosting us. We'll see what @baxter-slye's contacts say.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 12 months ago
Posted by annikaml 12 months ago

I would think October would be a good time in Davis Mountains. Big Bend is usually great after the rains around that time.

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

Kaylee at TNC Davis Mountains Preserve seems intrigued and said she's going to ask some others if a bioblitz would be ok. Likely won't hear until after the holidays.

Posted by knightericm 12 months ago

No ideas but I'm itching to get back to Texas!

Posted by nanofishology 12 months ago
Posted by jcochran706 12 months ago

Welp, the Davis Mountains Preserve contact said they've already had extensive biological surveys done for the preserve so they weren't that interested, BUT they said it might be possible to do a bioblitz at one of their less surveyed preserves such as Dolan Falls (on Devil's River) or Marathon Grasslands Preserve (never heard of this one but she says it's 2700 acres). Thoughts?

Posted by knightericm 11 months ago

Wow! Those both look very interesting. Dolan Falls might be more diverse, but very far from resources and lodging for those who aren't camping. They are both closed to the public, which is cool!

Posted by lovebirder 11 months ago

@pfau_tarleton I'm also asking her about potential for Independence Creek Preserve and Diamond Y Springs Preserves. We'll see what she says.

Posted by knightericm 11 months ago

Also worth mentioning, the Davis Mountains Preserve has several open weekends in 2023 that require no reservations. So we wouldn't get any special treatment, but still an option I guess: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/volunteer-and-attend-events/find-local-events-and-opportunities/tx-davis-mountains-open-days/

2023 Open Events:
No reservation required! All dates are Open Weekend Events with overnight camping available from 8:00am Friday – 5:00pm Sunday:
March 17-19, 2023
June 2-4, 2023
August 25-27, 2023
October 20-22, 2023

Posted by knightericm 11 months ago

They weren't that interested in US? Do they know who we are???

Posted by bosqueaaron 11 months ago

FWIW, the master naturalist conference this year is Oct 12-15th in McAllen. (So it doesn't conflict with the Davis Mts October date if we go that direction)

Posted by kimberlietx 11 months ago

haha, @bosqueaaron clearly not. my marketing skills are subpar so if someone else wants to take a crack at it, feel free :)

Posted by knightericm 11 months ago

Good one, @bosqueaaron ! 😂

Posted by annikaml 11 months ago

I second Old Sabine Bottom. It's a great fishing place.

Posted by cosmiccat 11 months ago

This state ain't big enough for us! So we're Oklahoma-bound! Hickory Creek WMA/State Game Management Area, to be specific. It's just across the Red River east of I-35.

They just completed a controlled burn, so this spring would be ideal time.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 11 months ago

Sounds great! If we're expanding our horizons interstate, I've got connections at the Ouachita Mountains Biological Station near Mena, AR and the Wallace Lake BS a little south of Shreveport to throw into the hat for sometime in the future.

Posted by bosqueaaron 11 months ago

Pending dates I can probably make Hickory Creek. Looks like Marietta nearby has some lodging

Posted by williampaulwhite17 11 months ago

Hickory Creek looks good. Should be able to go unless we have a workday planned.

Posted by baxter-slye 11 months ago

@bosqueaaron Sounds great! I live an hour away from Shreveport, so Wallace Lake sounds good.

Posted by cosmiccat 11 months ago

Help? Planning my spring. Is there anything definitely set up for us to meet in the near future?

Posted by connlindajo 11 months ago

What I've seen so far is CNC April 28-May 1 and Powderhorn May 19, 20, 21.
There's also a River Cleanup/camping/mothing/talks and hikes Robert Walker's ranch just southeast of Glen Rose all of Memorial Day weekend. If anyone wants more info on that, message me.

Posted by bosqueaaron 11 months ago


Posted by rymcdaniel 11 months ago

Powderhorn is a "go"...journal post here: https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/pfau_tarleton/74880

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago

nice! FYI, TNC is still considering whether Diamond Y Springs or Independence Creek would be open to us for a bioblitz. I'll keep y'all posted.

Posted by knightericm 10 months ago

Well great news to report. TNC has added Diamond Y Springs and Independence Creek Preserves to options for our Bioblitz on the condition that no aquatic surveying or sampling occur due to endangered species and the fact that the aquatic resources of both have been thoroughly researched already. But sounds like we would have permission on the rest of the properties. Thoughts?

They also relayed that the TNC freshwater team said specifically they’d love to hear about the adult Odonates present at Diamond Y if anyone studies them. @jcochran706 that would be you right? @pfau_tarleton not sure where this fits in on the schedule, but let me know what i should reply with. TNC will just need to know which location we're interested in out of Diamond Y, Independence Creek, Dolan Falls, or Marathon Grasslands. My vote would be either Diamond Y or Independence Creek for what it's worth. We can also do them all at separate times I would assume.

Posted by knightericm 10 months ago

@knightericm Sounds like excellent news! Both places, DY and IC, look great for exploring. I really enjoy the odonates, and often focus on those wherever I go, but @brentano may already have some odonate experience in that part of the state, too.

Are there any iNaturalist projects established for these sites? I didn't find any with a search.

Posted by jcochran706 10 months ago

This spring is filling up with events pretty rapidly, so we'll need to contemplate the timing--one major trip in spring and one in fall is about all most folks can accomodate.

Here's a map of Diamond Y Springs Preserve and general location of Independence Creek (~100 mi apart):

And a link to iNat observations:

And to Nature Conservancy website:

Independence Creek Preserve is a neat place, but has a lot more iNat observations than DY. We should plan to visit both, eventually.


Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago

Boy, there are some really cool herps at those places!

Posted by jcochran706 10 months ago

I vote Diamond Y maybe 2nd or 3rd week of Sep.

Posted by bosqueaaron 10 months ago

Yes, I think we're settling in on Diamond Y for fall (or try to squeeze in both as many folks will be passing more or less near the other en route). We also want to visit both at some point in the future in the spring season.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago

2nd or 3rd weekend of september should work for me too.

Posted by knightericm 10 months ago

I should make Diamond Y on the third weekend of Sep, but the second weekend is a bit too close to a moth festival for me. I'm helping the National Butterfly Center with their inaugural Texas moth festival, a bit similar to the Texas Butterfly Festival, only for moths. Sep 1-4. Publicity should be available by end of Feb, but if anybody is interested in preliminary details they can contact me via iNat or at jcochran706@comcast.net Definitely would be interested in input from this community on that event.

Posted by jcochran706 10 months ago

If we do Diamond Y is there any problem with staying at a hotel in Ft Stockton?

Posted by williampaulwhite17 10 months ago

@williampaulwhite17 That's what I was planning to do.

Posted by bosqueaaron 10 months ago

FYI, @gcwarbler has two events planned in March. Please see his journal post to RSVP for those:

Posted by pfau_tarleton 10 months ago

I went out to SW Texas last spring including the Ft. Davis area, it was a good trip. It was a bit dry which was unfortunate, so picking places that have surface water would be a good idea if it's dry this year. Looking forward to whatever though.

Posted by eaneubauer 9 months ago

I am familiar with all of the TNC properties mentioned. Diamond Y is most interesting aquatically and has a few rare plants. There could be some ode surprises there. Terrestrially, it is mostly creosote flats with the draw where the springs are located adding some structural diversity. It is not far from Fort Stockton, so that would be the logical jumping off point. There used to be a house on the property, but I am not sure what state it is in and there might not be any water or electricity on site. Independence Creek is awesome. I have done extensive work out there. Incredibly diverse. Insects and other invertebrates would be the least sampled groups there. Aquatics, mammals, birds, and herps have received quite a bit of attention (from researchers, college classes, etc.). Independence Creek has a bunkhouse and some other lodging and there would be access to showers, kitchen, fridge, etc. It has the added bonus of some nice swimming holes. Marathon Grasslands is another cool place at the foot of the Glass Mountains. It has a big prairie dog town which attracts a lot of raptors including burrowing owls, pronghorn, etc. Other than birds to some extent, it really has not been inventoried. The town of Marathon is not far, so that could be a jumping off point. There is a house on site that could likely at least provide access to a kitchen and shower depending on what state it is in. Dolan Falls on the Devils River is absolutely incredible! Quite diverse. The only place I have ever experiences a moth-nado! They have facilities there, mostly screened in bunk houses with cots, but there is a communal, fully equipped kitchen. The trick with Dolan Falls is that you need high clearance at minimum to get in (have to cross the river) and depending on conditions 4WD could be necessary. Since the preserve borders the State Natural Area, it might be possible to use their bunk facilities as well. Davis Mountains is great, and I would argue way bleaker in spring than in fall based on my field work experience out there (I have done extensive bird surveys). Some of the most incredible mothing I have experienced was out there last fall. But, it is an extremely popular site (the demand for access is extremely high) and there has been extensive research and inventory across the board out there. Anyway, depending on the dates, I assume this would be a fall event. If I can be present, then as a former long-time TNC employee who has worked on many of these properties, my presence might facilitate access. And my familiarity with most of these properties could help point folks in the right direction.

Posted by rkostecke 9 months ago

I can't do anything in March but I'm down for any of that in September depending on family issues that are ongoing. Dolan falls may be challenging logistically given what you're saying about the need for high clearance AWD though

Posted by williampaulwhite17 9 months ago

I've already pulled loose a car battery cable bumping around Devil's River. I will gladly attend anything else that doesn't require off-road capabilities. =)
I'll also be at the butterfly gathering in the first week of September.

Posted by k8thegr8 9 months ago

Thanks @rkostecke, we're communicating with TNC staff now to arrange for Independence Creek with a day excursion to Diamond Y. Will announce when finalized.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 9 months ago

The dates have been set for the fall West Texas bioblitz at Independence Creek and Diamond Y!

Journal post here:

Posted by pfau_tarleton 9 months ago
Posted by connlindajo 9 months ago
Posted by bosqueaaron 9 months ago
Posted by brentano 8 months ago

I've been adjusting the way I do things ahead of this season. I'll continue to do daylight photography, but will add collecting in the dark. My goals are to reliably get better Lycosid photos, especially ventral views, and at the same time have less impact on the ecosystem. Expect to see some little numbered flags around so I can get the spiders back exactly where I found them. Does it really matter? Don't know. An observation made with the help of some redesigned photo aids:
This is one of several species that I can field ID this year that I couldn't last year.

Posted by eaneubauer 8 months ago

I haven't heard of anything scheduled for June, so I've been contemplating inviting folks to Timberlake Field Station the weekend of June 24th. We now have two brand new (air conditioned) bunkhouses which sleep 12 each, in addition to the cabin that was there originally.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 8 months ago

Yes, please!

Posted by amzapp 8 months ago

I was contemplating a trip up to San Saba already since there's Pardosa vadosa in the river there, so I'll just postpone for a while. It will be interesting to see what's along the Colorado River, too. I never made it to Colorado Bend State Park either.

Posted by eaneubauer 8 months ago

Yes, that would be great!

Posted by annikaml 8 months ago

@pfau_tarleton It is on my calendar! Been hoping for another trip that way. Especially if I can reserve my "suite".

Posted by connlindajo 8 months ago


Posted by knightericm 8 months ago

Sounds good, Russell!

Posted by lovebirder 8 months ago

I plan on going to Old Camp Leroy Shuman in Lake Worth, but am interested in Roger Fawcett WMA if the date aligns with my schedule. A couple of the other ones interest me as well, but I’ll be traveling for work. 🤨

Posted by observerjosh 7 months ago

@pfau_tarleton I might go to that one

Posted by cosmiccat 7 months ago

June 24th is a go for me. Is there a signup place for that one?

Posted by williampaulwhite17 7 months ago
Posted by knightericm 7 months ago

I still have Timberlake Field Station the weekend of June 24th penciled in on my calendar.

Posted by lovebirder 7 months ago

Is there any info on the Walker Ranch bioblitz next week? Do we need to register, show up at a particular time and place, etc?

Posted by observerjosh 7 months ago

@bosqueaaron, is there a journal post with info about the Robert Walker Ranch event?

Posted by pfau_tarleton 7 months ago
Posted by bosqueaaron 7 months ago

Here are some events coming up in Dallas/Fort Worth in June/July! :) All are open to anyone!

Posted by sambiology 7 months ago

Details about 23-25 June at Timberlake Biological Field Station are posted here:

Posted by pfau_tarleton 6 months ago

If anyone is interested in coming out to Clifton for a Moth Week event, let me know on this journal post!

Posted by bosqueaaron 5 months ago

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