Staff of the Franklin Park Zoo are leading a project to count every species in Franklin Park -- and everyone is welcome to participate in the project!. We're talking the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, skunks and skunk cabbage -- and gorillas (they are in the zoo!).
"As an organization committed to conservation, we want to educate and inspire people of all ages that we all play a role in healthy ecosystems. And, this starts right in our own backyard," said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation, who has Zoo New England staff in conducting seasonal surveys to record observations of wildlife.
So far more than 660 species have been observed with the American robin leading the way with 39 observations. All of the project's observations are being recorded and presented on inaturalist.org.
With their being more than 600 species identified, the list is exhaustively impressive! Let's just look at all the types of bees that have been observed: ligated furrow bee, western honey bee, brown-belted bumble bee, mining bee, bicolor striped sweat bee, hornfaced bee, eastern carpenter bee, two-spotted bumble bee, sculptured resin bee, and European wool carder bee. That's not even counting the yellow jackets!
Along with the birds and the bees -- mushrooms, trees, amphibians, and reptiles -- are all being counted.
If you're interested in participating in the project, download the iNaturalist app, create an account, and join the biodiversity project. Then start adding your observations!