Saturday, January 5, 2008

Camp Bayou volunteer update January 2008

There are a few volunteer opportunities at Camp Bayou coming up that may be of interest. Please contact Dolly at if you are interested in helping with any of these events. If you are not already registered as a volunteer with Hillsborough County, you will be asked to fill out a short volunteer form before participating in any event.

There will be a butterfly monitoring training class on Friday, January.11, 2008 (for more on the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network, visit ). It is a 6 hr class conducted by a researcher from UF, Dr. Akers Pence, but you must commit to doing a monthly monitoring at either Camp Bayou or Lowry Park (possibly a coastal site such as Cockroach Bay). Let me know ASAP if you are interested in taking the training class.

The recent prescribed burn at Camp Bayou has exposed a number of gopher tortoise burrows. We are looking for some folks who are interested in helping monitor them on Saturday, January 19 from 10:30-ish to 1pm (?). If you own a handheld GPS unit to use that's great but we will have some extras for those who don't. We'll walk the north end of the preserve, through the recently charred palmettos, to GPS each burrow and document if active or not. If you would like to help, let me know by Jan 12.

We have begun a pilot citizen science program named 'Wildlife in My Yard'. Participants observe the activity in their yards for 30 minutes. They then go online, sign in and enter background information, and proceed to the survey where they record whether certain groups of wildlife are present or absent in their yard. Recording what is absent is just as important as recording what is present. In an effort to draw valid conclusions, observations should be made at about the same time of day for each session reported. Mornings or late afternoon/evening are probably the best times to observe the greatest number of critters.
If you live in the Tampa Bay area and would like to participate in this Citizen Science project, go online to , or email for more information.

Volunteers are also needed to help with the expanded version of the Family Naturalist program, Saturdays 9:30-10:30am from March- June, part of a community education grant from SWFWMD. We've done a pilot program for a year and half that will be the template. Each week is a different environmental theme and activity.

Thanks for all you do,

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