Vashon Nature Center - Glacer Poppies


Vashon Nature Center’s 5th Annual BioBlitz June 24, 25, 2016! A Success!

Thanks to all 150 of you who turned out for our 5th BioBlitz! This BioBlitz covered our largest watershed on Vashon, Judd Creek– home to old growth, salmon, estuaries, springs, songbirds, ponds and several new natural areas!

Read our summary here and stay tuned as we provide more interpretation of our findings from all 5 BioBlitz events throughout the next year! The count is now at 513 different species and climbing.

Our 2015 BioBlitz completed with 450 species identified in Maury Island Preserve Network. Thanks to all who came out and made BioBlitz 4 a fabulous one. Read our summary to see what we found. Check out our photo album of the event. Official species lists are posted here.


Jewel beetle found in the 2014 Bioblitz. Photo by: Harsi Parker

What is a BioBlitz?

A BioBlitz is a rapid and fun biological survey where scientists and members of the public join together to find and record as many species of plants and wildlife as they can in 24 hours. BioBlitz events happen all over the world. BioBlitz events on Vashon and Maury islands are a great place to make friends with fellow nature lovers and to celebrate our connection with each other and with nature.

Why hold a BioBlitz?

BioBlitz events provide a snapshot of island wildlife. Not only does this serve to increase our community’s sense of pride and awareness of local nature, the information generated on species occurrences, distributions, and numbers are useful to environmental resource managers on many scales. For example, Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, and King County have all used our BioBlitz species lists to inform management and conservation efforts.  We are also working with the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound to incorporate our lists and photos into a region-wide database used by scientist’s throughout the Salish Sea.


Pacific Northwestern Salamander found at the 2014 BioBlitz. photo by: Kelly Keenan

  What can I do at the BioBlitz? 

There is something for everyone at these events! The only requirement is that you are curious about nature. Are you an expert naturalist or scientist and like sharing your knowledge with others? Let us know your specialty and we can put you on as a team lead for small survey groups of volunteers. Are you an amateur naturalist or just a curious person who wants to learn more? Look at the schedule below and let us know if you want to help as an observer on an expert led team (families with children are welcome).  Things happen around the clock at a Bioblitz. Some examples of survey teams that take volunteers: plants, birds, reptiles, beach surveys, nocturnal black-lighting for insects, small mammal trapping, night survey for owls.  Are you the head of a school group or a teacher? Contact us to learn about possibilities for school groups to visit the BioBlitz. Sign up for Bioblitz 2016.

BioBlitz 2014

Base camp camaraderie. photo by: Bianca Perla

Experience Base Camp!

Not ready to commit to helping on a survey team but still want a taste of what a BioBlitz is like? Drop in on us at base camp and join in on some of our base camp activities or browse our educational displays. Even better, sign up as a volunteer to help man base camp for a shift or two during the event. We are always looking for volunteers! Email: for details.

A list of base camp offerings:

  • Educational displays
  • Touch tank of marine or pond life
  • Microscope station–get close up with bugs or see what lives in a water droplet from Puget Sound!
  • Drawing table–try your hand at biological illustration with the help of local artists and professional biological illustrators!
  • Explore our naturalist library–created every Bioblitz from the personal bookshelves of our expert naturalists we use this library to help us identify hard to discern species during the event. You will find all sorts of examples of great books to add to your own naturalist library at home.
  • Browse displays about other nature activities and groups to get involved with on Vashon
  • Junior naturalist program for kids: pick up a sheet with tasks to accomplish. Accomplish the tasks and receive an offical BioBlitz surveyor button to take home.

Bioblitz specifics (Volunteer!):

Survey Protocol

Bioblitz 2016 will be held in the preserve network in Judd Creek watershed. Base camp is at Matsuda Farm, 19201 Vashon Hwy SW.

Event schedule (to sign up for shifts here).

Information on past Bioblitz events:

Summaries: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Species lists

Visit inaturalist to see photos and records from past BioBlitz events:

Neill Point  —  Shinglemill ChristensenMauryJudd

To help us with an on-going biodiversity survey consider joining our Vashon Biodiversity Project on inaturalist and contributing any photos and records from Vashon and Maury at any time of the year!

A heartfelt thank you to our core volunteers (too numerous to mention but if you come to the BioBlitz you will meet them!) and to our sponsors: Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, Mountaineers Foundation, King County, Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Featured photo: Beach bluffs and poppies at Maury Natural Area, site of the 2015 Bioblitz. Photo by: Bianca Perla