Smokies diversity celebrated with three-day event

Biodiviersity Days in the Smokies June 20-23 will commemorate the diversity of plant and animal life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

out dragonflyBiodiversity Days will include programmed seminars, demonstrations, scientist-led field trips and more. It is estimated that as many as 80,000 different species are found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The celebration begins from 1 to 3 p.m. June 20 with a webinar entitled “Basic Arthropod Taxonomy – Who, What, Why and How!” During this event participants will learn how to identify some of the most diverse groups of animals: insects, spiders and centipedes and receive an introduction to the world of arthropods.

From 1 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 21 the “Tree Teams Project-Arthropod Sorting” will volunteer to sort through arthropods collected by the Tree Team at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center for future study and analysis by scientists.

At 3 p.m. June 22 “Rare Species of the Smokies: The Most Wanted List” will touch on many of the rare and/or endemic species in the Smokies as they present a few unique stories of missing species and shed some light on rare and mysterious, yet important Park inhabitants.

All day on June 23 there will be two events, the “Tree Teams Collecting Event” at Indian Gap and Balsam Mountain and a “Fern Foray.” At the collecting event, participants will get a chance to join the Tree Team as they collect samples from the field for research on arthropod and tree relationships. The Fern Foray will have participants out hiking, and identifying and quantifying fern species along the way.

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