BioBlitz Challenge June 1-3 at the Randall Davey Audubon Center

Community members are invited to join in exploration of biodiversity at Santa Fe’s only “Important Bird Area”

SANTA FE, N.M. | May 22, 2012

Join Audubon New Mexico and The Nature Conservancy as we celebrate the biodiversity in our backyards at the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary. The three day event, running Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3, will feature daily programs lead by local experts on topics including birds, beavers, stars, moths, native plants, reptiles, amphibians, and pollinators. 

All programs are free, family friendly and open to the public. 

While the public is busy enjoying the educational events, field scientists will be in a race against the clock to find and identify as many plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects as possible in a 48 hour period. This biological inventory will serve as baseline data on Santa Fe’s only “Important Bird Area” (IBA) that includes the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary and the adjoining Santa Fe Canyon Preserve on The Nature Conservancy’s property at the top of Cerro Gordo Road. For more on the IBA see background information below. 

Friday, June 1
6:30 pm - Beaver World, led by Bob Findling
8:30 pm - Star Party, led by John Remaly 

Saturday, June 2
8:00 am - Bird Walk
10:00 am - Butterfly/Pollinator Walk, led by Steve Cary and Karen Wetherill
1:00 pm - Reptiles & Amphibians, led by Robert Martin
8:30 pm - Moth Lighting, led by Linda Wiener 

Sunday, June 3
8:00 am - Bird Walk
8:00 am - Pitfall Traps for Terrestrial Arthropods, led by Linda Wiener
10:00 am - Butterfly/Pollinator Walk, led by Steve Cary & Linda Wiener
1:00 pm - Native Plant Walk, led by George Cox  

WHERE: Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary, at the top of Upper Canyon Road in Santa Fe. 

FEES: There will be no cost to public participants, but we welcome donations to support Audubon's conservation and education initiatives.  

CONTACTS: For more information or to reserve your spot in public programs, please contact Steve Cary, Audubon New Mexico, at (505) 231-6361 or 

BACKGROUND: The Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary Important Bird Area (IBA) was established in 2001. This IBA along the Santa Fe River encompasses the 135 acres of piñon/juniper, ponderosa pine, meadow and mixed spruce-fir owned by the Audubon Society and the 525 acres of the Nature Conservancy’s (TNC's) Santa Fe Canyon Preserve with a thriving bosque of cottonwood and willow trees and several beaver ponds. Home to more than 140 species of birds, the Randall Davey IBA also provides public education and outreach with over 10,000 visitors in 2010. 

The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a global effort by the National Audubon Society to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.   

Launched in 1995, the IBA Program recognizes that habitat loss and fragmentation are serious threats facing populations of birds across America and around the world. By working to identify and implement conservation strategies at Important Bird Areas, Audubon hopes to minimize the effects that habitat loss and degradation have on birds and other biodiversity. 

BioBlitzes are increasingly popular ways to document that biodiversity. Field biologists snoop in nooks and crannies to see how many species they can find in their particular area of botanical or zoological expertise. The public gets to peak behind the curtain to see what wonders and curiosities the experts are finding.  

The Randall Davey IBA is one of more than 60 state IBAs in New Mexico. Through a seasonal feeder watch program in partnership with the Hummingbird Monitoring Network, Audubon is collecting data on hummingbird numbers with a focus on Rufous Hummingbirds. Audubon is advocating for healthy river flows and riparian habitat in partnership with TNC, the Santa Fe Watershed Association, and the City of Santa Fe. Additionally, Audubon began a water monitoring program with elementary students on the Santa Fe River at the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary to measure nitrates, phosphates, temperature, groundwater depth, and the presence or lack of macro invertebrates.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Steve Cary
Community Naturalist, Audubon New Mexico
505-983-4609 ext 27

Tracey Kiest Stone
Sr. Media Specialist, The Nature Conservancy

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