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Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge teams up with TVA, Discover Life in America to host a “BioBlitz”
September 4, 2021

SPRINGVILLE, TN – The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will be teaming up with Discover Life in America (DLiA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to host a BioBlitz at the Big Sandy Unit of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Tennessee. This free event is open to the public and is a wonderful chance to learn about the animals, plants, and other organisms that live around the Refuge.

A BioBlitz is a short, intense team effort to survey as many different types of organisms as possible in one location, including plants, insects and other animals, fungi, and more. BioBlitzes help Tennessee NWR to better manage its natural areas by knowing what species are present and by noting any species that should be monitored or controlled. At a BioBlitz, members of the public become citizen scientists, helping to gather real scientific biodiversity data. It’s also a fun way to learn about local biodiversity and connect with nature, working side-by-side with regional scientists.

“This is a very unique opportunity” says Joan Howe, Refuge Ranger at the Tennessee NWR. “We have never held this type of event here at the refuge and may never get the chance again! This event attracts scientists, biologists, and nature specialists from all over Tennessee to come to our part of the county to conduct this type of intense survey. However, the public participation is easy, if you can take a picture with your cell phone, you can help us out!”

Anyone can participate in this free, family-friendly outdoor event. Children are welcome! Before the event, participants should register at and should install and set up iNaturalist (a citizen science app) on their mobile device. Experts will be on hand to guide participants and answer their biodiversity-related questions. Even after the BioBlitz event, anyone can contribute to this project by returning to TNNWR or any of TVA’s other BioBlitz sites and recording new observations in iNaturalist. A list of sites can be found at

“Biodiversity keeps our world ticking! Without it, we are lost” says Will Kuhn, DLiA’s Director of Science and Research. “BioBlitzes are a great way to connect with your neighborhood flora and fauna and they’re really fun!”

The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and encompasses nearly 51,000 acres stretched across 65 miles of the Tennessee River. However, this BioBlitz will be held on several hundred acres immediately surrounding the refuge Visitor Center.

Discover Life in America is a nonprofit organization partnered with Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a mission to discover, understand and conserve biological diversity. Founded in 1998, DLiA’s flagship project, the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), is a joint effort with the National Park System to identify and understand every species within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To date, DLiA has helped add over 10,000 species to the inventory of life in the park, 1,044 which are new to science. For more information call 865-430-4757 or visit the website.

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