On May 11th, 2018, a group of participants gathered at Procter Farm Preserve for Wake Nature’s latest Bioblitz. A bioblitz is an event where naturalists attempt to record all living species in a given area. Data gathered from a bioblitz creates an inventory snapshot of the species in the area surveyed, and is used to inform conservation and management decisions.
Procter Farm Preserve is a future Wake County nature preserve located in the eastern edge of the county. The preserve has been previously managed for loblolly pine timber, and as implied by the name, farming. When open Procter Farm Preserve will feature recreational trails for hiking and horseback riding. The preserve features loblolly pine and hardwood forest, fallow agricultural fields, granitic flatrock, and a large beaver impoundment.
Volunteers were divided into groups focused on various species. Groups included birds, reptiles and amphibians (collectively known as “herps”), and insects and plants. The birding group started the day off early and returned from their survey with great news having successfully spotted Grasshopper Sparrows, a species rare in Wake County.
Other highlights of the day included observing both Yellow bellied slider and River cooter turtles laying their eggs in the old agricultural fields, and finding several arrowheads.
In a comical turn of events members of the insect and plant group were puzzled by a strange looking shrub before realizing that it was in fact Poison Sumac, but only after everyone had touched the plant’s leaves.
After roughly 8 hours traversing the woods, fields, and swamps of Proctor Farm Preserve we were able to collect 41 birds, 12 amphibians, 10 reptiles, 25 insects, and 218 plants for a total of 306 species for the day, many of which were new to the preserve!
Thank you to all of our participants for taking part in the Wake Nature Bioblitz of Proctor farm Preserve, your knowledge and time is appreciated!