TIDA and Regional Partners Host 7th Annual Yerba Buena Island Bioblitz

The April 26th community science event gathered over 400 observations of YBI-based flora, fauna and fungi across 177 species.
April 27, 2024

The Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), San Francisco Environment (SFE) and the California Academy of Sciences hosted the 7th annual Yerba Buena Island Bioblitz on Friday April 26th at Yerba Buena Island (YBI).  The event comprised of an intensive, short study of biodiversity throughout Yerba Buena Island's parks and public open spaces over the course of 4 hours.  

Members of the Islands community, agency staff and local ecologists fanned out through YBI's parks and open spaces, including newly opened Panorama Park, Signal Point and YBI's stormwater gardens, collecting photographic observations and uploading their observations and images using the public iNaturalist smartphone app.  

After the event, a community of experts reviewed and validated the data collected during the Bioblitz.  The data is then made available for public review and sorting on the iNaturalist platform, and is incorporated into larger regional, national and international datasets. 

"This year's bioblitz was the very first to take place in some of YBI's new parks and open spaces.  These interstitial spaces are inviting for both our residents and our local wildlife" said Treasure Island Director Robert Beck.  "The City of San Francisco is committed to offering diverse public programs for our mixed-income community, and is committed to stewarding the Island's unique ecology."

"The annual YBI bioblitz is one of our most important yearly events when we connect Islanders and San Franciscans with the wildlife, plants and habitats of Yerba Buena Island." said Peter Brastow, the San Francisco Environment Department's Senior Biodiversity Specialist.

"'Partnering with the Treasure Island Development Authority and the SF Environment Department to explore and document the incredible nature of Yerba Buena Island is always one of the highlights of my Spring." said Rebecca Johnson, PhD, Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Community Science at the California Academy of Sciences.  "This year it was especially meaningful to contribute to the Global City Nature Challenge as we collected data with residents and visitors to help better understand the biodiversity of the island.'

The 2024 YBI Bioblitz was an official event of San Francisco's City Nature Challenge weekend, with the observations made on YBI also counting toward the SF Bay Area City Nature Challenge as well.  Invented by community science staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) and at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), the City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. 

It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a friendly contest with each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.  The first City Nature Challenge in 2016 was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity. In 2017 the City Nature Challenge went national, and in 2018, the CNC became an international event.