Nature Mapping Bainbridge Island - Laurie Usher

Nature Mapping Bainbridge Island


Reprinted from NatureMapping Foundation
Date 2005
Link to original article


Thanks to the efforts of Enviro-Ed, Bainbridge Island Land Trust, teachers, city planners, and other volunteers, NatureMapping began in 1993 and has continued to this day. Saki Middle School is the only school that has continued to participate; almost all the schools have provided data to NatureMapping. Data were collected for 1994, 1996-2005.


An estimated 2,190 students have provided the bulk of the 11,077 observations, collecting data from their homes, around the schools and focused field trips to monitor sites identified many years ago. Other data providers included private landowners, as well as, a Seattle Audubon field trip, and an ornithologist visiting the island.


Number of Species Reported


A total of 158 species were reported, averaging 104 species reported each year. A list of questionable species has been submitted to experts on the island to help finalize the total number of species.




Of the 158 species, on the list, 35 species are considered "at-risk", listed or is a candidate for state endangered, threatened, etc, or are a Priority of Habitats and Species (PHS) species. The fact that some of these 35 species have continued to be reported for the past 11 years shows the habitat continues to support them - something for Bainbridge Island to be proud of.


Lists of species reported 5 years or longer, and less than 5 years are included to show the most common species, and others that need more information and verification. These lists will be finalized after the "questionable" species list is reviewed.


What the data tell us


First it is important that the 5th grade teachers continue to collect data as a team effort. Each of the following maps shows student coverage by quarter-section by a team of teachers for the year 2005. The last map shows all the 5th graders locations together...almost covering the Island completely.


Maps can be developed for each species. The first Bald eagle map shows where all sightings occurred...basically everywhere on the Island. However, the second map shows where the most sightings occurred, more on the east side of the Island.


What next?


Technology now makes it easier to report observations with more precise accuracy. Although geographic location is important, matching the sighting of fish and wildlife to a type of habitat allows communities to learn the types of habitats that support local fish and wildlife so that they may make better land use decisions with these data.


Bainbridge Island Land Trust continues to assist the local schools to conduct NatureMapping. The Bainbridge Island High School biology teachers are ready to prepare their students to collect biodiversity data to complement the work Saki students are doing, and The NatureMapping Program will be there to assist in their efforts.


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