iNaturalist Report for Estero Bluffs State Park



Explore the Estero Bluffs On Your Own Time... 

As a Citizen Scientist with 

iNaturalist

Photo Credit Sam Peck

The Estero Bluffs State Park Project on I-Naturalist  is up and running! As of December 8, the Park has experienced 95 “Observers” (visitors), recording 366 “Observations” (digital pictures), representing 171 “Species” of Protists, Fungi, Plants, and Animals. 

Animals observed have included Invertebrates such as Mollusks, Anemones, Sea Stars, Insects, Crustaceans (Crabs) and Vertebrates including species of Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals. 

The most frequently observed species are two plants; Pink Sand Verbena (11 observations) and Western Blue-eyed Grass (10 observations). Two of the most prolific observers for Estero Bluffs State Park are Naturalists from SLO. Most of the rest are from far outside of the California Central Coast area. The identifications and verifications, of these observations has been accomplished by over 600 “Identifiers”! It is quite a community of interested people.

The Estero Bluffs State Park draws in a lot of people, from many different places, with its wonderful biological diversity! You are invited to join in the fun.

The Cayucos Land Conservancy invites YOU and your family to become “Citizen-Scientists”, documenting the plants and animals found at our very own Estero Bluffs State Park, a site protected by CLC's first conservation easement. This is an activity that you can enjoy on your own or with your family while adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

It’s easy and fun: iNaturalist:  
https://www.inaturalist.org 

There is plenty of explanation on the iNaturalist website, but here are the 3 steps to begin:

  • Download the iNaturalist Application to your phone and set up your individual login. (They make it very easy.)
  • Second, while enjoying and exploring the Bluffs safely take pictures with your phone of animals and plants you encounter.
  • Third, upload the photos to iNaturalist, enter the approximate geographical location (very easy, with the App mapping feature), and try your best to identify the animal or plant (again very easy, with the App offering suggestions).
Photos by Tom Seville using iPhone, with common and scientific names sourced from iNaturalist:
                                       
Willit, Tringa semipalmata     Reddish Tufted Vetch, Vicia benghalensis      Ochre Sea Star, Pisaster ochraceus 

Once you have completed your entry the community at iNaturalist confirms, or suggests, other identifications right down to the species level. 

It's that easy! Your photos, and accompanying location data, become part of an international survey of living creatures.

Participants help determine species' geographic distributions and population densities, monitor ecosystem health and most importantly, allow us to create a list of animals and plants found at our local treasure, Estero Bluffs State Park.

CLC Board Member Tom Seville has volunteered to lead us in this project. Please email Tom at tseville71@gmail.com with your iNaturalist User Name (Please, no passwords!) so he can track your photo submissions and build our species list for Estero Bluffs State Park.

If there is enough interest from our members, and once we are cleared to gather safely, we can schedule walks at the Bluffs to demonstrate how to use iNaturalist to further enjoy, understand and appreciate our beautiful State Park.

Again, let Tom know your iNaturalist user name (not your password) so that he can form our Estero Bluffs community (tseville71@gmail.com).

We encourage all to join the fun!

For more news on Cayucos Land Conservancy, see:
https://www.cayucoslandconservancy.org/blogs/news

Title Photo Credit Danna Joy Images