Bio Blitz in the Milan Bottoms

May  16, 2013

Environmental groups are looking for volunteers to help them find out if there are any  endangered species in this area.  In two weeks, the River Bend Wildland Trust will host an event called the Bio Blitz at a backwater section of the Mississippi River called Milan Bottoms. The goal of the 24-hour event is to take a snapshot of the region and its wildlife.

The volunteer coordinator is Eric Anderson.

"What really got us going," said Anderson, "was the Illinois DNR found a couple of Banded Killifish, which are some small minnows, in Mill Creek, which feeds into the Milan Bottoms area. And across the river, and up just a little bit, is Nahant Marsh, where Blanding's Turtles were found, I believe last year around this time. These are both threatened species in Illinois. And we thought to ourselves, 'Well, what else could be out there?' We're not going to know unless we get in and do some looking around."

The event will give the volunteers the opportunity to work with biological experts to discover and document the region's wildlife. 

"Just walking around here for a few minutes along the road," said Anderson, "you scare up 15 different species of birds, have frogs hopping off, have crawdads swishing through the puddle, and fish in highwater from the flooding. So there's so much life out here that really depends on this flood plane to be here. So what we want to do is give people a chance to come out and see it, and do it with experts that know what they're looking at."

The Bio Blitz at Milan Bottoms kicks off at 3 pm on May 31st and goes through 3 pm on June 1st. If you'd like to participate in the event, head to the website for the River Bend Wildland Trust for more information.