to Ponder for
by Don Robinson
1998 a new study was initiated in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
in progress is called "All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory" or "ATBI".
No such study has ever
occurred in the United States. With
just two years of studies done the results are impressive.
are two examples:
biologists from around the country, IN ONE 24 HOUR PERIOD OF TIME,
706 species of moths and butterflies in the park.
300 of these have never been documented in the
Smokies. AT LEAST 26 ARE NEW TO
SCIENCE!!!!! Due to data
collected, in the 24 hour period,
scientists raised their moth and butterfly species estimates to potentially
occur in the park from 2000 to 3500!
Another long term study in progress is focusing on the parks spider population.
Only 40% of the collected specimens have been identified so far, and the
total tally has reached 474 species. 38
OF THESE ARE NEW TO SCIENCE!!!
Research will continue for the next 12-15 years with scientists estimates at
over 100,000 species of plants and animals to be identified.
If this kind of data is being found in a national park that has been WELL
STUDIED since the 1800's, what other 'treasure troves' could exist that have
been overlooked or have yet to be found nation wide? With the upcoming 'true'
beginning of the next millennium, starting in January, this is something to
ponder for the new millennium.
This info was taken from the official newspaper of the Great Smokey Mountains
National Park called "Smokies Guide". The guide is produced by the Great Smokey Mountains Natural
History Association and Great Smokey Mountains National Park four times a year.
For more info on the study, or the guide, contact:
Great Smokey Mountains Natural History Association, 115 Park Headquarters
Road, Gatlinburg, Tn. 37738, (865) 436-7318
or Friends of the GSMNP, 130 W. Bruce Street, Sevierville, Tn. 37862
note: If this can occur in a well
documented national park like the Great Smokey Mountains - just imagine all the
species in Florida that have been overlooked!
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