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Point Defiance BioBlitz Group Photo in Forest

A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible.  A BioBlitz gives adults, kids, and teens the opportunity to join biologists in the field and participate in bona fide research expeditions. It's a fun and exciting way to learn about the biological diversity of local parks and to better understand how to protect them.

The Blitz was conducted under the auspices of the Pierce County Biodiversity Alliance, with Metro Parks Tacoma, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and the Tacoma Nature Center. Headquarters, aka Science Central, was located in the Education Building inside the Zoo. Science Central was open to Zoo Visitors for a portion of the blitz to observe the process.


 Point Defiance BioBlitz Zones

View BioBlitz Results
View Habitat Brochure
View Wildlife Checklist

View larger map of Bioblitz Zones
View mapbook

Washington NatureMapping Program

Point Defiance Park is unique among urban parks on the north Pacific coast because of its old-growth forest joined to a massive sea cliff-wild beach system.  The 560-acre Point Defiance forest includes about 500 acres of old-growth mixed coniferous forest, with Madrona, Red Alder and Cottonwood present on the edges.

The following zones were established for sampling during the Bioblitz.

  1. Spine Trail West to water, north half
    Warmest Driest conditions, Doug-fir mixed with Madrona, hemlock and Alder. A few patches of wetter soils with knotweed present.  Frequent geologic and human disturbances.  Raccoon begging zone.
    67 acres
  2. Mountaineer Tree area , Spine Trail Northeast to Far point
    Northeast exposure, cool & damp old forest, (former?) fox den
    73 acres
  3. Bounded by Spine trail, Mountaineer Tree to Owen Beach
    East  exposure, Douglas fir, western hemlock and red alder, with some bigleaf maple and western red cedar.  Moderate to steep slopes.
    94 acres
  4. West of Spine Trail to Inside Loop Trail
    Mesic old forest
    59 acres
  5. Vassault entrance  to north of Camp 6
    Warm and dry west slopes, dog park, viewpoints, picnic sites, NNL, Fort Nisqually
    67 acres
  6. Rhododendron garden , ravine, east facing unstable slopes stretching up through mesic old growth forest  to disturbed forest edges
    Many tipped-up hemlocks; wet soils, root rot and dwarf mistletoe in highlighted area
    170 acres
  7. Zoo and developed Park Grounds and Gardens
    Includes landscaped lawns, horticultural gardens, native plant garden, small ponds
    100 acres
  8. Baker Property
    Diverse second growth forest, younger than the rest of the stands
    51 acres
  9. Beach Zone  stretching along the shore from Yacht Club to End of Baker Tract. Little to no beach at high tide, especially on the western slopes.
    4.25 miles

Access Points for intertidal zone

A. West – trail from dog park
B. Northeast – trail from Mountaineer Tree
C. East – Owen Beach

Unlike a complete Bio Blitz like the one that occurred at Point Defiance Park in 2011, Mini-Blitzes are focused surveys of specific taxa, in this case fungi.

  • Point Defiance Park Mini-Blitz: Fun with Fungi! - September 24, 2011


 Pierce County Biodiversity Alliance Logo  Washington State Nature Mapping Logo  Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Logo  Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Logo  Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Logo  Tacoma Natue Center Logo  Metro Parks Tacoma Logo