Crow Island Bio Blitz

by Vivi and Elliana

Crow Island Woodland Trail


About 67 degrees Fahrenheit

Overgrown, lots of trees, flowery, lots of small animals, evidence of larger mammals

How many different species did you find?

Around 30 different species. Most of the species were found on the edges of the trails, or were visible from the edge of the trails. Most animals or evidence of animals were found high up or deeper in the growth.

Common Plants Along the Trail

Animals and Evidence of Animals along the Woodland Trail

Were species evenly distributed across the site or did you find greater variety in particular areas? If there were distribution differences, where did you find the greatest diversity?

Most species were in one type of area, certain flowers liked to be in the sun and without any larger trees or bushes near them, those types tended to group in large packs along with taller grasses, that need to be in sunnier areas. The large trees and other organisms, were in less sunny areas, but had their tops high enough in order still get sun, around their bottoms they had smaller ferns, ivy and other plants, that seemed to need less sun but got nutrients from the soil. Those plants were the ones that were low to the ground but tended to be spread out along wider spaces. The greatest diversity seemed to be further away from the trails, where they different types of plant would start to over lap, while trying to get sun.

What factors might have affected the number of species we found? What kinds of organisms have you probably missed?

The factors that might of affect the species that we found were time of year, since not all species really thrive in the fall, but only really grow in the spring and early summer. Area on the trail, could have also been a factor since, different places on the trail had different plants and different levels of diversity of species so our location could have effected us. The time of day, since there is plenty of nocturnal animals that we wouldn't of seen. The amount of noise and people we had, since there was a lot of people, animals might have gone further into the woods then they usually would of stayed, had we not of been there. I think we probably missed, different fungi and moss that wasn't visible from the trail, but was on the backs of trees or on the ground where we couldn't see it. We also probably scared away lots of animals with the noise we made, and the time that we were there, since the season involves migrating animals, and the time of day made us miss any nocturnal animals.

Did you find any native species to Illinois? Ant nonnative species? Any invasive species?

Most of the wildflowers we found were native to the area. We found evidence of an nonnative invasive species, the emerald ash boar in that all the ash trees were dead. I think something that helped the biodiversity was that there was mainly native species and they were able to survive through the harsh conditions. Most of the trees seemed to be native to the general area, but some where nonnative, but seemed to still fit in the ecosystem.

What do you think could be done to change the diversity of the Crow Island woods?

I think the biodiversity in the Crow Island woods could be improved by bringing in other native types of trees, to help replaced the ash trees that have been killed, another thing that could help was to bring in some natural predators to invasive species such as buckthorn. And in general bringing plants and flowers to attract different birds, insects and other animals to add to the slew of different species in the woods.

By Vivi and Elliana