Project Updates

The Latest on Biodiversity in the SuperSanctuary

Follow along to read about the most recent biodiversity findings on our protected lands! We’ll post to this page when we have exciting discoveries to report. For more regular updates, check out our Featured Observations page.

March 4, 2024

March 2024: What’s New?

Since our last update, we have made more than 3,000 new observations on SuperSanctuary lands. Our last update had a total of 312 species documented on Harris Center lands using iNaturalist, and since then we have reached this number on our West Side Trails and Hiroshi Lands individually and have just reached this milestone at the Harris Center Headquarters!

A red eft walks on a piece of wood. (photo © Dave Huth)

Eastern Newts are now our most-observed species in the SuperSanctuary. (photo © Dave Huth)

Our most-observed species has shifted from the flashy red trillium (Trillium erectum) to the equally flashy Eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), a common sight throughout our region, particularly at their terrestrial “red eft” stage.

There also continue to be interesting finds on our lands such as this jewel beetle, Chrysobothris scabripennis, observed right in the parking lot for Kulish Ledges. This observation is one of only two in New England, with 33 observations globally on iNaturalist as of this writing. Observations like this reinforce that there are lots of interesting finds just waiting to be discovered on Harris Center lands!

Though finds like these are exciting, all observations are important, whether it be understanding the biodiversity and distributions of species on our lands, reporting non-natives to guide invasive species cleanups, alerting us to potential vernal pools, or documenting a population of a beautiful, regionally uncommon flower.

One last exciting tidbit of information: we have officially brought the project to the community science section of our website, where we’ll host monthly featured observations that we hope you will enjoy. Over the summer, we also plan to offer a Bioblitz or two to introduce more people to iNaturalist and increase its use on our lands. Stay tuned!

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May 24, 2022

New Discoveries in the SuperSanctuary

To date, 312 species have been documented on Harris Center lands with iNaturalist. The eye-catching red trillium (Trillium erectum) is our most documented species in the SuperSanctuary, with 14 observations — most from the West Side Trails.

Our pollinator garden is attracting loads of species this time of year, including this Long-horned Yellowjacket Fly (Sphecomyia vittata). This harmless wasp-mimic has only been documented on iNaturalist in two other locations in New Hampshire!

And, a newly documented population of Limnoporus canaliculatus water striders has been found in a beaver pond associated with the East Side Trails region. This is just one of three documented locations for this species in northern New England.

You never know what you are going to find on your next adventure in the SuperSanctuary. Keep exploring!

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Contact Us

For more information about using iNaturalist in the SuperSanctuary, please contact our staff ecologist Nate Marchessault at (603) 525-3394 or by email.