Every game is governed by a set of rules to play by and Big Years are no exception. What then are the ground rules to my Dorsey's Knob All Taxa Big Year? Since nobody likes complicated rules, I'll keep these brief.
1) The goal of this game is to locate and identify 1,000 species within a single calendar year starting at midnight on January 1st 2015.
2) Only species level identifications count toward reaching the goal of 1,000. In other words, something identified only to family or genus level does not count.
3) In an All Taxa Big Year, every living thing is countable regardless of whether it is plant, animal, fungi or something microscopic.
4) The "playing field" is the 71 acre Dorsey's Knob Park. If a bird is seen flying directly above the park, it counts. On the other hand, a bird flying outside of the park, but seen from a vantage within the park does not count.
5) Animals can be counted if they are either seen, heard, photographed via game camera, identified with a bat detector or documented through some other conclusive form of evidence. Dead animals, or parts thereof, are also countable provided that they had died within the park during the calendar year.
6) Getting help with a challenging identification is allowed.
7) Non-native species are only countable if they have become naturalized. Intentionally planted ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers do not count.
8) Have fun and learn something about biodiversity!