Middletown was presented with a rare opportunity in the summer of 2007, a chance to host scores of scientists who in a single 24-hour period would attempt to catalog all of the species they could find within the city limits. The BioBlitz ran all day and all night, from 3:00 pm on June 8 to 3:00 pm on June 9. Just short of 2,300 unique species were found.
The Jonah Center for Earth and Art jumped on the opportunity to access this wealth of information. With a grant from the Rockfall Foundation and funds from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Deptartment of Wesleyan University, the Jonah Center began the Middletown Biodiversity Database. Initially just data from the BioBlitz was used, but as the summer progressed, both public submissions of species records and photographs began to arrive. Further research was done to include historical records from the scientific literature, and Middletown, state, and national organizations were contacted for data they could contribute.
Two projects were simultaneously born. The one you see here is the Biodiversity web site, graciously hosted by Wesleyan University. The website provides species information, photographs, resources, as well as geographic information about Middletown. At this point, it is powered by submissions from the Middletown community, and we hope it will continue to grow. Behind the scenes, the database itself is growing ever larger, as new submissions and research results are entered. This database includes dates, specific geographic location, and an entry for every single reported sighting of a species, as well as observer information, abundance data, and anything else we are given. Please contact us if you are looking for more specific data than the web site offers.