Upcoming Events

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Come join us for maybe the most interesting fund-raising event you will have been to in years ... especially if you are wondering about those fascinating fireflies! Each night from June 3 to 5 will be a repeat presentation about the little flying lanterns of the insect world.

Why don't fireflies in the average backyard synchronize? What makes the fireflies in the park so special? These questions and more will be answered at a DLIA fundraising event that also features the biology and behavior of the firefly. With exclusive access to the property and a firefly expert on site, attendees will learn the answers to their questions while enjoying the amazing “flashing” display firsthand.

All three of these nightly presentations and field walks will take place at the Norton Creek Sanctuary just outside of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  

This is a fundraiser for DLIA! Tickets are $100 per person. This event is for adults and children 10 years and older.

For more information, and to reserve your place, email Todd Witcher at todd@dlia.org.  Tickets are only reserved after payment is confirmed.

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Discover Life in America is partnering with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to provide 3 days of events in the park, highlighting the incredible biodiversity found here in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

* Return to this page later for more details. *

Science at Sugarlands - iNaturalist

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INaturalist and HOW TO UTILIZE THIS GREAT TOOL with Jonathan Carpenter
From hikers to hunters, birders to beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online?
You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature.

That’s the vision behind iNaturalist.org. So if you like recording your findings from the outdoors, or if you just like learning about life, join us!

Science at Sugarlands - Pollinators

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(presentation leader still being determined)
Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than twothirds of the world’s crop species. The United States alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators, and the economic value of these native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems.
Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25% of all birds, and of mammals ranging from red-backed voles to black bears. In many places, the essential service of pollination is at risk from habitat loss, pesticide use, and introduced diseases.

Join us to learn more about what’s happening to pollinators in and out of the park. You will also learn about the new “Pollinator Garden” being installed at Sugarlands Visitor Center.

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HikeOur annual fund-raiser: the Biodiversity Hike to Mount LeConte Lodge will take place on the first weekend in August. The Alum Cave Trail is being worked on this year so we may change the hike to Mount LeConte to another trail.  Stay tuned for more details to come.

Science at Sugarlands - Biodiversity

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Presentation by Todd Witcher

Biological diversity is the resource upon which families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It is the link between all organisms on earth, binding each into an interdependent ecosystem, in which all species have their role. It is the web of life.

The Earth’s natural assets are made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere AND humans! Together we all form part of the planet’s ecosystems, which means if there is a biodiversity crisis, our health and livelihoods are at risk too.

But consider this: we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain! As a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure and/or are directly threatened (for example from loss of access to fresh, clean water).

Speaking of Biodiversity ... here is one example ...

So far in the park, scientist have discovered over 1,800 species of butterflies and moths! And the above images are just a few adults. You should see the immatures (caterpillars)!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for the biological diversity found within the boundaries. What does this biodiversity do for all of us, and how is it changing?

Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.

Learn about the Park’s biodiversity and an organization (Discover Life in America) focused on documenting and preserving biodiversity in the Park and around the world.


--- Headquarters for Discover Life in America

2016 Salamander Ball

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We are excited to announce that our 2016 annual Salamander Ball fundraising event will again be held at Zoo Knoxville.  Plans are just beginning to come together. Please check this web page again soon for more developments. We hope to see you there!

I have an idea! Why not bring your kids and/or grand kids to the zoo and then finish the day off with some fun at the Salamander Ball!? There will be music, food, and even a silent auction!

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