Darter Madness

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Darter Madness

UPDATE! Dr. Million has finished scoring the brackets and we have a Darter Madness winner! Sarah Clark has won an autographed copy of Alabama Rivers by Bill Deutsch! The next top 4 highest scoring brackets have won a Black Warrior Riverkeeper hat: Tamra Mendelson (2nd place), Jessica Arbour (3rd place), Z.C. Nemec (4th place), and Jason French, Natalie Schroth, and “The GARkansas Team” (3-way tie for 5th place). Many thanks to Dr. Million and all the participants! And congratulations to the rainbow darter for winning the tournament!

March is here and that means Darter Madness! 64 darter species will compete, and one will emerge as the champion! Which species will it be?

Dr. Kara Million is running Darter Madness to raise public awareness of these amazing North American native fishes and to support their protection. Dr. Million is a biologist at University of Maryland Baltimore County where she has spent more than a decade studying darters and has grown to love them.

This year, Dr. Million is raising money for Black Warrior Riverkeeper. We are grateful for her support of our work promoting clean water in Alabama, America’s leading state for freshwater biodiversity! Fun fact: the Black Warrior River watershed is home to three endangered darter species: the rush, vermilion, and watercress darters.

Feeling lucky? Make a donation, enter your bracket, and compete for prizes!

Here’s how to play:

1. Fill out your bracket! 64 darters will compete in Twitter polls where people can vote for their favorite species. Use the bracket to predict the Sweet 16, the Elite 8, the Final Four, and the ultimate champion! Click here for a printable bracket.

2. Make a donation! Donate at least $10 to Black Warrior Riverkeeper to qualify. Click here to donate.

3. Enter your bracket! Send your donation receipt and your completed bracket to [email protected] and Dr. Million will score the brackets as the game progresses. You score 1 point per correct prediction in the first round, 2 in the second, 4 in the Elite 8, 8 in the Final 4, 16 for the last square-off, and 32 if you predict the champion!

4. Vote! Dr. Million will run a series of Twitter polls on her account, @DarterDancer, in which darter species pairs will compete for the crowd’s favor. Species with the most votes will advance to the next round until one winner emerges.

5. Win! The top scoring bracket overall will win an autographed copy of Alabama Rivers by Bill Deutsch! The next top 4 highest scoring brackets will win a snazzy Black Warrior Riverkeeper hat.

All competing brackets must be in by midnight, March 13. So what are you waiting for? Let the games begin!

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