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This mile­stone year of­fers a good rea­son for Cana­di­ans to join the bioblitz party. To­gether, let’s count our bless­ings — lit­er­ally! — by track­ing Canada’s wildlife species

Canadian Wildlife - - FRONT PAGE -

News, events and up­dates on con­ser­va­tion projects for the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion.

As part of cel­e­bra­tions to mark Canada’s 150th birth­day, the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion is helping to or­ga­nize a mas­sive cross-canada bioblitz cam­paign—a se­ries of bi­o­log­i­cal sur­veys to record all the liv­ing species in se­lected ar­eas.

Many events are al­ready planned, with more to come. All you need to do is check our new ded­i­cated web­site www.bioblitz­canada.ca to find blitz events near you. While you are there, look at the re­sources that may in­spire and sup­port you to put on your own in­de­pen­dent bioblitz event, and dis­cover how to add your ob­ser­va­tions in real time through­out the year.

IT’S BIOBLITZ CANADA 150—AND YOU’RE IN­VITED!

One of the 38 Canada 150 sig­na­ture projects, the na­tional bioblitz is call­ing you and thou­sands of other Cana­di­ans of all ages, cul­tural back­grounds and re­gions to join to­gether on a mis­sion for our ter­res­trial, fresh­wa­ter, coastal and marine habi­tats. It’s all about unit­ing the power of in­di­vid­u­als, clubs, not-for profit groups, and fed­eral, pro­vin­cial, territorial and mu­nic­i­pal agen­cies to make a grand in­ven­tory of na­ture. Bioblitz Canada 150 events will con­nect pro­fes­sional sci­en­tists, am­a­teur ex­perts and keen be­gin­ners of all ages to get to­gether to find, iden­tify and record as many species as pos­si­ble in a given area in a given time.

What bet­ter way to bring peo­ple from across Canada out into na­ture to cel­e­brate our nat­u­ral her­itage?

It is also im­por­tant work. You can add or track re­sults and ob­ser­va­tions in real time on inat­u­ral­ist.ca, the of­fi­cial database plat­form for

the project (it­self a joint ven­ture by CWF, Na­ture­serve Canada and other part­ners). All dis­cov­er­ies will be open-source, so they can be used to shape con­ser­va­tion de­ci­sions to help en­sure wild species and spa­ces re­main for gen­er­a­tions to come.

CWF LEAD­ING CROSS-CANADA BIOBLITZ EVENTS IN 2017

Un­der Bioblitz Canada 150, five flag­ship events and 20 com­mu­nity events across Canada will each be a combo of species in­ven­tory, wildlife work­shop ac­tiv­i­ties and na­ture jam­boree. Ten science-in­tense blitzes by spe­cial­ists will sur­vey eco­log­i­cally im­por­tant ar­eas.

CWF is pleased to lead the Bioblitz Canada al­liance work­ing with many groups to reach out to ev­ery­one: ur­ban, sub­ur­ban, rural, re­mote, new Cana­dian, in­dige­nous, sporty, out­doorsy, young, old, in­di­vid­ual and fam­ily. Ev­ery­one is wel­come to join the fun. We at CWF are a nat­u­ral fit for the project, through our Wild Fam­ily Na­ture Clubs, our Wild About Gar­den­ing pro­gram and our ac­tive daily work na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally for wise con­ser­va­tion ac­tion.

IN THE FOOT­STEPS OF CANADA’S CI­TI­ZEN SCI­EN­TIST HEROES

At the heart of the Cana­dian iden­tity is a tra­di­tion of know­ing and lov­ing the liv­ing things of this land. Many of the knowl­edge-keep­ers of the past did this painstak­ing, gen­er­ous work out of sheer joy and cu­rios­ity, as fer­vent am­a­teur nat­u­ral­ists. Think of Sa­muel de Cham­plain’s Réc­its de voy­ages en Nou­velle-france from the early 17th cen­tury. Catharine Parr Traill, trail­blaz­ing Up­per Canada botanist, wrote the Cana­dian land­mark Back­woods of Canada (1836) and sev­eral au­thor­i­ta­tive plant guides. Later, Frère Marie-vic­torin cre­ated the master ref­er­ence Flore lau­ren­ti­enne (1935). And the as­ton­ish­ing Louise de Kir­i­line Lawrence, who lived in Rus­sia im­me­di­ately af­ter the Bol­she­vik Rev­o­lu­tion, went on to be­come nurse to the Dionne quin­tu­plets and, even later in life, one of the era’s great am­a­teur or­nithol­o­gists. More re­cently, con­sider Taa­musi Qu­maq Al­la­tan­git, the much-hon­oured Inuit leader who pre­served ac­cu­mu­lated ex­per­tise of his cul­ture through two ground­break­ing works in the 1980s: Sivulitta Piusi­tuqan­git, an en­cy­clo­pe­dia of Inuit tra­di­tional cus­toms and knowl­edge, and a com­pre­hen­sive 30,000-word Inuk­ti­tut dictionary.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO CEL­E­BRATE CANADA’S BIO­DI­VER­SITY

As a ci­ti­zen sci­en­tist to­day, you can build on this his­toric legacy, helping to add new sci­en­tific knowl­edge and data in part­ner­ship with oth­ers who share a pas­sion for Canada’s out­door and liv­ing things.

150’s Bioblitz Canada selfie” in­au­gu­ral “na­ture by Cana­dian Her­itage Joly. Min­is­ter Me­lanie

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