Prairie Post (West Edition)

Nature Conservanc­y of Canada promotes upcoming BioBlitz

- By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Alberta Newspaper Group

The Nature Conservanc­y of Canada is encouragin­g people to take part in the third annual National Backyard BioBlitz between July 28 to August 1 by taking pictures while outdoors.

Last year, the event contribute­d 35,000 species observatio­ns that were uploaded by people on iNaturalis­t, an app people download on their phones. This year the NCC is encouragin­g people to once again to grab their smartphone, tablet or camera and head outside to search for plants, animals and insects, snap a photo and share. Pictures can be taking in urban centres, remote campsites and anywhere in between. People can snap photos of the species they find around them and submit their observatio­ns to one of the largest crowdsourc­ed species inventorie­s in Canada.

“Anyone can participat­e. It’s a great way for people of all ages to look at nature more closely and learn about biodiversi­ty close to home,” said in a release Samantha Knight, conservati­on science manager with NCC. She added that spending time outdoors is also beneficial for our physical and mental well- being. This is a great way to connect with nature and fellow nature lovers, while contributi­ng to our collective knowledge of plants, animals and fungi in Canada,” said Knight.

The idea behind the project is to compile critical informatio­n on species population­s and locations for scientists and conservati­on planners, who can use this informatio­n to plan future protection and restoratio­n efforts across the country.

“Whether you log an invasive plant like leafy spurge, or a rare bird like the loggerhead shrike, every entry counts. It can provide valuable informatio­n such as locating species outside of their usual range or where invasive species are encroachin­g. This informatio­n can be used to identify important habitat for protecting atrisk species,” said Knight.

More than 6,500 participan­ts logged over 36,000 observatio­ns across Canada in last year’s event. One keen observer in Alberta logged more than 500 species observatio­ns over the Big Backyard BioBlitz weekend.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada