Prairie Post (West Edition)
Nature Conservancy of Canada promotes upcoming BioBlitz
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.