Want to get out into your backyard and contribute to science at the same time?
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is inviting people to participate in their Big Backyard BioBlitz, from July 29 to Aug. 2, with the goal of helping illustrate the state of ecosystems across the province.
“Anyone can participate. It’s a great way for people of all ages to look at nature more closely and learn about the plant and animal species close to home,” said Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist with NCC. “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 on Canada’s wildlife.”
The way it works is people register online. They then receive a participant package with instructions on how to submit photos to the study. The kids can get involved too, with activity sheets, fact sheets and ways to learn about species identification. Then they head outside to observe plants, animals and insects, snapping photos and then uploading them to be reviewed by a global network of scientists.
“The BioBlitz will also unfold virtually; your contribution matters,” said a NCC release. “Last year our Big Backyard BioBlitz resulted in over 20,000 observations! Help us gather even more information this year, who knows what you’ll discover!”
Photos are uploaded to iNaturalist, a social network for naturalists and citizen scientists that maps and shares biodiversity data from around the world. The iNaturalist community will help identify species, so people don’t need to be an expert to participate.
“Keep an eye out for large animals like kestrels in the Kootenays, and even small life forms like bugs and fungi in the forests along the coast,” the release says. “All observations made during the 2021 BioBlitz help illustrate the state of ecosystems across B.C. this year.”
Visit natureconservancy.ca/2021bioblitz to sign up.