Become a Scientist for a Day: The Benefit of BioBlitzes

People tell me I have a pretty cool job, and I would have to agree. I get to spend a lot of time outdoors surveying for butterflies and other bugs, snakes and salamanders, fish, birds and more. Interacting with nature is not only a great way to spend time outdoors; it also affords us the opportunity to learn about the habitats and species that make up our Canadian home.

Photo: M. Fatahi
Photo: M. Fatahi

Whether you are a student looking to learn, a new Canadian wanting to explore the natural environment, a city-dweller facing fears of spiders and snakes, or a community member with a passion for nature ranging from amateur to expert, there is something for everyone at a community BioBlitz.

A one-day intensive survey of a natural area, a BioBlitz engages citizens and scientists alike to count as many species as possible in a location. Both professional ecologists and natural history experts teach community members different survey methods for different species. You can learn what habitats to look in, where to look within those habitats, and how to identify different species providing you with the tools to become a citizen scientist in your community, or simply informing you about the habitats and creatures around you.

Photo: M. Fatahi
Photo: M. Fatahi

Apart from the personal benefits of spending time outdoors and environmental learning, a BioBlitz has many benefits. They can contribute to local, national, and international assessments of biodiversity, particularly on the status and trends of many species, including dangerous invaders and declining species at risk. For a property like rare, a BioBlitz gives us up to date information on what lives on the reserve and where exactly species are found. This information is invaluable when working with researchers and for our own management plan. By knowing where invaders have spread to or which locations rare species inhabit we can better plan specific restoration and protection projects.

Last year, with the help of over 100 scientists and experts from 18 countries, we observed more than 1,100 species that were previously undocumented- some of which were new records to the region and province. Once again partnering with the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, we know there are still many more species to uncover at rare!

Photo: J.Quinn
Photo: J.Quinn

Register now to join us August 14th. There will be guided surveys throughout the day on a variety of different species as well as a few presentations by rare researchers, and a free BBQ dinner with entertainment. This event is family friendly and free to attend.

What will YOU discover?

By: Jenna Quinn

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