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The Big Backyard BioBlitz is back

By Joe Thomson Aug 2, 2023 | 1:47 PM

Krzysztof Niewolny / Unsplash

Have you ever thought about how many different species of plants and animals are living right in your own backyard? So has the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and this year’s Big Backyard BioBlitz will get us one step closer to answering that question.

The BioBlitz is all about having fun outside, and as an added bonus it helps experts keep track of at-risk species across the country.

NCC development officer Mark Frank walked us through just how easy it is for anyone to participate. He says to head to inaturalist.org and download the app. Once you’ve got the app, it will give you some pointers on how to photograph nature. Then all you have to do is head outside and snap some pics of whatever you see.

“Take a moment, look at what plants and animals are around you. Take a photo, upload them to the app, and there you go. You’re part of the Big Backyard BioBlitz,” said Frank.

Around 10,000 Canadians took pat in last year’s BioBlitz, and they observed 15,000 different species. One of the species people saw pretty frequently was the monarch butterfly, which was observed around 1,400 times in Canada throughout the BioBlitz.

“That’s really exciting because they were listed as a species at risk last year. So, people took the time to note where they had been [seen], and it was great to see so many sites,” said Frank.

By observing at-risk species and uploading them to the INaturalist app, it helps give conservation experts an idea of which species are where and how many of them there are. Frank says this helps groups like the NCC decide where to devote their resources to protect the species that need it most.

The Big Backyard BioBlitz kicked off today, and will continue until Sunday, August 7, so get outside and see what’s around you.


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