By Stephanie Keeler, Community Program Coordinator
Our first ever BioBlitz is on throughout the month of December! We’re growing our knowledge of Riverwood’s plants and animals, and we need a hand from citizen scientists like you. We want to encourage our community to get outdoors this winter, while staying in their respective bubbles of course, and see first hand how much nature there is to discover even in cold weather. And we’re throwing in a sweet prize for the person or family that makes the most observations (more on that below).
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is a temporary event which focus is to determine a specific area’s range of biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth; it is a great way to understand the health of our ecosystems. Citizens like yourself go out into nature and observe and record plant and animal species, and then report them using technology or simpler means like pen and paper. All of the information reported by citizens is then compiled to develop a broader understanding of what species resides in that particular area during any time of year.
How do I take part in the BioBlitz?
We are using the iNaturalist app to submit, record, and keep track of the ongoing BioBlitz. Watch leaderboards and keep up to date with images that have been submitted and species that have been seen. You must join our project to take part in the BioBlitz.
Anything and everything you see in nature at Riverwood! For this BioBlitz we are looking for three things:
An image. This can be a species of plant or animal you came across while visiting Riverwood, or it can be a track left behind by a species, like a nest, footprint, scat, fur, or leaf.
A location. This will be automatically inputted for you attached to your images. For this BioBlitz, all submissions must be made at Riverwood.
A date and time. This is typically automatically attached to your images. For this BioBlitz, all submissions must be made between December 1 and December 31, 2020.
What and how can I win?
One account will win our grand prize, a signed copy of Dave Taylor’s wildlife photography book, Predators of North America. The book includes 300 full-colour images of North American predators in their natural habitats throughout the year, and the natural history of each animal. The winner will be determined by the number of species observations at the end of December. Leaderboards can be found under “OBSERVERS” in iNaturalist.