The Nature Conservancy of Canada is looking for your help to find, document, and identify different plants, insects, amphibians, fungi, and mammals in your own backyard and nearby green spaces.
The non-profit organization is hosting its second annual Big Backyard BioBlitz where they're asking residents to take photos of different species they find, upload them online, and help the organization collect local data.
Here's how it works;
- Visit www.natureconservancy.ca/2021bioblitz and register.
- You will then receive a participant package with different instructions on how to submit your photos, as well as activity sheets for kids.
- You will then need to download the iNaturalist app or visit their website to create an account.
Engagement Manager with Nature Conservancy, Kayla Burak, tells us what you do next.
"You can take a picture with your phone directly on the iNaturalist app, or you can take pictures with a regular camera and upload it onto your iNaturalist account afterward. iNaturalist will then give you suggestions about what you're seeing so then you can confirm an identification, or other members within your community can confirm the picture as well. It's a really cool opportunity to be part of a community and to contribute to citizen science. Wildlife managers and resource managers use this data for all sorts of different planning."
The Big Backyard Blitz is part of the NCC's goal to connect Canadians with nature, but it also helps the non-profit collect data from backyards and green spaces across the country, which can even help inform conservation actions.
"If people go to NatureDestinations.ca you can find different NCC properties that you can go to as well while taking part in this, and any data that you upload from NCC properties are used to help inform different management options. So if people upload observations of a weed, invasive species, or even a species at risk we use that data to help manage the property, so it's very useful."
In 2020, over 20,000 observations were submitted online, with over a thousand coming from Saskatchewan.
The Big Backyard Blitz runs until August 2.