Cross-country event: Snap photos of plants, wildlife for largest crowd-sourced inventory

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is holding a cross-country nature event called the Big Backyard BioBlitz. It provides critical data for nature conservation.

From backyards to national parks, people can snap pictures of various species they come across and submit them to the largest crowd-sourced species inventory in the country.

“Whether it’s flowers in your backyard, some weeds, birds, any wildlife that you see, it’s all useful. So take a picture, (send it to) a naturalist and the beautiful thing about a naturalist is that you don’t have to make sure you get the ID of what you’re taking a picture of because there is a community of biologists and experts that will go in there and confirm the ID for you,” Kayla Burak, Nature Conservancy of Canada Sask. region engagement manager said.

The third annual big backyard bioblitz runs until Aug 1st. People can register at backyard bioblitz dot ca.

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During last year’s event, participants young and old, new and experienced, recorded more than 35,000 nature observations and made more than 4,200 unique species observations.

Burak said that anything is helpful because there might be a species that has never been spotted in an area before. Population trends over time, she said, and so after a few years biologists could be looking back at this data and seeing population shifts that people were capturing over the years. They might be able to find out which populations have been declining five years down the road.

She added that this project is very important for science and conservation across Canada and it also has a benefit for people — to go out and enjoy the outdoors, take pictures and put them into the app.

“Being outside and nature has really proven to have physical and mental well benefits, you can tell your friends and your family members how good you felt after you did something like this, and that’ll get them outside and connected to nature.”

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