Residents of the mid Island are asked to try their hand at citizen science this month as part of a BioBlitz.
The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region is holding its annual BioBlitz from April 8-10 in the area from Nanoose Bay to Spider Lake. Participants are asked to use the iNaturalist app to record their observations of flora and fauna in their backyard, at a park or anywhere else in the great outdoors.
The biosphere’s research institute is at Vancouver Island University and according to a press release from the university, information supplied by citizen scientists helps to create a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. Researchers track changes over time and can keep an eye, for example, on species at risk or the spread of invasives.
“We couldn’t do this work without the help of citizen scientists and volunteers,” said Mandy Hobkirk, MABR coordinator, in the release.
She said by making observations, people are contributing to baseline information which is “really important as we move forward, especially in the context of climate change.”
Observations must be made within the biosphere’s boundaries, which include the watersheds around the Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, French Creek, Nanoose Creek and Bonnell Creek. The participants who submit the highest number of observations each day are eligible to win prizes.
The biosphere region has created a video tutorial on using the iNaturalist app.
For more information about the BioBlitz, click here.
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