BioBlitz at Murphys Point

Ontario’s provincial parks are home to a diverse array of plants and animals. What better way to take a snapshot of this amazing biodiversity than through a BioBlitz?

Murphys Point Provincial Park hosted its very own BioBlitz on June 10-11, 2017.

The 24-hour event brought staff and volunteers together to explore and catalogue the park’s natural species.

What’s a BioBlitz?

Scientist and two girls look at small creature while standing in river.
Photo: Simon Lunn

A BioBlitz is a nature survey taken during a short period of time. Scientists, naturalists, and volunteers all get together to record all of the living species discovered within a given area.  This data is then compiled to represent the biodiversity of an area at that time.

BioBlitz Canada is working to represent Canada’s biodiversity by helping to promote and organize BioBlitzes across Canada.

Naturalist looks at creature in net while standing in river.
Photo: Simon Lunn

At Murphys Point, participants used binoculars, nets, traps, and other tools to explore the park. Experts were on hand to help identify and record the many species spotted.

Themed excursions focused on identifying species like insects, aquatic creatures, plants, birds, and nighttime flyers.

The results

Group of boys searching for creatures in swamp.
Photo: Simon Lunn

The following species were recorded during the park’s BioBlitz:

  • Dragonfly351 vascular plants
  • 90 non-vascular plants
  • 12 fungi/lichens
  • 75 birds
  • 10 mammals
  • 16 herpetiles
  • 14 fish
  • 56 beetles
  • 33 odonates
  • 20 butterflies
  • 59 moths
  • 5 hymenoptera
  • 10 other insects
  • 3 non-insects

In total, that’s 754 species! Over 240 new species were added to the park list in just 24 hours. That’s amazing!

Why BioBlitz?

BioBlitzes are important for a variety of reasons.

At a BioBlitz, you have the opportunity to learn about our natural environment from the experts themselves. You can be scientist for a weekend!

The knowledge gained from a BioBlitz is crucial for naturalists who are managing the park’s wildlife. By taking part, you’re playing an important role in maintaining the health of the park’s environment.

Group photo of BioBlitz staff.
Photo: Simon Lunn

And, of course, they’re fun! BioBlitzes are an opportunity to get outside in the untouched beauty of nature. They create an exciting environment where you can connect with fellow conservationists.

Become a citizen scientist

Want to take part in a BioBlitz?

Murphys Point is hosting another BioBlitz this Friday, July 21 during Healthy Parks, Healthy People Day. There will be a variety of great events available from a special mine tour, to an underwater discovery prowl, plus admission to the park is FREE that day.

BioBlitzes are an amazing way to get outdoors and participate in nature. So get outside and join a BioBlitz in your area today!

For a full list of BioBlitz events in Canada, click here.