By paddle and boot: citizen science in the backcountry       

This post was written by David LeGros, park naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park.

Are you an explorer? Heading out into parks on a journey of discovery, anxious to see what is on the next lake, around the bend on the portage, or even what might turn up at your campsite?

Me too. I love exploring the backcountry on canoe trips, and I love getting to know Algonquin a little bit better every time. I am also an avid naturalist, so I like to identify the things I see when I’m out there (and no, I don’t know all the species).

Lately, I have become obsessed with iNaturalist (ask my wife). So when we were planning our last canoe trip, I gently guided the route to be in a place where few nature nerds have made records before. For the glory, but also for real/good reasons too.

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EDDMapS: report your invasive species sightings

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

Outdoor adventurers: we need your help. Invasive species are infiltrating our parks and protected areas, but if we don’t know where they are, it’s tough to stop their spread.

Become an Invasive Species Fighter by reporting any suspected sightings of invasive species!

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Summer bioblitzes at Algonquin

In honour of our 125th anniversary, our oldest provincial park, Algonquin, is hosting a bioblitz series!

Join park naturalists for weekly programs where you will learn how to identify and inventory different species, as well as the importance of citizen science in protecting the biodiversity of our parks.

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Calling all citizen scientists: come to the Killarney Butterfly Count

For the 20th year in a row, Killarney Provincial Park is hosting its Annual Butterfly Count.

And if you’re heading to Killarney on July 14, 2018, we’d like your help!

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Making a weekend of the Killarney Spring Loon Count

Killarney Provincial Park is home to the sparkling white La Cloche Mountains, verdant green forests and brilliant blue lakes.  Visitors come to hike, paddle and camp in these beautiful surroundings.

Killarney is also a hotspot for “citizen science.” The park invites visitors to help them count things like butterflies, winter birds and that iconic northern bird with its haunting call, the Common Loon.

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What’s a bioblitz?

Today’s post comes from Martha Martens, a Natural Heritage Education leader from Killbear Provincial Park.

I’ll admit: when I first heard the word “bioblitz,” I was confused. What does this strange word mean?

It might be helpful to break the word down in order to understand: “bio” means “life” and “blitz” means a  “sudden, energetic, and concerted effort, typically on a specific task.”

So a bioblitz is a brief period of time, usually 24 hours, that experts and amateurs come together to specifically record all nature sightings in a given area. All the records are compiled into a single data set of the biodiversity of that location at that point in time.

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7 amazing citizen science apps

You’re out in the woods and a bird flies by. Not sure what is it? There’s an app for that.

Today’s smartphones make ideal field guides. Photograph a butterfly sipping nectar. Video a slow-moving turtle. Record a birdsong. Then look it up, find a match, and enter your geotagged observations in a virtual field book.

These virtual field guides often support citizen science. You just share what you see. Scientists, researchers and conservationists use the crowdsourced data to look at climate change, track migration and monitor species at risk and sensitive ecosystems.

Here are a few popular apps:

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Bumble Bee conservation volunteer opportunity at Pinery and Awenda

Today’s post comes from Hayley Tompkins and Sarah Johnson, biologists with Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Native Pollinator Initiative.  

Calling all nature lovers! If you’re available June 24-25, 2017, we have a great program to help conserve pollinators that you can be a part of!

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