When you first hear the word “bioblitz,” you might be a little confused. What does this strange word mean?
When you break the word down into smaller pieces, it becomes much easier to understand: “bio” means “life” and “blitz” means a “sudden, energetic, and concerted effort, typically on a specific task.”
A sudden energetic and concerted effort on the specific task of compiling data on all life in one given area seemed like a mouthful, so instead the term bioblitz was coined.
A bioblitz occurs over a brief period of time. Some bioblitzes look for a variety of plant, animal, or even species over a few hours. Bioblitzes are an opportunity for experts and amateurs to come together to record nature sightings in an area.
All the records are compiled into a single data set of the biodiversity of that location at that point in time.
Another way to think of it is the creation of a “nature selfie.”
Becoming a community scientist
Bioblitzes are an opportunity for YOU to become a community scientist!
By meeting up with experts, connecting with passionate nature lovers, or by spending time observing nature, you are learning about local biodiversity.
By taking pictures of the living things you see, and sharing what you find, you are contributing to a biodiversity database.
The best part about participating in a bioblitz is that they are a great way to get outside with friends and family, learn about the species that live in your area, and helps scientists and park staff better understand and care for an area’s biodiversity.
This year, some of our parks will be hosting bioblitzes with the help of The Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere.
The Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere
The world’s largest freshwater archipelago!
Encompassing the eastern coast of Georgian Bay and stretching approximately 175 kilometres from the Severn River to the French River, this part of Lake Huron contains the largest collection of freshwater islands in the world.
The Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere is a region of global ecological significance that makes an ongoing commitment to the United Nations to strive for sustainability.
Here, people are inspired to live and work in harmony with nature. The Georgian Bay Biosphere is situated within Anishinaabek territory, and partners with First Nations and Indigenous peoples to care for our shared air, land, and water.
Join the fun!
Be sure to check each park’s events calendar for all the details about their event.
You don’t want to miss out on the fun and opportunity to contribute to understanding a park’s biodiversity better.
- Grundy Lake Bioblitz — Friday, July 21, 2023
- Killbear Bioblitz — Thursday, August 3, 2023
- The Massasauga Bioblitz — Saturday, August 26, 2023
How you can prep for a bioblitz?
Get to know some the plants and wildlife of the area. It would be overwhelming to try to learn every species. Focus on what you’re really interested in.
If it’s birds, try learning some bird songs. If it’s reptiles, familiarize yourself with the snake species in the area.
There will be experts at the sessions, so you don’t need to know everything, but a little preparation can be fun and make the day even more rewarding.
What to bring for a bioblitz?
Check the weather conditions for the day and wear appropriate clothing – layers, raingear, and hiking shoes/boots.
Bring drinking water, snacks and a bagged lunch. If you’ve got ’em, pack your binoculars, cameras, hand lenses, smartphones, and field guides.
Can’t make it to an official park Bioblitz?
Even if there’s not a bioblitz event happening near you, you can still be involved in community science efforts to inventory species in your own area.
Join iNaturalist.ca and report your sightings. You don’t need to be a biologist – just send in your images and your sightings will be verified by an expert.