With Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day approaching, the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is encouraging Canadians to post their wildlife pictures to a growing national online database which has quadrupled in the last year thanks in a large art to the Bioblitz Canada 150 project.
“The number of observations in the database grew from 113,000 to over 400,000 in the last year alone, including a big upsurge from the Bioblitz Canada 150 events,” said James Pagé, CWF’s species at risk and biodiversity specialist. The database is available to the public as a free app and a public website called iNaturalist.ca.
BioBlitz Canada 150 was one of 38 Canada 150 Signature Projects supported by the Government of Canada. Presented by CWF and partners in conservation the project invited people of all ages and backgrounds to explore Canada’s terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine environments through wildlife surveys knows as bioblitzes. At a series of special events, scientists and members of the public worked together to find, identify and record as many species as possible in a given time posting pictures to iNaturalist.
Special thanks to the Bioblitz Canada 150 top identifier William Van Hemessen of London, ON, top observer Jaliya Rasaputra of Nepean,ON and the field kit winner Nancy Vail of Yellowknife, NWT. Vail guessed that during Bioblitz Canada 150 citizens would identify 7,500 species nationally and 350 locally, extremely close to the final results which are showcased on the BioBlitzCanada.ca website.
CWF congratulates all participants and looks forward to ongoing submissions from the public. Whether celebrating the arrival of spring or the extension of winter, iNaturalist is the perfect tool for Canadians to share images of plants, animals and other species.
Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day are both celebrated Feb. 2, 2018. Pagé hopes the public will also make iNaturalist part of their Family Day festivities and other celebrations as scientists can gather important data from wildlife photography taken around the country all year round.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information.