Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
Summer Bioblitzes in Algonquin Provincial Park

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

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

As one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario, Algonquin is biologically diverse with over 1,000 species of vascular plants and over 200 species of vertebrates breeding within the park.

Consequently, the park has a long history of research, science and education; This bioblitz series is a celebration of that history.

A history of prolific research at Algonquin

Three men in black and white photography looking up (one with binoculars)(Left to right): Dave Fowle, John Barton, CS (Buzz) Holling. Wildlife research station. 1950. Photo: Algonquin Provincial Park Archives and Collections.

For more than 70 years, biologists from Canada and around the world have visited the park to study the animals that inhabit terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Approximately 1,800 scientific articles have been published on research in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Algonquin is home to one of Canada’s oldest research stations, the Harkness Fisheries Research Laboratory. This research station opened in 1936. The Wildlife Research Station at Algonquin has also been collecting data on small mammals since 1952, one of the oldest small mammal studies in the world.

Large group of people, in a field, looking at the park rangerJp Prevett during a walk at Lake Mew, 1963. Photo: Algonquin Park Museum. Photo: Algonquin Provincial Park Archives and Collections.

Your chance to be an Algonquin Provincial Park researcher

The Algonquin Provincial Park Bioblitz series provides park visitors with the opportunity to learn how to contribute to ongoing research in the park.

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Join our park naturalists at any of the following programs (several of which will be held this Friday, July 20, for Healthy People in Healthy Parks Day!).

Park staff with boy in pink shirt standing in water, catching creature

Bird walk

Discover eBird (online bird database) and complete a bird point count survey while learning bird identification skills.

Friday, July 20, 8:00 am, Mizzy Trail

Algonquin for Kids Citizen Science

Learn what citizen science is all about and why it is such a valuable resource for parks.

Friday, July 20, 10:30 a.m., Algonquin Visitor Center

Stream ecology

Learn about the unique organisms that make up a stream ecosystem, while using some of the methods a biologist would use to take samples. Fishing nets are provided, but bring your own if you have one.

Friday, July 20, 1:00 p.m., Whiskey Rapids Trail

Girl in purple in a stream with a net

Citizen Science Evening Program

Learn about bioblitzes, as well as the importance of citizen science and iNaturalist in Algonquin.

Friday, July 20, 8:00 p.m., Open-air theater

Insect catching session

Search for insects using sweep nets and learn about the fascinating life of insects. Fishing nets are provided, but bring your own if you have one.

Friday, July 20, 3:00 pm, Old Railway Bike Trail parking lot (1 km south on Mew Lake Campground Road)

Moth Identification Program

Learn to identify moths by using white sheets and black lights to attract them.

Friday, July 20, 9:00 p.m., Open-air theater

Black and beige spotted moth on lichen Salt and pepper looper moth (Syngrapha rectangular)

Insect sweep net

Learn to identify insects and inspect them using sweep nets. Nets are provided, but bring your own if you have them.

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Friday, July 27, 1:00 pm, Old Railway Bike Trail parking lot (1 km south on Mew Lake Campground Road)

Beaver Pond Ecology

See the fascinating biodiversity that can be seen in a beaver pond. Nets are provided, but bring your own if you have them.

Friday, August 3, 1:00 pm, Beaver Pond Trail parking lot

Bearded gentleman in wellies in a stream looking at a net

Plant Survey

Learn to identify many of the unique bog plants often found further north and help update the park’s plant records.

Friday, August 10, 1:00 pm, Spruce Bog Trail parking lot

Bunch of fly trap plants on moss next to a rockround-leaved sundew

Stream ecology

Learn about the unique organisms that make up a stream ecosystem, while using some of the methods a biologist would use to sample them. Fishing nets are provided, but bring your own if you have one.

Friday, August 17, 1:00 p.m., Whiskey Rapids Trail

Wildflower Identification

Learn to identify some wildflowers found in Algonquin while contributing to the park’s records.

Friday, August 24, 1:00 pm, Spruce Bog Trail parking lot

Green foliage with lots of red berries.clusters

Bird walk

Learn about eBird (online bird database) and complete a bird point count survey while learning bird identification skills.

Friday, August 31, 1:00 p.m., Mizzy Trail

Black and white songbird perched on a branchCanada jay

For more information on any of the events listed above, contact Ryan Rea, Natural Heritage Education Specialist, at [email protected] or (613) 637-2828 x 223.

Ready for more?

Other bioblitzes taking place in Ontario parks this summer include:

To help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ontario Parks, parks across the province are hosting stewardship programs to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks. This project is one of 13 Ontario Parks 125th Anniversary Stewardship Projects taking place throughout 2018.