When you first hear the word “bioblitz,” you might feel a little confused. What does this strange word mean?
When you break the word down into smaller parts, it’s much easier to understand: “bio” means “life” and “blitz” means a “sudden, energetic, concerted effort, usually at a specific task.”
A sudden, energetic, concerted effort at the specific task of collecting data on all life in a given area seemed like a mouthful, so the term bioblitz was coined.
A bioblitz occurs over a short period of time. Some bioblitzes search for a variety of plants, animals, or even species for a few hours. Bioblitzes are an opportunity for experts and hobbyists to come together to record nature sightings in an area.
All records are compiled into a single dataset of the biodiversity of that location at that time.
Another way to look at it is to create a “nature selfie.”
Become a community scientist
Bioblitzes are an opportunity for YOU to become a community scientist!
By meeting experts, connecting with passionate nature lovers, or spending time observing nature, you’ll be learning about local biodiversity.
By taking photographs 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 go out with friends and family, learn about the species that live in your area, and help 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 Georgian Bay’s Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere.
Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve
The largest freshwater archipelago in the world!
This part of Lake Huron, which encompasses the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and extends approximately 175 kilometers from the Severn River to the French River, contains the largest collection of freshwater islands in the world.
The Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere is a region of global ecological importance 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.
This summer, they will help facilitate bioblitzes at Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Killbear Provincial Park and Massasauga Provincial Park.
Join the fun!
Be sure to check each park’s event calendar for full details about their event.
You won’t want to miss the fun and the opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of a park’s biodiversity.
How can you prepare for a bioblitz?
Get to know some of the plants and wildlife in the area. It would be overwhelming to try to know all the species. Focus on what really interests you.
If it involves birds, try learning some bird songs. If it involves 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 wear for a bioblitz?
Check the weather conditions for the day and wear appropriate clothing: layers, waterproof gear, and walking shoes/boots.
Bring drinking water, snacks, and a bagged lunch. If you have them, pack your binoculars, cameras, handheld lenses, smartphones, and field guides.
Can’t attend an official park Bioblitz?
Even if there isn’t a bioblitz event near you, you can still participate 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: simply submit your images and an expert will verify your sightings.