Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is asking for the public to help them gather data to use for developing theories on plants and animals in Canada's ecosystem.
Over the August long weekend, NCC is hosting its third annual Big Backyard BioBlitz.
The event encourages people, no matter where they are to take pictures and write down observations of the different species that they find. Whether it's in their backyard, on vacation, or at a national park, NCC encourages people to use an app called iNaturalist, which is the largest crowd-sourced species inventory in Canada.
Once the information is uploaded, scientists can use the information to get a better understanding of species distribution, and potentially plan future protection and restoration effects across the country.
"Anyone can participate. It's a great way for people of all ages to look at nature more closely and learn about biodiversity close to home," says Evan Balzer, the Conservation Engagement Coordinator with NCC in Manitoba. "Spending time outdoors is also beneficial for our physical and mental well-being. This is a great way to connect with nature and fellow nature lovers while contributing to our collective knowledge of plants, animals and fungi in Manitoba."
People who are interested in joining the Big Backyard BioBlitz can register at their website. Participants will receive step by step instructions once they register on how to participate, photography tips, information to identify species, and there is also the chance to win a Big Backyard BioBlitz prize pack.
"Whether you log an invasive plant like burdock, or an at-risk amphibian like the northern leopard frog, every entry counts. It can provide valuable information such as locating species outside of the usual range or where invasive species are encroaching. This information can be used to identify important habitat for protecting at-risk species."
Last year, more than 6,500 participants submitted over 36,000 observations across Canada.