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Nature lovers encouraged to snap photos to help Canada's biodiversity

Saturday, July 31st 2021, 11:16 am - Through Aug. 2, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) wants people to observe nature in the hopes of educating themselves, and others across the country, about habitats and species in their backyards, neighbourhoods and wherever they find it.

Get out your cameras, Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is calling on citizens across the country to partake in the Big Backyard BioBlitz.

Through Aug. 2, Canadians are encouraged to observe and document nature in an effort to learn more about habitats and species in their backyards, neighbourhoods and wherever they find it. The Big Backyard BioBlitz is part of the non-profit organization’s mandate to connect Canadians with nature.

SEE ALSO: Canadians explore nature more to relieve COVID-19 pandemic stress

The event was launched in 2020 when health officials were asking Canadians to stay home. The Nature Conservancy of Canada wanted to create an initiative that encouraged people to connect with nature, get informed about their natural environments and provide their findings to others across the country.

Bald eagle - Haida Gwaii - Jensen Edwards Bald eagle. (Jensen Edwards/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

“Anyone can participate. It’s a great way for people of all ages to look at nature more closely and learn about the plant and animal species close to home,” said Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist with Nature Conservancy of Canada, in a media release.

“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 on Canada’s wildlife.”

HOW IT WORKS

People can register for the event at natureconservancy.ca/2021bioblitz. Once completed, users will receive access to a participant package with instructions on how to submit their photos, as well as an activity sheets for kids, fact sheets and resources to learn more about species identification.

Participants can then venture into nature to take observe and photos of plants, animals and insects, which will be reviewed by a global network of scientists.

NCC is urging Canadians to use their phones, tablets or cameras to capture the wildlife pictures and upload what they see to the iNaturalist app and website.

American Goldfinch (NCC) American goldfinch. (Nature Conservancy of Canada)

Data collected from backyards and greenspaces across the country will help increase knowledge about wildlife, and even aid in shaping conservation actions.

Last year, the Big Backyard BioBlitz resulted in more than 20,000 observations.

CANADIANS SPENDING MORE TIME IN NATURE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Thumbnail courtesy of Jensen Edwards/Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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