A naturalist records a list of the bird species he has identified. Once collected, lists like these are inputted into the Ontario BioBlitz species database.
A BioBlitz brings together taxonomic experts, citizen scientists and the general public to inventory all species (plants, animals, fungi and more) in a particular area over a 24 hour period. Participants record all the organisms they find, then experts verify their identity. As the Blitz proceeds and after it is done, the species records are compiled into a single data set: the species list, which provides a snapshot of the biodiversity in that location on that date.
Sometimes new regional, provincial or even national records of species are unearthed. These new occurrences contribute to scientific knowledge of species distributions. Records of Species at Risk or Invasive species contribute valuable information which is submitted to the appropriate conservation initiatives.
A BioBlitz is a great way to become familiar with the nature in your own backyard. You will find that you don't have to travel to exotic locations to discover really cool organisms!
Different BioBlitzes can have different specifications (like a shorter timeline) or specializations (like only plants, or only birds), but the primary goal of finding as many species as humanly possible still remains the same.
The Ontario BioBlitz program is led by a partnership of some of the province's leading conservation, education and research organizations. Our collective goal is to connect scientists with the public, promote citizen science, and to work together to increase awareness of Ontario's biodiversity and encourage local surveys of familiar and little known organisms.
How does the Ontario BioBlitz work?
There are three main components of the Ontario BioBlitz program: the intensive scientific survey, the Guided BioBlitz, and public programs. Each activity differs in the amount of prior knowledge and experience required, and in time commitment. Check out the diagram below for a bit more detail, and to see where you fit best.
Check out the photo and video galleries for scenes from past Ontario Bioblitzes. Join us for the next Ontario BioBlitz taking place near you!