Wondering how you can start to plan your own BioBlitz? Unsure about the logistics? Check out some of our FAQs below. If you still have questions or concerns, you can take a look at our detailed Planning Guide here, or contact us.
Is there a resource to help me plan my bioblitz? A Guide for Planning Community BioBltz Events in Ontario is a great resource for all bioblitz planners, whether you’re a novice or a veteran. It contains lots of useful tips on details you’ll need to consider, as well as templates for developing tally sheets, event schedules and press releases. We strongly encourage you to review this guide before you start planning your bioblitz.
Does my bioblitz need to happen on the same dates as the Toronto event (e.g. June 13 & 14, 2015)? No, you’re welcome to organize your event for anytime during the 2015 calendar year. It will still be considered part of the 2015 Ontario BioBlitz.
Will the Ontario BioBlitz steering group help run my event? The Ontario BioBlitz steering group oversees the Ontario BioBlitz program as a whole, and is only involved in running the main GTA event. However, we are more than happy to provide any guidance you need and to promote your event through the Ontario BioBlitz website.
How big does my survey area need to be? Should it contain a specific type of habitat? Your survey area can be any size and is not restricted to any type of habitat. We’re interested in species information in all habitats!
What species should my survey focus on (e.g. rare, native etc…)? A bioblitz is a survey of all life in a given area, so it’s important that you collect information on as many species as you can. However, if there aren't enough experts available to survey and identify certain groups, you can still have a smaller blitz that focuses on documenting the types of species that can be verified by expert observers.
What information should I include with my species observations? Take species photographs whenever possible, as this can help you identify your finds. Location information like GPS coordinates are also good to include and help to make the collected data stronger, though they’re not always necessary.
Will I need permits in order to conduct my survey? Depending on where you decide to conduct your bioblitz, you may need to arrange for a permit. Please contact the landowner to find out find out what sort of permission you need for your event.
Will I collect plant or animal specimens during my bioblitz? No. It is very important that none of the species you survey are disturbed. Please document your species observations with written descriptions and photographs only, unless you are a professional biologist.
How many participants do I need for my bioblitz? What will their roles be? The number of participants you engage for your bioblitz is up to you, however if this is your first time running a bioblitz, we recommend that you keep your group size small. Typical roles during a blitz can include registration helpers, expert naturalists and group leaders, and amateur/novice naturalists.
Does my bioblitz need to be 24 hours long? Your bioblitz can be as long or as short as you like. A traditional bioblitz is 24 hours long (to cover nocturnal species), but yours can be shorter if you prefer.
If I choose to do a 24 hour bioblitz, do I need to provide overnight camping for my participants? You don’t have to provide overnight camping, but if your bioblitz is 24 hours long you should let your participants know what accommodations (e.g. campgrounds, motels) are nearby, and also plan ahead in case participants will also be identifying and cataloguing observations overnight.
Are there any age restrictions for participants? No, everyone is welcome to join the fun! Just remember that younger children should be accompanied by an adult, and might not be able to bushwhack quite as far.
Do I need to feed my participants? You are not required to feed your participants, however offering a barbeque or potluck meal is a great way to thank your participants for all their hard work, and to share stories about their bioblitz experiences!
What’s the best way to promote my event to the community and media? Social media is great for getting the word out about your bioblitz and attracting participants. We’re also happy to promote it through the Ontario BioBlitz website. All we need is the date, location and contact person for your event, as well as a brief description of the area you’ll be surveying. Check out our Growing the Blitz page for ideas. If you’d like to attract media, check out A Guide for Planning Community BioBltz Events in Ontario. It offers useful tips on how to write a press release and other ways you can promote your event to local media.
How much does it cost to run a community bioblitz? The cost of running a bioblitz varies considerably depending on its size, and whether or not you offer your participants food and/or accommodations. Highly successful events can be organized and run at very little cost if you secure food donations from local businesses/organizations, or ask your participants to bring potluck items.
Does my bioblitz need to cover all taxa? Ontario is an incredibly biodiverse province. Don’t worry about covering all taxa if you aren’t able to – even the main GTA-based bioblitz misses a few. Just focus on the ones you can get species experts for.
Where can I find species experts for my bioblitz and will I need to pay them? Field Naturalist groups, universities and conservation authorities are great sources of species expertise. Whether or not you pay them for their help is up to you, but many biologists and naturalists are willing to donate their time and expertise to community events like bioblitzes.