Citizen Scientists Invited to Research Plants and Animals at Annual MABR BioBlitz | News | Vancouver Island University

Event attendees can make sightings anywhere in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, whether in their backyard or at a community park.

People can channel their inner scientist by participating in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) annual BioBlitz event.

the MABR BioBlitzwhich runs from April 8-10, relies on citizen scientists to collect information on flora and fauna species in the biosphere region.

“We couldn’t do this work without the help of citizen scientists and volunteers,” says MABR coordinator Mandy Hobkirk, adding that with community involvement, more information can be gathered in relation to the dispatch of a single search party.

BioBlitz participants are encouraged to use the iNaturalist app to make observations.

This year, people are invited to use the iNaturalist app and make their observations under the BioBlitz MABR 2022 project. Observations must be made within the boundaries of the biosphere, which is defined by five watersheds: Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, French Creek, Nanoose Creek and Bonnell Creek. An interactive map with the limits of the biosphere is available on the MABR website.

People can download iNaturalist from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Participants unfamiliar with the iNaturalist app can learn how to use it by watching MABR Video Tutorial.

There is a prize at the end of each day for the person who submits the most comments. Prizes include identification books on birds, flora and fauna or edible and medicinal flora of the West Coast.

Citizen scientists who collect information each year provide insight into an area’s biodiversity and help researchers see if there are any changes over time, which includes keeping an eye out for species at risk or invasive species to see if they are spreading. This data contributes baseline information, which researchers can use to identify trends and get a long-term view.

Hobkirk says the BioBlitz is a great way for people to connect with the environment, either by making observations in their backyard or exploring an area of ​​the region they’ve never visited before. Hobkirk says that by making observations, people are contributing baseline information, which is “really important as we move forward, especially in the context of climate change.”

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Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373 l E: [email protected] | T: @VIUNews

About the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) is governed by a roundtable comprised of representatives from VIU’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI), First Nations, municipalities and other organizations. MABRRI focuses on conducting research and community engagement initiatives primarily in the Biosphere region, but also supports VIU’s academic research plan by working on projects across Vancouver Island.