Tag Archive | bioblitz

The Deep River BioBlitz

Dogbane Beetle

Dogbane Beetle

In mid-July Chris and I were contacted by Ray Metcalfe, the chair of the Four Seasons Conservancy and Upper Ottawa Nature Club, to participate in the inaugural Deep River BioBlitz being held on July 27 and 28th, 2013. Ray didn’t have anyone who specialized in odonates and invited us to take part in the BioBlitz after reading about our dragonfly walk in the OFNC publication Trail & Landscape. Chris couldn’t make it, but I decided to participate and drove up early Sunday morning.

This was the first such event in the Upper Ottawa Valley and was modeled after the BioBlitzes held by the Kingston Field Naturalists for the past sixteen years. A BioBlitz is an inventory of as many living things (including plants, mammals, fungi, mosses, birds, fish, butterflies, etc., etc.) as can be identified within a 24-hour period within a defined area. Specialists, experts, and amateur naturalists from diverse disciplines all take part by searching for species in the subject area in order to provide valuable citizen-science data on the different species and their whereabouts in the subject area.

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BioBlitz & Butterflies

On June 11, 2011, I participated in a BioBlitz in Russell, and spent the morning surveying an area which has been proposed for a new landfill. The people who organized the BioBlitz, many of whom live nearby, were interested in finding out how many different species of flora and fauna are present, and whether any are considered at risk. This area is mostly agricultural, with some forested areas and open, grassy fields. Bobolinks inhabit the grasslands and were of particular interest. This species, which nests primarily in hayfields, pastures, and wet prairies, has been declining in recent years because of loss of habitat, pesticides, climate change and farming practices. Farmers are cutting and mowing hayfields earlier in the season, and as a result, mowing-induced nest mortality has increased dramatically over the past 50 years.

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