BioBlitz 2016 was awesome!
We hosted the 8th Annual Lagoon Society Bioblitz at Simson Provincial Park on beautiful South Thormanby Island.
Travelling by landing barge from Cooper’s Green, participants were shuttled to the remote shores of South Thormanby Island where a terrific base camp was set up in the old Simson farm orchard. An extensive trail system around the central beaver lake provided many hours of exploration to pocket beaches and rocky shores of the island. Over 100 people joined us over the course of the weekend to hike and snorkel in search for wildlife big and small. Highlights included the Pied-billed grebe whose call sounds strikingly similar to a monkey howling. In addition to our bioblitz efforts, participants and summer students gathered and removed a mountain of styrofoam blocks and plastic debris that was found on the southern shores of the island. Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and specialists who came out to learn about and celebrate the remarkable local biodiversity!
History of BioBlitz
To highlight the biodiversity all around us, we’ve been organizing a Sunshine Coast BioBlitz every year since 2008. Part contest, part festival, part educational event, and part scientific enterprise, a BioBlitz brings together scientists, naturalists and community members of all ages to count as many species from as many different taxonomic groups as they can in a 24-hour survey of a chosen site. Since the first BioBlitz in Washington, D.C. in 1996, BioBlitzes have been carried out in countless locations across the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Our annual Sunshine Coast BioBlitz is organized around a “base camp,” the hub of the BioBlitz. This centralized location is equipped with microscopes, computers, and other scientific tools of the trade. The base camp is the place were insects are pinned, fungi sorted, and pond water examined. It is where identifications take place, species are recorded, discoveries are made, and the tally of species is recorded. Community members will work along side scientists at the “base camp” and join them out into the field to undertake a variety of field sampling activities.
In addition to participating in the field survey activities, community members can also attend a diversity of special public programs. Scientists and naturalists participating in the BioBlitz lead different organized interactive events for community members of all ages to enjoy, such as “Herp (amphibians & reptiles) Hunt”, “Butterfly Count”, “Wonderful Wildflowers”, “Wildlife Night Hike and Bat Mist Netting”, “Pond Dipping”, “Meet the Mollusks”, “Wildlife Stories”, “Dawn Bird Walk”, “Mushroom Madness” and much more.
The goals of the Sunshine Coast BioBlitz are:
- to increase the public’s awareness of the variety of life in their immediate neighborhood and the ecosystem services these species provide;
- to popularize science and inspire naturalists of all ages;
- to provide valuable scientific data;
- to build partnerships and increase knowledge.
Over the past eight years, our Sunshine Coast BioBlitz events have brought community members together to celebrate, catalogue and record is the amazing diversity of life on our Coast. Species have been collected and identified from the Ruby Lake Lagoon Nature Reserve, local parks, nature reserves, backyards, beaches, and even under the sea.