On August 24 and 25, 2013, Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) will host a BioBlitz in Stanley Park as part of SPES’s 25th anniversary and Stanley Park’s 125th anniversary. The event, held in partnership with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and involving local researchers, ecology experts and stewardship groups, will provide a unique and unparalleled opportunity for park visitors to experience the wonder of nature through a scientific lens.
Why BioBlitz in Stanley Park? Even though the park has existed as long as Vancouver itself, there are still many gaps in information about its ecology. SPES sees the BioBlitz as a great way to fill these gaps while creating public awareness about conservation issues.
What is the BioBlitz? Originally conducted strictly for scientific purposes, many bioblitzes around the world now also incorporate public education to help promote awareness of biodiversity and its importance in maintaining healthy ecosystems. While data collection and knowledge gathering of our local biodiversity is a key goal, so is connecting people with nature in an urban setting. We see the BioBlitz as a fantastic opportunity for providing Vancouverites, young and old, with a fun and easy opportunity to learn and experience their rich natural heritage.
Who is involved? A BioBlitz typically involves scientists, local naturalists, volunteers and members of the public. Normally scientists with expertise in various biological fields lead surveys to identify what’s around them while interested members of the public join along to learn about the natural wonders in their neighbourhood. The BioBlitz is sponsored by TD Friends of the Environment.
Is this the first BioBlitz in Stanley Park? SPES and co-host South Coast Conservation Program piloted in a smaller way Stanley Park’s first BioBlitz in 2011, which involved 1,000 community members and researchers and added 152 species to the list of known species for the Park. This year we will build on what we learned in 2011 and make it bigger and better.
What do we do with the results? The results from a BioBlitz are typically tallied and made into a report. This report is then made available to organizations involved in the BioBlitz, funders and the public. The results of the Stanley Park BioBlitz are used for the following:
- Updating inventory data used in the State of the Park Report for the Ecological Integrity of Stanley Park.
- Tracking changes in the Park’s biodiversity and determining if human-caused stressors are negatively impacting the presence of species.
- Contributing to provincial resources such as the BC Conservation Data Center (CDC) and Breeding Bird Atlas as well as local and regional knowledge bases.