BioBlitz is a 24-hour race against the clock to count as many species as possible––mammals, birds, plants, frogs, fish, bugs––you name it. A BioBlitz introduces people to real (and fun) science and the amazing diversity surrounding us. The concept of BioBlitz was created by Harvard biodiversity icon E.O. Wilson to raise awareness of the huge diversity of animals and plants, even in developed areas. Since its creation, annual BioBlitzes have spread throughout North America. The Whistler Naturalists are proud to have presented the first BioBlitz here in 2007.
One quote from a BioBlitz participant and mother summarizes the spirit of the event:
“If I had attended an event like this when I was his age,” pointing to her four year-old son who was busily sorting moths in one of the entomologist’s pans, “I probably would have become a scientist. I just never knew that anything like this existed.”
The BioBlitz targets alpine and valley ecosystems across Whistler. Results from the BioBlitz will contribute to the Whistler Biodiversity Project, a multi-year, multi-group effort to catalogue and protect our native biodiversity.
90 new species were found in Whistler during our 2019 BioBlitz and Fungus Among Us events, bringing the grand total to over 4,300 species! Find the new species highlighted in the 2020 Whistler Species Summary here.
Download the 2020 Whistler Species Summary below:
Like last year the BioBlitz will have two parts. In June, our focus is on sharing the wonder of biodiversity with local schools and with the public. Instead of BioBlitz scientists doing in-person presentations we have moved to virtual presentations.
Please join us from your home on Thursday, June 25th from 6:30 – 8 pm to learn more about our natural world from two amazing scientists.
Mycologist Bryce Kendrick will present “What are fungi all about - a report on their diversity” and explore the nine (very) different Phyla. Aquatic ecologist Jordan Rosenfeld will present “The Fire of Life: metabolism and energy flow in animals and ecosystems”. Virtual talks are free, but registration is required. To sign up go to www.whistlernaturalists.ca/lecture-series.
June 16, 17 and 18, we had five BioBlitz scientists give live virtual presentations to classes at Myrtle Philip and Spring Creek Community Schools. Classes ranged from grades 3 – 7 and included talks on pollinators, spiders, insects, birds and ecology.
Also new for BioBlitz, get to know the different seed cones we have in the Whistler valley by going on a special Seed Cone Scavenger Hunt. We created a two-part video for our local K-2 students, but we think this activity can be great fun for all. Find them on the Naturalists website: https://www.whistlernaturalists.ca/seed-cone-scavenger-hunt
In July, we are planning on hosting scientists for the field portion of BioBlitz. What makes BioBlitz so exciting is that every year BioBlitz scientists find on average 200 species that we didn’t know existed here. The Whistler Biodiversity Project already has a list of over 4,300 species so to keep finding new ones is amazing. There is so much to discover right in our own backyard!
The Whistler Naturalists are happy to announce that the 14th annual Whistler BioBlitz is happening this year with some modifications for physical distancing. A BioBlitz introduces people to real (and fun) science and the amazing diversity surrounding us.
Thanks so much to the Community Foundation of Whistler for funding this event and to AWARE for being our charitable partner.