Photo by Joern Rohde
The Whistler Naturalists would like to thank everyone who made our 13th annual BioBlitz a success—an event to highlight and research the rich biodiversity in our area. First, to the quality and quantity of over 60 scientists and volunteers, some of who are the best in B.C. in their field.
The event started in Spring Creek, Myrtle Philip and Whistler Secondary schools where BioBlitz scientists presented to 26 classes and over 600 students. With a wide variety of presenters, students had opportunities like seeing live wetland critters and spiders, examining pollinators under a microscope, discovering the wild world of fungi and going on nature exploration walks. Thanks to all the students and teachers who had lots of questions and enthusiasm for the presenters.
Also thanks to our feature presenters: Andy MacKinnon, who talked about the importance of old-growth forests; Shaun Muc for sharing his big-tree hunting experiences; Matthew Beatty, who described his team's tree climbing in ancient forests; and Bob Brett for presenting "Whistler's Old and Ancient Tree Guide," based on his coring of over 1,000 trees in the Whistler area.
On Saturday, we were blitzing in Pemberton—Mosquito Lake/Econoline area—and would like to thank Veronica Woodruff and her team of volunteers for making sure nobody got lost. Thanks also to Lois Joseph, Lex Joseph, and Mulholland for welcoming our group to their territory. And, of course, bus driver Ed Gordon for making sure we were transported safely.
We were so happy to have five junior scientists with us to discover what a day in the life of a field biologist was like. Thanks to Nate and Asher from Spring Creek, Drake from Signal Hill and Luana and Matt from Whistler Secondary. Matt ascended with the tree-climbing team from Expedition Old Growth that was able to bring down samples from the tree canopy for the scientists to catalogue. It was also great to have six of the field crew from the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council with us learning about plants and other organisms.
Thanks to the scientists who shared with us their "Finds of the Day" on Saturday evening and those who shared their expertise at Alpha Lake Park on mammal tracking, tree climbing, owls, night insects and bats. Especially fun were the infrared binoculars that you could see mammals in the dark with!
On Sunday, we were up in Whistler Olympic Park in the area where Bob had cored trees that were more than 1,200 years old. The scientists were awed by the diversity in this beautiful old-growth forest. Sunday was also the day for the Breeding Bird Survey, which some of the team members have been doing for 40 years!
Results need to be tallied up and will be announced in the weeks to come. Thanks to all the people taking part in our iNaturalist contest—so far you made 494 observations and documented 220 species! Also thanks to Michael Marchment (Marchy) for patiently following us around to video our BioBlitz adventures.
Finally, this event couldn't have happened without support from the community. A huge thank you to our main sponsor, the Community Foundation of Whistler and AWARE for being our charitable partner. Also thanks to: RMOW, ZipTrek, Whistler Blackcomb, SLRD, Stewardship Pemberton, Whistler Biodiversity Project, Whistler Public Library, Creekside Market, Nesters Market, Whistler Brewing, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, Joern Rohde Photography and the Whistler Bike Co.
Thanks to Joern Rohde for these photos:
Thanks to Sabrina Hinitz for these photos: