The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend of May 1 to May 3.
Carrie-lyn Robinson, who organized the Bio-Blitz on behalf of YES said the purpose was to get people out into their local natural spaces and learn more about the various species that call the area home.
“It’s also a way to scientifically record what type of biodiversity there is. And if there are any species that need protecting, then you have the scientific proof that they exist in this area,” Robinson said.
The information recorded during the Bio-Blitz can then be passed on to scientists and environmental groups who can use that information to better protect at-risk species or identify problems among species groups.
Jain Alcock-White is a board member with YES and participated in the Bio-Blitz with her two children who are aged eight and 10. Alcock-White said she’s thrilled by the prospect of local youth learning more about their environment.
“It’s great. It’s important that kids know what’s around them. A lot of people look outside and they just see trees or grass without recognizing that among those trees and grasses there’s an infinite number of different textures of leaves, barks and branches. Getting everybody to slow down, pick out the differences, and be curious is important. It’s wonderful,” she said.
62 observers took to natural spaces from Jack Point in Nanaimo to Ladysmith — an area that also includes the Nanaimo River Estuary, South Wellington, Cassidy, Cedar, Yellow Point and Kulleet Bay. Over 2,278 observations were recorded and 516 species of plants and animals were recorded in the area.
YES plans to make the Bio-Blitz an annual event held every spring.