SOURCE: Canadian Wildlife Federation

Canadian Wildlife Federation

SOURCE: BioBlitz Canada

BioBlitz Canada

November 30, 2016 13:00 ET

CWF is Celebrating Canada's 150th With National Bioblitzes

BioBlitz Canada 150 will put Canadians in direct contact with our wildlife

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - November 30, 2016) - As part of Canada's 150th celebrations, the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), with BioBlitz Canada and other partners in conservation, will carry out a series of public bioblitzes across the nation to help showcase and conserve our natural heritage.

"This fascinating project will engage, inspire and strengthen the environmental consciousness of Canadians all across the country. Let's take the opportunity being offered to us to become the guardians of our Canadian wildlife, an invaluable source of wealth," said the Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

BioBlitz Canada 150 is one of 38 Signature Projects recently announced by Minister Joly under the federal Canada 150 initiative.

BioBlitz Canada 150 events will bring together thousands of Canadians from all ages, cultural backgrounds and walks of life to explore Canada's terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine environments. The BioBlitz Canada 150 project will generate new scientific data and document new species, information which is critical for decisions on the state of Canada's biodiversity.

In the next days, for instance, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) will announce their assessments of which species are at risk of extinction and which may be holding their own. These assessments are based on the kind of data that the BioBlitz Canada 150 project will provide.

"Wildlife and nature are key parts of the Canadian identity and we're very pleased the Government of Canada recognizes and supports this aspect of our national celebration," said Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation. "We look forward to having people from across the country participate in a bioblitz as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations."

Public bioblitz events will blend science with community and youth engagement. Scientists and interested members of the public will go out together in nature to find, identify and record as many species as possible in a given time. The BioBlitz Canada 150 project will feature five flagship events in urban areas, 20 community events and 10 science-intense blitzes. Individuals, schools and organizations will also be encouraged to organize their own bioblitz events to share the celebration of Canada's wildlife and contribute to the national database.

Locations, results and activity guides will be posted on the new BioBlitzCanada.ca website and observations will be tracked in real time through iNaturalist.ca, the official database platform for BioBlitz Canada 150. The website will feature a variety of other resources to encourage public participation throughout the year.

Discoveries will be showcased to the Canadian public, wildlife managers, conservation organizations, educational institutions and government agencies to shape conservation decisions which will help to inform choices on such issues such as climate change and loss of biodiversity and ensure these wild species and spaces remain for generations to come.

The project will create Canada's nature selfie for our 150th.

For more information and to watch the project unfold visit BioBlitzCanada.ca.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information.

About BioBlitz Canada:
BioBlitz Canada is a national partnership of leading conservation, education and research organizations with the goal to document Canada's biodiversity by connecting the public with nature in a scientist-led participatory survey of life from sea to sea to sea, and make sure this important information can be useful to current and future science, with open-source access to all. Its vision is to help Canadians learn about and connect with nature, be it in one's own backyard or the most important ecological sites in Canada.

Other partners in conservation include:

Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Biological Survey of Canada, Birds Studies Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada), iNaturalist Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, NatureServe Canada, New Brunswick Museum, Parks Canada, RARE Charitable Research Reserve, Royal Ontario Museum, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Toronto Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium and other organizations.

About iNaturalist Canada:
Launched in 2015, iNaturalist Canada is a virtual place where Canadians can record and share what they see in nature, interact with other nature watchers, and learn about Canada's wildlife. The app is run by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in collaboration with iNaturalist.org and the California Academy of Sciences. Parks Canada, NatureServe Canada and CWF's Hinterland Who's Who have been key partners in the development of iNaturalist Canada and will continue to play a role in the program.

A Canada 150 Signature Project

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