Fall BioBlitz at Mud Lake, September 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out to take part in the adventure and help us identify local wildlife at Nature Canada’s Fall BioBlitz. Over 150 citizens of the national capital region accompanied local expert naturalists on guided walks where they learned to identify plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and more!

photo of birders

Birding early in the morning at the BioBlitz. Photography by Susanne Ure

The BioBlitz brought out experts and amateur enthusiasts alike on one of the first brisk weekends of the fall to Mud Lake conservation area. Mud Lake is considered by many to be a wilderness gem in the heart of our busy city and is found within the Lac Deschênes- Ottawa River Important Bird Area. It was the perfect location for such an inventory. Easy to get to and containing various habitats in a confined area, Mud Lake is an ideal spot to connect to your NatureHood.

A BioBlitz take many forms, but is generally an intense 24 hour survey of a location with a mission to identify as many living things as possible at the site. This event is part of a larger effort to learn more about the state of local biodiversity and catalogue changes over time in population patterns. It is also a great opportunity to connect urban citizens to nearby nature right in the city.

photo of moss

Examining the aptly named fern moss. Photography by Susanne Ure

Each walk focused on a particular group of plants or animals. An ultraviolet light focused on a white sheet called-in night-flying insects for close examination after the sun had set. Birders, expert and aspiring, rose early to search out common and rare species. We even got an up close look at snapping turtle hatchlings that were making their way from the nest to the water. Not event rain could dampen the enthusiasm of those on the Saturday afternoon plant and reptile walks. The final species list included species listed as at risk in Ontario and federally including the snapping turtle and the butternut tree. All in all it was a very exciting 24 hours!

We would like to thank everyone who came out to help us survey the area, in particular all the fantastic local naturalists who shared their expertise and helped to make the day such a resounding success!

photo of young snapping turtle.

Snapping turtle hatchling. Photography by Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl

We hope you can join us for the next BioBlitz in the spring.

Check out more photos from the event, learn more about how Foresters volunteers worked to help Nature Canada at the BioBlitz and read the full list of species identified over the 24hour period (coming soon).