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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Point Pelee’s BioBlitz hosted to track species

by Sylene Argent

A 24-hour long BioBlitz was hosted at Point Pelee National Park, starting on Saturday at noon, which linked experts, well versed in a variety of nature-related subjects, to volunteers in an effort to document different plant, insect, and bird species found within the natural area.

  The event was also held to help commemorate Point Pelee National Park’s 100 years of conservation.

  The documentation submitted over the course of the event will be compiled and will help with the preservation of the Park’s natural and cultural heritage.

  Participants were urged to document their species survey with the use of the iNaturalist app on their personal devices. Now, Park employees will be able to go through all the research presented, which gives a nice snap shot of the species at the Park, at a specific location and time.

  Tammy Dobbie, the Park’s Ecologist, said the BioBlitz event produced important data that will help protect the Park by helping to direct decisions in the future. Because members of the public are linked with experts, they received a wonderful opportunity to be educated about the many species that may be existing right beneath their noses.

  “I learned a lot in the past 24 hours,” Dobbie said, noting experts were able to forward information about the species onsite that will be helpful in maintaining them in the future.

  Though the weekend was met with rainy weather, Dobbie was pleased with the event turnout, calling it a success. A little dampness, she added, is not likely to scare naturalists away too easily. She noted the rain also helped to bring out certain species, such as snails, that had been in hiding since the weather had previously been so dry.

  She is confident that through the research, species never found at the Park before, or maybe even in Canada, will have been identified. The Windsor-Essex region does get species that cannot live in other areas of the nation because of the climate. 

  In addition to the research component of the event, the BioBlitz offered a nature photography workshop, a kids butterfly hike, plant and tree hikes, a native plant workshop, a freighter canoe tour, and insect and moths after dark workshops. Youth events were also incorporated into the event as well to engage younger individuals and encourage them to want to protect the environment.

  Prior to this weekend’s BioBlitz, Point Pelee hosted a similar event on Middle Island where a Doc Spider was found, which was a whopping 3.4 grams. Dobbie is thinking this may be a record-setting arachnid.


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