If you’re among those who celebrate Canada’s biodiversity and want to be part of a special event as the nation’s 150th birthday approaches, has the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA) got some fun for you.
This Friday and Saturday, the alliance will be participating in BioBlitz Canada 150, an opportunity to explore the biodiversity of South Okanagan Parks and Protected Areas, learn more about conservation and stewardship and even help count birds, bugs, bats and beautiful wild flowers.
In the Osoyoos area, the alliance is planning two events:
- Identifying Butterflies, Birds and Plants on Mt. Kobau — Join Harold Baumbrough, Doreen Olson, Lisa Scott, and Dennis St. John and discover an astonishing number of butterflies, birds and plants as you work your way to the top of Mount Kobau where you can gaze out on the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area. Date & Time: June 10, 9-2 p.m. (Osoyoos).
- East Chopaka Grasslands Botany, Birds and Butterflies — This all-day field trip to key areas of the proposed South Okanagan National Park and Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Sage and Sparrow Conservation areas is hosted by Don Gayton, Dick Cannings, Doug Brown and Lauren Meads. Date & Time: June 10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Osoyoos).
- Awesome Snakes at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park — Join snake experts to learn about the species of snakes in the south Okanagan, their habits, habitats and conservation concerns. The walk will begin with a live rattlesnake visit. Date & Time: June 10, 1 – 3 p.m. (Penticton).
- Invert Investigator for a Day: Identifying Aquatic Insects in Trout Creek — Prepare to be surprised as you discover the many species of macroinvertebrates hiding in the creek! Help an expert sample the water for aquatic insect species and learn about their role as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health. Date & Time: June 10, 9am – 10:30 a.m. (Summerland).
- Night biodiversity walk — As you walk along the path from dusk to dark you your senses will adjust and you will begin to see and ‘hear’ the many species of the Okanagan night. Hint: think frogs! Date & Time: June 9, 8:30-10:00 p.m. (Oliver)
- Counting Bats! — Did you know that the Okanagan Valley has more species of bats than anywhere else in Canada? Come out and count them! Date & Time: June 9, 8:30-10:00 p.m. (Okanagan Lake Provincial Park).
- Explore Birds at Vaseux Lake — Explore birds along the boardwalk and new bird viewing blind looking onto Vaseux Lake. Learn about conservation efforts to protect endangered birds. Date & time: June 10, 8:30-10:15 a.m. (group 1); 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (group 2).
- White Lake to Mahoney Lake: species of the South Okanagan grasslands — Hike through the South Okanagan grasslands and identify the many (and often rare!) species that make this area so unique. This is a very special opportunity to experience a landscape found nowhere else in Canada. Date & Time: June 10, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- BioBlitz wrap-up event at the Penticton Museum — Open to the public! Interact with Pluto the Burrowing Owl and some rare Okanagan amphibians. Enjoy some refreshments while you browse the museum’s latest exhibit: “Connectivity: getting from here to there, how wildlife in the Okanagan move from place to place.” Date & Time: June 10, 2:30-4:30 pm.
Pre-registration is required for all events except the wrap-up Penticton event.
Cameras and binoculars are encouraged. In fact, be the photographer to photograph the most species and you could win a prize from the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
The South Okanagan is one of only 24 communities across Canada to be chosen for this special event.
BioBlitz Canada 150 is a national partnership of leading conservation, education and research organizations. The goal is to document Canada’s biodiversity by connecting the public with nature in a scientist-led participatory surveys of life. For more information, visit BioBlitzCanada.ca.