Bioblitz Activities Information

The 2014 Bioblitz offers a number of different activities, each geared to participation according to your background, area of expertise, skill level, and availability.  The descriptions below match the categories that you will be offered on the Registration Form.  Please read them carefully before you register.

Intense Biological Inventory

A comprehensive biological inventory of predetermined sites within the Humber Watershed   (clickable map) will be conducted by survey teams of specialists covering 16 different taxonomic (taxon) groups, amongst  the broad categories of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi, lichens, algae and protists. The goal is to identify or collect as many different species as possible within a 24 hour period.

Each of the 16 taxon groups will be overseen by a Taxon Coordinator,  a professional in that  field, who will:  organize survey teams, define sampling and data collection protocols, assign survey areas, coordinate identifications and work out all other logistics for their taxon.  Each survey team will comprise a survey team leader who is a Taxon Specialist, and other Skilled Naturalists.   Each taxon group will have one or more dedicated databaser(s) and a team of individuals to assist with specimen processing.

You will participate in this activity if you are a:

TAXON SPECIALIST, ECOLOGIST, PROFESSIONAL BIOLOGIST OR NATURALIST with taxonomic expertise in one or more groups of organisms

Level of Expertise – This individual has a high level of expertise in one or more taxonomic groups.
Skills required – a solid working knowledge of the taxonomic group with years of experience in surveying, collecting (if appropriate) and identification.
Tasks involved:
•    Serve as Survey crew team leaders
•    Collect specimens and document site records
•    Identify specimens in field and in lab
•    Submit data to taxon coordinator
Time Commitment – all weekend


Description – This individual has an intermediate level of knowledge about the taxonomic group. Upper level university students and experienced or intermediate level naturalists would fit into this category.
Skills required – some knowledge of the taxonomic group with some experience in surveying and identification in field or lab, or experience using field guides.  Enthusiasm and willingness to help out are important here!
Tasks involved:
•    Participate as members of survey teams
•    Assist with record keeping and specimen sorting
•    Lead nature walks or conduct taxonomic demonstrations
Time Commitment – all or most of weekend

Guided Biological Inventory / Learn to Blitz:

A biological inventory of designated areas at the Kortright Conservation for Conservation (clickable map) will be completed during a series of guided hikes and workshops dedicated to particular taxon groups.  These programs are designed for people with limited or no experience conducting inventories or identifying species, but an interest in learning to do so. People with time constraints that prevent them from committing to the entire weekend are also invited to join this program as participants or leaders.

Trained interpreters and taxon specialists will lead two hour walks and workshops that will provide participants with the skills required to participate in the intensive Bioblitz in future years.  Over the course of the weekend, an individual can participate in programs covering several different taxon groups including Birds, Mammals, Plants, Fungi, Invertebrates, Reptiles and Amphibians.

You will participate in this activity if you are a:


Description – these individuals like nature and want to learn more about bioblitzing and to gain some survey and identification skills
Skills required – enthusiasm and willingness to learn, minimal prior knowledge necessary.
Tasks involved:
•    Participate in guided bioblitz teams
•    For individuals who want to work on more than one taxonomic group
Time commitment – as desired – there will be three time slots on Saturday and one on Sunday.

YOUNG NATURALISTS (under the age of 16)

Description – for young people who want to learn more about nature and bioblitzing.  Must be accompanied by an adult.
Skills required – enthusiasm and willingness to learn, minimal prior knowledge necessary.
Tasks involved:
•    Participate in guided bioblitz teams
Time commitment – as desired.


Description – These individuals will conduct taxon-specific hikes and/or workshops as part of the Guided Blitz at the Kortright Centre, or lead general nature walks at the McMichael Gallery Grounds.
Skills required – Previous experience leading nature walks required. Experience working with the general public including children.  General natural history knowledge or expertise with a particular taxon group.
Tasks involved:
•    Leading and supervising nature hikes
•    Assisting taxon experts with workshops and demonstrations
Time commitment – as required by schedule.  NOTE: Experienced naturalists with time constraints that prevent them from committing to the entire weekend are encouraged to register in this category.

Bioblitz Support

It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to run a Bioblitz.  Volunteers are needed in the following areas.


Description – general support, may help with anything from serving food to running between locations, to registering participants on the day.
Skills required – enthusiasm and willingness to help!
Tasks involved:
•    A range of support tasks to keep the whole show running
•    Distribution of food
•    Registration
•    Runners for taxon groups or organizers
•    Security
•    Wayfinding
•    Volunteering at survey sites
Time commitment – variable, please indicate availability.


Description – these individuals will help with the educational activities that will take place around the bioblitz.
Skills required – some experience working with the public and children. Enthusiasm and willingness to help!
Tasks involved:
•    Supervising activities for the general public
Time commitment –  depends on activity and availability of individual.

Learn more about art and nature

A range of activities will be available for adults and children at the Bioblitz headquarters at the McMichael Art Gallery.  These programs are designed for anyone who wants to learn more about art and nature.  They will include: aboriginal storytelling, guided nature hikes, live animal presentations by the Toronto Zoo,  art and nature workshops, nature art exhibitions and much more:   See detailed Bioblitz Itinerary  for times and locations. These activities are Free   No Registration is necessary.