From the birds overhead to the wildflowers at your feet, the capital region sits at the heart of one of Canada’s biodiversity hotspots, bursting with an incredible array of plants and wildlife.
And there’s no need to travel far to discover this rich diversity – salmon-bearing streams, Garry oak meadows, vibrant wetlands and dynamic shorelines are found in neighbourhoods throughout the region, and in your own backyard!
Why is this biodiversity important?
Not only does biodiversity support clean air and water, food security, and recreational and cultural opportunities, it’s essential to the quality of life we enjoy in the region.
Getting outside and observing the natural world boosts mental health and well-being, and is also a key step in conserving nature for future generations.
Explore, discover and celebrate
From May 21 to 24, the Capital Regional District is hosting a virtual Biodiversity Challenge in honour of the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22.
It’s simple to participate and you’ll be joining a large community of local nature buffs who are helping to inventory and celebrate the region’s amazing flora and fauna – hunt for wild plants, animals and fungi within the capital region and record them using the iNaturalist app.
Join the challenge – and vie for some incredible prizes!
- Create a free iNaturalist account (AppStore or Google Play) or at iNaturalist.ca.
- Head online to join CRD’s Biodiversity Challenge project page and click “join this project” for the chance to win prizes and receive project updates.
- Join the hunt! Search for local nature in your backyard, neighbourhood or favourite park or beach between May 21 and 24 – observations of wild native plants, animals, fungi, insects, tracks or even scat are all welcome.
- Snap a pic. Use a digital camera or smart phone to capture your sightings, and upload to iNaturalist.
- Upload your photos and identify your findings as best you can. Other participants and the iNaturalist community will help confirm, or suggest, identifications.
By joining the CRD’s Biodiversity Challenge project, you’ll have the chance to win one of six prizes, including a consultation from Saanich Native Plants, a local field guide, Pacific Northwest Plant Knowledge cards, and a smartphone macro lens to take close-up photos of tiny creatures.
Visit www.crd.bc.ca/biodiversity for more information.