Volunteer capturing data with a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event (Photo by Brent Calver)

Volunteer capturing data with a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event (Photo by Brent Calver)

Play an epic game of “I spy” with your smartphone

July 26, 2023


The Big Backyard BioBlitz offers critical data for nature conservation

Over the August long weekend, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is encouraging people to get closer to nature and contribute to protecting the species they love. 

NCC’s fourth annual Big Backyard BioBlitz will run for five days, from August 3 to 7, from coast to coast to coast. A bioblitz is a community science effort to document as many species as possible within a specific area and time.

From backyards to provincial and national parks, on lunch breaks and on vacation, participants can snap photos of the plants and animals they find around them. They then submit their observations to iNaturalist, a crowd-sourced species inventory.

The Big Backyard BioBlitz is a family-friendly activity, no matter how much or how little people know about nature. Newbies are welcome — no expertise or biology degree required. The more we know about nature, the more we can support it. 

Observations can help scientists take stock of local biodiversity, track rare species and fight invasive ones. Scientists want as much information as possible about the plants and animals across Canada, and people can help. NCC will compile all of the information that is gathered about species populations and locations. It will then be made available for scientists and conservation planners, who can use the findings to inform future protection and restoration efforts and strategies. 

To join in the 2023 NCC BioBlitz, all people need is their smartphone, tablet or digital camera to take pictures and/or record the sounds of birds or other wildlife. Whether participants live in a house, apartment or condo, in a city, suburb or rural area, or simply want to go out into the forest, this event is for everyone, young and young at heart. Bioblitzers don't have to be in the wilderness to immerse themselves in nature; when we slow down and focus on the small details, even walking to the mailbox or having tea on the balcony can be an opportunity to lose ourselves in the sights and sounds of the natural world around you. 

“This is a great way to be a part of something big. You can participate while sitting on your deck, strolling through your neighbourhood, while out paddling or on a weekend hike. By documenting the wild species that you see, including plants, birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, lichen and fungi, you’re contributing to the protection of nature by helping conservation experts take stock of local biodiversity, track rare species and tackle invasive ones,” said Jensen Edwards, spokesperson at NCC.

Register for the NCC BioBlitz at backyardbioblitz.ca. Once registered, participants will receive a step-by-step guide on how to participate, along with photography tips and information about species identification. Participants can also share their observations on social media using #NCCBioBlitz to be entered to win an NCC prize pack.

The results of the Big Backyard BioBlitz are important, and so is community science in contributing to our collective knowledge about Canada’s nature. Biologists, foresters and other science professionals simply can’t be everywhere. And every contribution counts. During last year’s event, 9,100 participants logged over 53,000 wildlife and plant observations across the country. More than 5,300 different species were documented, the most frequent being monarch butterflies, which are classified as endangered globally. 

The most common invasive species was wild carrot. Also known as Queen Anne’s lace, it is a non-native wildflower that grows along roadsides and outcompetes native plants for water, sunlight and space.

Participants with children can enhance their BioBlitz experience by downloading activity sheets, including word searches, bingo cards, matching games and colouring pages.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought people together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

Learn More
Follow us on on X (formerly Twitter):  x.com/NCC_CNC  |  x.com/NCC_CNCMedia
Find us on Facebook

- 30 -

Jensen Edwards
National Media Relations Manager
Mobile: (438) 885-9157

Supporter Spotlight

Small Acts of Conservation - Take the challenge and enter to WIN