South Okanagan chosen for special event highlighting nature

The South Okanagan is one of only 24 communities across Canada to be chosen for BioBlitz Challenge

The South Okanagan is one of 24 communities across Canada chosen for a special event celebrating Canada’s 150th.

On June 9 and 10 South Okanagan residents are invited to join thousands of Canadian’s by participating in the BioBlitz Challenge. Experts and naturalists will take registered participants on family-friendly guided walks organized by the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. While exploring parks and protected spaces participants will learn to identify local species and explore the biodiversity of B.C.

There will be opportunities for conservation and stewardship on public and private land will be highlighted as participants tally the birds, bugs, bats and wild flowers.

“Results of wildlife surveys across the country will help guide future conservation efforts for years to come. Everyone is invited to share the celebration of the 150th anniversary of confederation by immersing themselves in nature and the joy of scientific discovery,” said Rick Bates, CEO and executive vice-president of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

For more information or to register visit http://bioblitzcanada.ca/events_community-okanagan.aspx

Activity schedule:

June 9, 8:30-10:00 p.m.: 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.

June 9, 8:30-10:00 p.m.: Counting Bats!

Did you know that the Okanagan Valley has more species of bats than anywhere else in Canada? Come out and count them.

June 10, 8:30-10:15 a.m. (group 1); 10:30 a.m.-noon (group 2): 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.

June 10, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: 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.

June 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Identifying Butterflies, Birds and Plants on Mt. Kobau

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.

June 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: White Lake to Mahoney Lake: the many 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.

June 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Botany, Birds and Butterflies at Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area

All-day fieldtrip to key areas of the proposed South Okanagan National Park and Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Sage and Sparrow Conservation areas.

June 10, 1–3 p.m.: 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.

June 10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.: BioBlitz wrap-up event at the Penticton Museum

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.