The Stewardship Council had two opportunities during the summer of 2012 to test its Bioblitz Protocol. Community Bioblitz events were held on June 14th at High Lonesome Nature Reserve in the Pakenham Hills and on July 17th and 18th at Whispering Pines Scout Camp on Otty Lake.

The Bioblitz at High Lonesome Nature Reserve was conducted in partnership with the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust Conservancy on its newest conservation area, a 200-acre wilderness property west of Pakenham Village. Three main and several lesser wetlands on the property form part of a provincially significant wetland complex. As a result of this Bioblitz a species inventory on the property began. Species recorded included: 340 species of plants, some 150 insects and arachnids, 83 birds, 22 mammals, 12 frogs and toads, 6 reptiles, 62 fungi and some mosses. Members of several local field naturalist groups, led by 19 species experts, assisted with this project. The Stewardship Council will continue this partnership throughout the summer and early fall as additional species at risk inventory is conducted by biologists, funded by MNR's Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.

The Otty Lake BioBlitz held in July focused on recording every species of flora and fauna that could be identified in 24 consecutive hours, as well as providing education and fun for the participants.  107 participants, including 72 volunteers, experienced 20 activities with expert guides who identified 535 species! The activities continued throughout the night, concentrating on the sounds of the night such as the whip-poor-will. The species were tallied in a computer database as the results came in, which will allow comparison with the tally of 292 species from BioBlitz 2010 at the other end of Otty Lake.

Both of these events provided excellent opportunities to field test the Bioblitz database and checklists that were created during our 2010 Bioblitz Protocol Development Project.

As this resource is further tested and developed, it is hoped that it will be more widely used by community groups across the province. BioBlitz-Jeff Leads Tree Group