ROM sponsored BioBlitz

Awenda Provincial Park in conjunction with the Friends of Awenda and the South-west Zone office of Ontario Parks hosted a ROM sponsored BioBlitz on the weekend of June 17th-19th. The goal of the BioBlitz was to take inventory of the park’s wildlife and fill in some of the existing gaps in park records both on the mainland and on Giant’s Tomb Island.

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Park naturalists participating in an aquatic beetle survey at Kettle’s Lake during Awenda’s BioBlitz. The aquatic beetle survey was led by Dr. Steve Marshall, an entomology professor from the University of Guelph and by Bill Ivy, a professional photographer and published author (photo courtesy of Bill Ivy)

The BioBlitz generated some excellent data along with the organizational framework and contacts to grow the event in future years. Awenda had participation from an ornithology professor at York University and an entomology professor from the University of Guelph as well as volunteers from the Severn Sound Environmental Association, Georgian College, Parks Canada, the Southwest Zone Office, Head Office, and three local field naturalist groups.

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Volunteer taking wing measurements of a Little Brown Bat during Awenda’s BioBlitz Bat Count. The Bat Count was led by Lesley Hale from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), and students from the University of Manitoba who were focusing on White Nose Syndrome in roosting bat species (photo courtesy of Bill Ivy)

In summary, We were able to add one species to the Lepidoptera list and three species to the Odonata list along with two new insects to the Ontario species list, exceptionally rare species of fly and beetle. We were also fortunate enough to find over 40 species at risk (SAR) records and at least one new plant species!

Thank you to Maurice’s Valu-mart, Grounded and Friends of Awenda for their generous support and help to ensure the event’s success!
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