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Sask. residents asked to use their smartphones for science



The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is inviting Saskatchewan residents to head outside this long weekend and become a biologist for the day.


It’s the third annual National Backyard BioBlitz where people are asked to upload their nature pictures to the iNaturalist app.


“It’s a great way for people of all ages to look at nature more closely and learn about biodiversity close to home,” engagement program manager with NCC in Saskatchewan Kayla Burak said.


“Spending time outdoors is also beneficial for our physical and mental well-being. The Big Backyard Bioblitz event is a great incentive to connect with nature and fellow nature lovers while contributing to our collective knowledge of plants, animals and other species in Canada.”


The event is used to compile data on species in Canada for scientists, conservation planners and more. Last year people using the app made more than 36,000 species observations.


To become part of the project, you can register at www.backyardbioblitz.ca. NCC will provide a guide on how to participate, photography tips, information to help identify different species and an opportunity to win a prize pack.


“Whether you log an invasive plant like glossy buckthorn, or a rare bird like the red knot, every entry counts,” Burak said. “Using iNaturalist can provide valuable information such as locating species outside of their usual range or where invasive species are encroaching. This information can be used to identify important habitats for protecting at-risk species.”


The event runs from July 28 to Aug. 1



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