Maritimes Backyard BioBlitz 2020
April 24-April 27

Join the Maritime Backyard BioBlitz...

You can help put the Annapolis Valley on the global nature scene! On April 24-27, 2020 cities/places from across the planet, from here in our province to other locations around the world, will compete for the title of the most Biodiverse City . We need your help - we may not be a city but we are still able to register - whether you're an avid naturalist or a dog walker, everyone can participate: it's easy, fun, and hopefully will encourage you to get outdoors.

We will be using the iNaturalist digital platform to record observations, using the Annapolis Valley "team" page. 


Signup to iNaturalist today and then join our 'Nature Challenge 2020: The Annapolis Valley' project! By joining the project you will be notified when news items are added to our project page.

If you're new to iNaturalist, then we can help {either contact or follow instructions online at}.

How can I participate?

1. Help collect observations in your backyard

Use your phone or a camera to capture photos of the biodiversity in your backyard and upload these photos to iNaturalist. New to iNaturalist? Check out this web page to get started. 

2. Share your identification expertise

Log on to iNaturalist and share your expertise by helping to confirm the identify of the observations that have been submitted. 

Pre-cautions for COVID-19

Due to COVID 19, all of our field-based group activities related to the City Nature Challenge have been cancelled. 

All partners involved with the Maritime Backyard BioBlitz are following, and encouraging you to follow, the laws, guidelines and instructions from your local Health Authority and Provincial Authorities. Canadians are being asked to practice physical distancing to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the community. This means limiting the number of people you come into close contact with, and requires a minimum of 2 metre distance. Unless you are told to self-isolate, practicing physical distancing does NOT preclude going outdoors. In fact, Health Authorities suggest daily outdoor time in your backyard or around your neighbourhood can alleviate anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues associated with isolation and the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is important that you only participate and congregate with those you are living with, or those within your household. Do not participate or congregate with anyone outside your household environment. Please respect local authorities on access to public parks or trail systems; in many jurisdictions, these places are off limits due to overcrowding.

1. Find Wildlife

It can be any plant, animal, or any other evidence of life found in your area.

2. Take a photo

Take a picture of what you find. Be sure to note the location of the critter or plant.

3. Share

Share your observations through iNaturalist.

Areas of focus 

Even though we are not able to host group events or target specific areas for surveys, there is still a great opportunity for watershed residents to help tie their Backyard BioBlitz data into some of our current projects. If you live in an area where you can help with any of the following, please let us know!

Sandplain Heathland/Sand Barrens ecosystem ground truthing

This is a rare, endangered ecosystem that is often overlooked. CARP, COGS and several other partners are currently working on a collaborative research and stewardship project focused on this ecosystem. There a a lot of people who live within the Annapolis Valley Sand Barrens, creating a great opportunity to help us learn more about the biodiversity of these areas. Learn more on our Sand Barrens project page

Reptile and Amphibian  surveys

Depending on the weather during the BioBlitz dates, there is a good chance that several species of reptile (turtles, snakes) and amphibians (frogs, salamanders, newts) will be active. If have wetland habitat that support any species of reptile or amphibian, we are hoping to collect more observation data for all of these species. If you need to learn about the species that might be present around your home, you can search for past observations on iNaturalist or check out the Nova Scotia Herptofauna Atlas

Tree species at risk searches (Eastern White Cedar; Black Ash)

If you are lucky enough to have a woodlot or forested area on your property, you can help by checking potential habitat for two tree species at risk, Eastern White Cedar and Black Ash