Participants needed for reptile count at first ever BioBlitz

MISERY BAY—Misery definitely wants company on Saturday, May 30—Misery Bay that is.

On May 30 the Manitoulin Nature Club, in partnership with Friends of Misery Bay, Ontario Nature and Manitoulin Streams, is hosting a BioBlitz, a first for Manitoulin.

Nancy Kains of the Manitoulin Nature Club, the lead coordinator for the BioBlitz, explained that she first came across the notion in a magazine she picked up in Huron County.

“It’s important to be more aware and record what we see, every day too,” she said of our changing world.

Ms. Kains said she had been to the Misery Bay Park visitor centre last year for the presentation on the mysterious deaths of the endangered Misery Bay Blanding’s turtles and thought it would be the perfect location for a BioBlitz specifically focussing on reptiles and amphibians as the Ontario Amphibian Atlas is currently being updated.

Volunteers from Ontario Nature will be on hand to take groups out for the day. The park will be sectioned off into 100 square metre sections and groups will be given tracking sheets as well as their GPS locations. Those interested need not be an expert in reptiles or amphibians, just have an interest in spotting the creatures. The expert assigned to each group is there to help name the species and will share their knowledge with the group. The tracking sheets will be handed in at the end of the day for a final tally and a barbecue will be hosted for all the volunteers by the Friends of Misery Bay.

“We could use as many eyes on the ground as possible,” Ms. Kains said.

Ms. Kains said she is hoping the idea will spread across Manitoulin.

The BioBlitz takes place on Saturday, May 30 at Misery Bay Provincial Park. Ms. Kains urges people to pre-register, noting that this is a great event to involve families, by calling her at 705-377-6041 or emailing her at isleaway@amtelecom.net. Participants are responsible for their own lunch and are urged to dress for the weather (and bring insect repellant).