Resources

Here's a list of resources to help you become a citizen scientist

Collecting observations during COVID-19

We urge all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by your local governments. Individual safety and public health are our utmost priority.

• Please adhere to all guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer
• Only visit parks and green spaces close to your home
• Respect all park and facility closures. Visit http://bcparks.ca/covid-19/ for information on provincial park closures.
• Avoid high-risk activities or areas.

Other ways you can add observations to the project:
• Collect observations in your yard or neighbourhood while social distancing. If you are recording an observation of life that is not wild, please mark it captive/cultivated on iNaturalist.
• Add images you've taken previously. Even observations that are from previous years are helpful. Be sure to properly record the date the image was taken within your observation notes.

For further information on COVID-19:
BC Centre for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Government of Canada COVID-19

Wildlife Camera Users

Do you have a wildlife camera? Scientists in BC that study camera traps are often looking for support in gathering data.

Visit wildcams.ca for camera trap resources, and if you'd like to use a personal camera trap to support scientists in your community, please email info@wildcams.ca with your information.

BC Observation Calendar

FEB

- 16th : World Whale Day
- Pacific herring start to spawn on shorelines along the coast, often in large events that attract countless seabirds, sea lions and humpback whales.
- Grey whales can be found migrating along B.C.’s coast.

MAR

- 7th: Beaver Day
- 20th: World Sparrow Day
- 21st: International Day of Forests
- Wildflowers start to bloom in southwest B.C.
- Brant geese arrive in large numbers along B.C.’s coast.

APR

- 22nd: Earth Day
- 30th: World Amphibian Day
- April and May are often peak wildflower months in southwest B.C.
- Shorebirds migrate along the B.C. coast through April and May.

JUN

- 8th: World Oceans Day
- June-August is the best time to spot dragonflies and damseflies.
- June and July is peak wildflower time on the north coast of B.C.

JUL

- 14th: Shark Awareness Day
- 16th: World Snake Day
- 20th: Parks Day
- Wildflowers are in bloom in more alpine environments in July and August.
- Snakes, like the common garter snake, are active in spring and summer.

AUG

- Look for butterflies in more alpine environments in July and August.
- July and August are great times to examine seaweed species diversity in tidepools and along shorelines in coastal parks.

OCT

- 21st: Reptile Awareness Day
- 29th: Sea Slug Day
- Keep an eye out for migratory birds heading south, especially in the Columbia Wetlands where more than 250 species pass through during the fall migration.

NOV

- Watch for large gatherings of predatory birds like bald eagles near rivers and streams, as they take advantage of the spawning salmon. Some locations even have eagle festivals, including the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival!

DEC

- This is the time to see birds that winter in B.C.or are present year-round, such as harlequin ducks and great blue herons.- Moose, elk, and caribou are active in northern parks throughout winter and may be easier to spot against the snow.

Photography Tips

Here's some tips on what to photograph to get the best observations!

Plants

Petals, leaves, stem and base.

Trees
Shrubs

Close-ups of the bark and leaves, wide shot of the whole plant.

Mushrooms

Underside, top and sides.

Snails

Shell opening and both sides of the shell (if you can without disturbing them!).

Mollusks

Hinge where the two shell halves meet and inside the shell if it's empty.

Dragonflies

Side shots are best with a close-up of the tail. From above if it has a distinctive wing pattern.

Bugs
Beetles
Crabs
Spiders

From above and from the front to show mouthparts or claws.

Small Organisms

Include an object in the photo to help show size. This could be as simple as your hand, lens cap, or a pencil.

Plants

Petals, leaves, stem and base.

Mushrooms

Underside, top and sides.

Mollusks

Shell opening and both sides of the shell (if you can without disturbing them!).

Dragonflies

Side shots are best with a close-up of the tail. From above if it has a distinctive wing pattern.

Trees
Shrubs

Close-ups of the bark and leaves, wide shot of the whole plant.

Snails

Hinge where the two shell halves meet and inside the shell if it's empty.

Bugs
Beetles
Crabs
Spiders

From above and from the front to show mouthparts or claws.

Small Organisms

Include an object in the photo to help show size. This could be as simple as your hand, lens cap, or a pencil.

Tips for any observation

Get close to the organism without disturbing it or going off-trail.

Crop the image so identifiers can see it clearly.

Take photos of as many angles as you can.

You can upload sound recordings as well as observations! This is helpful for when you hear a bird but can't see it clearly enough for a photo.

Please don't touch the organisms! Lotions and sunscreen especially can be toxic.