Durham East Cross Forest Bioblitz - May 13 to 14, 2016

For a 24 hour period, starting at 12:00 P.M. on  Friday May 13th until 12:00 P.M. on Saturday May 14th, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and Kawartha Conservation, supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, will be conducting a “Bioblitz” on the East Cross Forest properties.
 
The East Cross Forest project was initiated after many properties in the area suffered negative environmental impacts from off-road motorized vehicles, dumping, and other illegal activities. Our current land holdings are 1,334 acres. Our goal is to help ensure sensitive ecological features are protected, while providing opportunities for the community to engage in low-impact recreational activities. We are currently rehabilitating and managing acquired lands to protect groundwater for surrounding residents and businesses, and to protect a variety of plant species and cold-water fish habitat.
 
East Cross Forest is designated as a Natural Core Area on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Natural Core Areas contain the greatest concentrations of key natural heritage features that are critical to maintaining the integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine as a whole. As a result, these lands carry the highest level of protection under the Oak Ridges Moraine Act, prohibiting development and most recreational motorized vehicle activity, among others. One trail provides a necessary link with a regional recreational snowmobile trail and is utilized by members of the Ontario Snowmobile Association during the winter months. All other motorized vehicle activity is strictly prohibited in all seasons.
 
Project Overview:
 
The intent of this 24 hour Bioblitz is to document all species on the property at that time.  Key project deliverables will include:
 
a)      Four community workshops on species identification, pre-Bioblitz
b)      One – 24 hour Bioblitz – note and identify as many plant, animal, amphibian, reptile, insect species as possible during this period.
c)      Volunteer feedback (through survey, follow-up workshop etc.)
 
Critical to the success of this initiative will be volunteer contributions; we are actively seeking individuals from local community groups and environmental organizations to participate in this event.  Within a 24 hour period we will organize crews to provide maximum coverage, working in shifts of 3-4 hours each.
 
Volunteers to undertake the inventory, working in groups of 3-5, led by one individual having a high level of expertise in the identification of a certain category, e.g. plants, birds, insects, etc.  We anticipate 85 – 140 volunteers being involved.
 
A preliminary estimate shows 28 specialists being required, although some specialists may be interested in participating on more than one crew.  
 
Specialist
Number
Time of day
Potential Names
Confirmed
Birds
5
7pm– 10pm(2)
10pm – 1am
6am-9am (2)
 
 
Amphibians
2
7pm – 10 pm
1am – 5am
 
 
Insects
5
10pm – 2am
12pm – 4pm
10am- 12pm
 
 
Benthics
2
12pm – 6pm
9am – 12pm
 
 
Botanist
4
12pm – 8pm
9am- 12pm
 
 
Mushrooms / Lichen
2
12pm – 8pm
9am- 12pm
 
 
Zone specialist
 
 
 
 
Wetlands
4
12pm – 8pm
9am- 12pm
 
 
Forests
4
12pm – 8pm
9am- 12pm
 
 
 
Volunteers are requested to bring their own supplies such as:
·        Rubber boots or hiking boots depending on where they are requesting to work
·        Bug suits, head nets or spray
·        Sunscreen
·        Hats, gloves, rain gear (personal clothing)
·        Flashlights (headlights) for those on night shift
·        Diet specific snacks
 
Work plan essentials:
 
·        A base camp will be established at the Devitt’s Road public parking area.
·        A communications centre will be an essential part of the base camp and with 24 hour monitoring.
·        First aid concerns will be addressed.
·        Transportation to and from interior sites will be organized by Kawartha Conservation staff.
·        Refreshments will be provided.
·        Sites to be monitored will be identified and maps provided
·        More specialized equipment – butterfly nets, clip boards, two-way radios, first aid kits, benthic sampling equipment, tally sheets, etc. will be supplied 
·        A support crew will provide the administrative support necessary for the smooth transition and data entry for each of the monitoring crews. 
 
Workshops
 
All the workshops have been booked at the Scugog Library in Port Perry (North half of Rotary Room).
The topics are tentative – input welcome!
 
Date / Time
Topic
Speaker
Hall Booked / Spkr confirmed
March 1st
6:30pm-8:30pm
Tree and Shrub ID
TBD
Yes / No
March 24th
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Birds of Durham
TBD
Yes / No
April 19th
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Wildflowers of Durham
TBD
Yes / No
May 3rd
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Dragonflies, Butterflies, and Moths of Durham
TBD
Yes / No
 
If interested, and wish to register, please contact Kristie Virgoe, Program Manager, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, at 905-853-3171 ext 31, or by e-mail at - kvirgoe@oakridgesmoraine.org
Thanks for considering this opportunity.

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