Scene from the Tombstone 2018 bioblitz. PHOTO: Courtesy of Yukon Conservation Society

Get involved! Bioblitzes are a fun way to get involved in biodiversity monitoring!

A bioblitz brings together experts and aspiring citizen scientists for an intensive day of counting and identifying as many species as possible in one day in one location. Each time it happens, we identify new species that have not been found in that location, and sometimes species that have not been found in the Yukon or Canada!

We try to do a bioblitz every year in the Yukon, in a different location each time. The first bioblitz was at McIntyre Creek in 2015. Since then, there have been Bioblitzes at Carmacks, Kluane Lake, Tombstone Park, Watson Lake and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. This year’s community bioblitz is to take place in and around Dawson City. Some scientists will also be looking at local wetlands and at the alpine environment near the Top of the World Highway.

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in territory was chosen in 2021 because it is the location of the Yukon South Beringia Priority Place Initiative (PPI). This initiative is sort of like a multi-year massive bioblitz that covers the southern half of the never glaciated Beringia, the oldest landscape in Canada. The PPI takes scientific teams out to some of the unique landscapes in Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in territory to learn how they function, and how they are changing as the climate heats up and as more and more human activity moves into the area.

The other really good reason to do a bioblitz near Dawson this year is that the Draft Dawson Regional Land Use Plan (DRLUP) has just been released, and the Planning Commission is looking for public input and suggestions. Who knows? Finding a new species could change part of the plan!