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Bio Blitz records sightings of Species At Risk

Bio Blitz at Ostrander
Natural science experts from Prince Edward County and across Ontario lead teams of volunteers and members of the public through the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area to catalogue birds, insects, plants, amphibians and reptiles.

More than 50 people attended the second annual Bio Blitz event, including some family groups. In 2014, PECFN hosted a Bio Blitz at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block.

“We plan to eventually survey the complete South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area,” said coordinator Sheila Kuja.  “Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory does regular avian surveys of the IBA and we are adding to that effort and collecting a lot of information about the ecology of the south shore.”

The base camp for registration and meals was established on Simpson Rd. south of Army Reserve Rd.  Leaders took participants on information gathering hikes on Simpson Rd., MNR Rd., Lighthall Rd, and Charwell Point Rd.

Shining Ladies Tresses Orchid

Shining Ladies Tresses Orchid

Species identified included:
• Twenty species of Butterflies.
• 18 species of “pond creatures”, as well as five species of minnow.
• Five species of each Reptiles and Amphibians
• Forty species of moths.
• More than 200 species of plants
• 65 species of birds
• 15 species of lichens
• Twenty other insect species.
• One slime mold.
• Four mammal species.

Carrion beetle

Carrion beetle

“Perhaps the most interesting sighting was a carrion beetle carrying off a young dead Garter snake,” said Kuja. “We also found a Shining Ladies Tresses Orchid and several other birds and reptiles on the Species at Risk list.”

She noted all records will be collated and a report prepared. Through Bio Blitzes and Biothons (weekly outings) Prince Edward County Field Naturalists plan to prepare a comprehensive record of the natural environment of the IBA.

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