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Citizen scientists invited to be ‘boots on the ground’ to help protect wetlands and wildlife

Bay of Quinte RAP photo

Every year, the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (BQRAP) needs volunteer citizen scientists to monitor local wetlands.

County naturalist Terry Sprague will host an information session free of charge explaining how you can help protect local wetlands and wildlife by monitoring for birds and frogs. Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Quinte Conservation.

There are two programs to choose from: the FrogWatch Ontario program, which is a family-friendly activity, great for the kids; and the Marsh Monitoring Program, which is more structured, ideal for the outdoors enthusiast. FrogWatch Ontario volunteers record amphibians once a week from April through June and submit their results online.

The Marsh Monitoring Program records wetland birds and frogs, twice for 15 minutes each, between May and July. You can monitor sites at the cottage, in the backyard, or at designated monitoring locations.

“The information collected tells us about the presence and abundance of both species in coastal and inland marshes, and contributes to our understanding of these species and their habitat needs.” said Sprague.

Also, volunteers are needed to monitor for Ospreys and Eagles.

“Ospreys and Eagles are indicators of water quality health. Changes in the number of nesting pairs and number of chicks produced can reflect changes in aquatic ecosystem health,” Sprague said.

Bay of Quinte, fish and wildlife populations and habitat are classified as restored under the remedial action plan. Now, citizen scientists are vitally important as “boots on the ground” focusing on ensuring wetlands and wildlife don’t backslide to the conditions that required a remedial action plan in the first place. The information gathered will ensure the long-term protection of this area’s wetlands and wildlife.

“These monitoring programs are all user-friendly and even inexperienced volunteers will feel comfortable taking part,” said Sprague.

There is no cost to attend the information session

For information on the evening presentation, contact Terry Sprague at 613-848-4549 or tsprague@xplornet.com

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