How to Take Part
It couldn't be easier to join the adventure and take part in BackyardBio! The program is a fun and easy activity to get your family or students exploring biodiversity and sharing their passion for nature with the world!
Spend part of the month of May getting outside and exploring your backyard, front yard, neighbourhood, school yard, local parks and conservation areas to find as many different species of plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, fungi (you name it!) as you can. This can be a big family or classroom project or just ten minutes looking and listening to see what you discover - every minute engaging with the natural world is valuable! Take photos of everything you see!
There are three ways to take part and share what you discovered!
On Social Media
Sharing your images all month long on Twitter or Instagram with #backyardbio is the easiest way to take part. It only takes a second, and by following the hashtag you'll get to see other amazing images from around the globe!
On INaturalist/Seek Apps
These apps will not only help you identify the organisms that live near you but will also connect you to a huge network of naturalists online and allow you to contribute to real citizen science! You'll be able to share images and get feedback from real scientists and other naturalists on what you've discovered!
First, create an INaturalist account at INaturalist.org
Now get out there are start taking photos!
Link your iNaturalist account to us by joining our BackyardBio Project so all your observations are collected in the same spot Here you'll be able to see other observations from around the globe, help ID other pictures and encourage the network to help you learn what you've found and more!
#BackyardBio sighting of the day: an epic struggle between a Crab Spider and a Fly on my way back from work! (It didn't turn out so well for the fly lol) All this just inches from the sidewalk, so cool what you can see when you stay on the lookout for #biodiversity
"Dad!" she screamed. I thought my 6yo was suddenly afraid of spiders, but she followed it up with, "you have to take a picture for the seat of your pants people!" Well @EBTSOYP, here you go! #BackyardBio (Don't stress - we're all about catch & release here, even for spiders)
Thank you @SciJesse for encouraging the Merrifield Team to get outside and explore
our backyards. We made some wonderful discoveries and enjoyed getting close
Students can also choose to use the Seek app, a version of the iNaturalist app that's a little more kid friendly - like Pokemon Go for Nature!
Observations in Seek can still be uploaded to the #BackyardBio iNaturalist project if they are signed into Seek using an iNaturalist account. Download it here!
Connecting With Other Classrooms
As classrooms register to take part, we'll connect classrooms from different geographical locations into small groups so they can share the experience throughout the month and have a friendly competition to see who took the most observations and found the most different species! You can connect with your partner groups via emails, google forms, or virtual calls to share photos and stories, we will be happy to assist in anyway we can to make this successful!
This way you can start by exploring the biodiversity near you, then get to compare and contrast and marvel at the living world elsewhere and join forces in navigating through solutions you can run to make a positive difference!