BioBlitz hits the flathead

From the July 30 edition of The Free Press - scientists explore Flatehead to discover area's rich diversity of species.

For the fourth year, 14 scientists will explore the Flathead to continue cataloguing the area’s rich diversity of species.

Specimens varying from bugs to plants to birds will be collected and all wildlife will be documented during this year’s week-long BioBlitz which will be held across three undeveloped parcels of Teck-owned land until Friday, July 31.

“We’re really excited to be out here and the collecting is going well so far,” said Southern Rockies Program Coordinator with Wildsight Ryland Nelson.

Nelson noted that contributing scientists to the program hailed from the Royal BC Museum and the University of Victoria, as well as local ornithologists.

Results from the BioBlitz will be compiled and released in a few months’ time.

Teck originally purchased the parcels, which include a 1,000-hectare section along the Flathead River and two 3,000-hectare parcels at Alexander Creek and Grave Prairie, for conservation purposes.

“Teck purchased these lands for conservation because they are home to an incredible diversity of wildlife … We are excited to see the results of this year’s BioBlitz, which will build on our shared knowledge of this special part of the world,” said Marcia Smith, Teck’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Affairs.

In previous years, the BioBlitz has been the source of discovering a new species of spider as well as unearthing of a fingernail clam that had previously been unseen in the province for a century.