Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project

Wild Columbine  Indian Paintbrush  Calopogon Orchid  
                         Wild Columbine                        Indian Paintbrush                Calopogon Orchid   -    Credit S. Langley

 

The Bruce Trail Conservancy is looking for citizen scientists to help us better understand the diversity and distribution of flora along the Bruce Trail.

Whether you are a trained botanist or just interested in learning more about plant life, the Bruce Trail Conservancy can use your help.

 

Why Citizen Science?

Citizen science is a powerful way to collect much needed data while participating in an activity you already love, hiking! 

The Bruce Trail Conservancy would like to catalogue the flora along the Trail, looking for patterns, species movement, invasive species, rare species and native species.

Each observation from our Bruce Trail community will help build a map of plant sightings. The more observations that are contributed, the more tools we will have to make decisions about conservation and the stewardship of lands along the Niagara Escarpment.

Follow the progress on our Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project page >

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How to Participate


1. Create an account at inaturalist.ca/signup


2. Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device*
:

iNaturalist on App Store for iOS devices >>

iNaturalist in Play Store for Android devices >>


3. Register as a BTC Citizen Science volunteer

Complete our online form or contact Meghan Fielding at mfielding@brucetrail.org.

We'll add you to the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project


4. Start hiking and taking pictures of flora along the way.

Take photos either directly in the iNaturalist app, or using your regular camera app or camera


5. Share the observations with the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project

a) Using the iNaturalist app:

i) Sync your photos using the iNaturalist app

ii) Remember to add each photo to the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project. Although uploaded, your photos are not automatically added to the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project

b) Using the iNaturalist website:

a) Login to your iNaturalist account & Upload your photos

b) Remember to add each photo to the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project. Although uploaded, your photos are not automatically added to the Bruce Trail iNaturalist Project

 

Do I need the iNaturalist App?

The iNaturalist App is handy but is not required. Without it you can still participate by uploading photos to the iNaturalist website directly, however, you'll need to manually enter your location information for each observation.

 

Do I need to know my plants well?

Don't worry if you are new to plant identification. Label your photo as best you can and others can help identify it. Plus you can have the app make suggestions based on your photo. Your observations will be checked by BTC ecologists and other iNaturalist observers.

If you have botanical knowledge, not only can you add your data, you can contribute to the identification of observations made by other iNaturalist participants.

 

What kinds of plants should be included?

Any and all plants that occur along the Bruce Trail are welcomed. This means wildflowers, grasses, ferns, shrubs and trees. We're looking for rare or common, introduced or native, invasive or non-invasive.

 

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Notes on being a respectful citizen scientist

Minimizing disturbance to the flora we are observing is the main concern for every citizen scientist and field botanist. This includes:

  • staying on the trail
  • taking only photographs
  • watching where you place your feet

 

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Resources

Plants of Southern Ontario_125

Plants of Southern Ontario - available at the BTC online Store

Fact Sheets:

Asters

Ferns

Trees

Other Plants

 

Identification hikes at the Bruce Trail Conservancy Annual Meeting

2 Identification hikes will be offered per year to the volunteers in this program

Monthly email to all participants

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