BioBlitz at Fort Rodd Hill a Blast!

Fellow naturalists, young and old, take a look at some of the marine life collected by MLSS divers, in the tanks on shore.
Fellow naturalists, young and old, take a look at some of the marine life collected by MLSS divers, in the tanks on shore.

Parks Canada hosted the first-ever Parks Canada BioBlitz at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site on May 23, 2015 and MLSS was invited as one of the collaborating organizations! There were 113 people who volunteered for the BioBlitz, 45 of which were experts, including those from MLSS. The Beach Interpretation Program (BIP) that MLSS offered as part of the BioBlitz was the first time that many of our volunteers had ever been at Fort Rodd Hill. It is a beautiful location just outside of Victoria.

Divers were excited about the diversity of subtidal organisms adjacent to the Lighthouse including the heart crab, helmet crab, graceful crab, five species of nudibranchs, rosy-lipped sculpin and northern clingfish, to name a few. Lots of bivalve species inhabited the intertidal zone and some beautiful kelps had washed up on the beach. A total of 42 species of macrofauna were recorded, including several non-native species. Some 30 to 40 families joined us to touch and examine the cool species on display and interpreted by MLSS volunteers.

MLSS Divers take a break from dive planning for a quick photo shoot.
MLSS Divers take a break from dive planning for a quick photo shoot.

MLSS was offered accommodation in the on-site oTENTiks and we all took time to explore the fascinating entities of the old fort. Thanks to Parks Canada for the unique Fort atmosphere and successful BioBlitz that proved to be an awesome experience for all those who attended.

The comments received from Nicole Kroeker, Acting Manager, Species at Risk, Coastal BC Field Unit, Parks Canada Agency, Fort Rodd Hill, Victoria, were very rewarding for MLSS to receive: “Many thanks for you and your team’s participation in the 2015 Bioblitz event at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites. Nothing but rave reviews from all those who experienced the Beach
Interpretation Program.”

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