The sunny season is upon us, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy all the natural beauty that Victoria has to offer!

This year, the CRD is hosting a virtual Biodiversity Challenge from May 21st to May 24th in honour of the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd.

If you’re a nature lover, this completely virtual challenge is for you, and you’ll have the chance to hunt for wild plants, animals and fungi within the capital region and record them using a dedicated app.

It’s as simple as a few easy steps, and you’ll be joining a large community of local nature buffs who are helping to inventory and celebrate the capital region’s amazing flora and fauna – plus you can win some incredible prizes while you’re at it!

Here’s how to join the challenge:

  1. Create an account using the free iNaturalist app (AppStore or Google Play) or website iNaturalist.org
  2. Head online to join CRD’s Biodiversity Challenge project for the chance to win prizes and receive project updates
  3. Join the hunt! Search for local nature in your backyard, neighbourhood, or favourite park or beach between May 21st and 24th. Observations of wild native plants, animals, fungi, insects, tracks, or even scat are all welcome
  4. Use a digital camera or smart phone to capture your sightings, and upload to iNaturalist
  5. Identify your findings as best you can and have people from the iNaturalist community help confirm your identifications

Many may not know that our capital region lies in one of Canada’s biodiversity hotspots, bursting with an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife.

You’ll find these in your very own backyards, and even workplaces have salmon-bearing streams, Garry Oak meadows, vibrant wetlands and dynamic shorelines.

At your favourite neighborhood parks you can find pollinating insects, migrating birds, native wildflowers, and towering trees.

All of the above biodiversity supports clean air and water, food security, recreational and cultural opportunities, and is key to the high quality of life we enjoy in the region.

Not only does getting outside and observing the natural world surrounding us boost mental health and well-being, it’s also a key step in conserving nature for future generations.

What you could win:

By joining the CRD’s Biodiversity Challenge project, you will have the chance to win one of six prizes, including a consultation from Saanich Native Plants, a local field guide, Pacific Northwest Plan Knowledge cards, and a smartphone macro lens to take close-up photos of tiny creatures. For more info on prizes, check them out online.

Don’t forget to visit the CRD’s website for more information on biodiversity and the Biodiversity Challenge, and follow the CRD on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing updates!

2021 CRD Biodiversity Challenge

    • When: Friday, May 21st to Monday, May 24th
    • Where: All around the capital region, even your very own backyard!

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