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Local biologist inviting residents to observe reptiles and amphibians for conservation

The BioBlitz roadside survey is helping track biodiversity around the Parkland region, which includes Lloydminster, Wainwright, Vermilion and more.

Biologist and Instructor of Environmental Sciences at Lakeland College Darcey Shyry says that the survey is focusing on observing seven species.

“We’re looking at three different frogs and a couple of toads that we’re going to be driving around, stopping at wetlands and listening for the frogs and the toads that’ll be calling in the spring. Then you can identify them by their calls, so we determine their presence there and we get a rough estimate of their abundance as well.”

Participants will have to learn the different sounds the frogs and toads make, but once they are learned they’ll be hard to forget says Shyry. He adds that the survey will help with identifying what species need to be conserved in the area.

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“We got some common species that we want to monitor as well. They usually aren’t monitored very well so by doing these surveys we find out were there breeding ponds are and in the future if anything happens to their population we got some baseline data that we can use to compare against to see if they’re still there or if they’re not there.”

Shyry will pool all the data together, which will then go into the government’s data base on wildlife observations. The data will also be used for Shyry to nominate the area for an Important Reptile and Amphibian Area.

“It identifies an area that’s really important in terms of habitat for diversity of amphibians or species at risk amphibians so I’ll be using the data to support that nomination.”

The BioBlitz will be happening over the May long weekend and there will be a coordination meeting at the Edgerton Community Golf Club on May 19 at 1 p.m.

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