Projektin Ontario Envirothon 2021 Päiväkirja

4. toukokuuta 2021

Challenge Forms Close TODAY

Hi, everyone!

We hope you've enjoyed going out and observing the natural world around you for the challenges.

This post is a reminder that the forms to submit your team's observations will be closed by the end of today, May 4th.

The project will remain open to new observations until July 1st, so don't let the end of the challenges stop you from sharing your observation with other Envirothon participants!

Lähetetty 4. toukokuuta 2021 20:32 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

27. huhtikuuta 2021

Challenge 5 - Blooming Buds

Spring is well on its way, with plenty of green things popping up from the ground and starting to unfurl from trees. But, before leaves fill the canopies of our forests again, there are some plants on the forest floor taking in as much sun as possible in the narrow window between the frost abating and the trees above them shading the forests once again. Spring ephemerals are unique flowers found in the early spring, providing some of the earliest food for pollinators in the narrow window they're out in their full glory.

Our fifth and final challenge is optional, as it is not applicable to all of Ontario, and not all of you may have access to a well-established forest where spring ephemerals tend to thrive. Envirothon teams are challenged with finding and identifying 10 spring ephemerals. This can include but is not limited to, trilliums, Trout Lilies, Early Blue Cohosh, Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, Spring Beauty, and others.

If you are unable to go into a forest that may have ephemerals, you are challenged to find 10 flowering plants. Some things to keep under consideration;

  • No garden plants. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses are generally cultivated, and thus will not be included in the project.
  • Take 3 photos of every plant you wish to identify. This is to aid in the identification of the plant by other naturalists. Include a photo of the whole plant, the flower or flowering structure, and the leaves if visible.
  • If you are unsure of what you have observed, post it with the broadest category you are confident in. While iNaturalist is good at identifying plants, you should try to determine what the flowers are yourself.
Some resources that may assist you in your flower identification adventures:

This week's challenge has been sponsored by HHH.

GOALS

Envirothon Teams
As a team, collectively make 10 observations of any spring ephemeral or wildflower. Each observation must have 3 notes on why you have identified it as such. Garden plants will not be included

Individual Participants
Individually, make 5 observations of any spring ephemeral or wildflower. Each observation must have 3 notes on why you have identified it as such.

Lähetetty 27. huhtikuuta 2021 18:36 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

15. huhtikuuta 2021

Challenge 4 - Home is Where the Habitat is

Each ecosystem is unique, composed of a series of biotic and abiotic components that play a role in the composition of species that call that ecosystem home. The features of these ecosystems are generally dynamic, changing over the course of time, but can be studied to provide insight into what is best suited to live there.

For example, features such as soil composition, tree size, the presence or absence of dead standing trees, the amount of canopy cover, and the underlying topography can indicate the age and stage of succession that a forest is in.

In our fourth Ontario Envirothon Challenge, you are tasked with identifying any wild plant, fungus, or animal that catches your attention. Unlike other challenges, this one does not rely on identifying the species but identifying features of its ecosystem. These components can help paint a grander picture as to why those specific plants, fungi, or animals prefer that habitat.

Questions to ask yourself when collecting observations for this challenge may include:

  • What does the soil feel like? Is it sandy? Loamy?
  • Is the soil compacted, or loose?
  • What does the plant litter look like?
  • Is there a source of water nearby? How large is it?
  • Is this a wetland? If so, what type?
  • What is the topography – is there a hill?
  • Is this a forest? If so, are the trees large, or small? Is there an established shrub and/or ground layer? Is there woody debris on the ground?
  • Is this a location that gets full sun, partial sun, or little to no sun?
  • .... and anything else you view as significant!
If you have issues identifying what you have found, be sure to take multiple pictures of it! That way, others can better assist you in your identification. Here are some resources that may assist in identifying ecosystem features.

This week's challenge has been sponsored by Enbridge and Maple Leaves Forever.

GOALS
Envirothon Teams

As a team, collectively make 10 observations of any wild plant, fungus, or animal. Each observation must have a minimum of 3 notes on features of the habitat or ecosystem that the observation was made in.

Individual Participants
Individually, make 4 observations of any wild plant, fungus, or animal. Each observation must have a minimum of 3 notes on features of the habitat or ecosystem that the observation was made in.

Lähetetty 15. huhtikuuta 2021 18:54 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

31. maaliskuuta 2021

Challenge 3 - Bird is the Word

Now that spring has sprung, birds have made their presence known across Ontario. Whether they are visiting birdfeeders, singling loudly to attract attention, or migrating to their summer homes, signs of birds are everywhere around us.

In our third Ontario Envirothon Challenge, you are tasked with identifying local birds, either by appearance or song. iNaturalist allows you to either take photos or record audio. Sometimes, birdsong is a more reliable identifier than a blurry photo taken from a distance, especially in the spring when birds are calling for mates.

For your observations to count towards the challenge, you must make note of your reasoning for the ID in the “notes” field of your observation. You should try to observe as wide of a variety of birds as possible, but separate observations for the same species are allowed.

Here are some resources that will assist in your bird identification:

Thank you to Fleming College for supporting the Ontario Envirothon program

GOALS

Envirothon Teams

As a team, collectively make 10 bird observations. These observations can be photographs, audio recordings, or both. You must make reasoning for the ID in the notes or comments of your observation.

Individual Participants

Individually, make 4 bird observations. These observations can be photographs, audio recordings, or both. You must make reasoning for the ID in the notes or comments of your observation.

Lähetetty 31. maaliskuuta 2021 15:43 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

18. maaliskuuta 2021

Challenge 2 - I Saw the (Animal) Sign(s)

Animals can be elusive and might not be the easiest to spot, especially in more urban areas. However, they may leave behind evidence of their presence. This can include tracks, scat, shed antlers, fallen feathers, damage caused to trees, or any other sign of an animal’s presence.

In our second Ontario Envirothon Challenge, you are asked to find signs of wildlife that might live around you, or in a landscape that you visit recreationally. This includes photographic evidence of tracks or other signs that point towards an animal’s presence. These observations cannot include pets, such as dogs. Any member of the team can post these sightings. For your observations to count towards the challenge, you must make note of your reasoning for the ID in the “notes” field of your observation.

Here are some resources that might assist in your interpretation of the signs of wildlife around you!

Valid observations for this challenge DO NOT need to go down to a species level. For example, if you find an owl pellet at the base of the tree, the sighting can be classified as just an “Owl (Order Strigiformes)” or, if you are outside of southern Ontario, “Typical Owl (Family Strigidae)”. Animal signs do not always point to a specific species. Observations can include
  • Tracks
  • Scat
  • Damage to plants and trees (e.g. beavers, deer grazing, EAB damage)
  • Remains (e.g. bones, shed antlers)
  • Fallen feathers
  • Tree cavities, stick nests, or other dens
  • Any many more!

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Envirothon Teams

As a team, collectively find signs of 4 animals. The observations may include the animal in question but must include photographic evidence of tracks, scat, remains (such as bones or shed antlers), feathers, an identifiable den or nest, or other feature that could be used to identify the animal if it wasn’t there. State your reasoning in the "notes" field.

Individual Participants

Individually, find signs of 2 animals. The observations may include the animal in question but must include photographic evidence of tracks, scat, remains (such as bones or shed antlers), feathers, an identifiable den or nest, or other features that could be used to identify the animal if it wasn’t there. State your reasoning in the "notes" field.

Lähetetty 18. maaliskuuta 2021 16:37 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

5. maaliskuuta 2021

Challenge 1 - ID a Tree

Trees are all around us, on our streets, in our parks, and, of course, in our forests. They are living features that are intrinsically valuable to our community and local landscape.

Our first Ontario Envirothon challenge of the year is focused on tree identification, where registered teams (or individually registered participants) are tasked with observing and identifying 15 trees, or 5 trees if you are participating as a registered individual. For teams, any member of the team can post these observations. For your observations to count towards the challenge, you must list at least 3 identifying features in the “notes” field of each observation to justify your identification.

Here are some resources that might help you in identifying trees;

When photographing trees, there are a few things you will need to snap shots of for the ID to be confirmed, especially with dormant deciduous trees. Three features that are important to get an accurate identification are;
  • Bark
  • Buds
  • Branches

Three photographs showcasing different parts of the plant in question will allow other naturalists to confirm the identifying features you have listed in the “notes” field.

While you are outside this winter, keep an eye out for other winter weeds and wild vegetation, and consider adding them as sightings to the iNaturalist project! They might not count towards the challenge, but it is good practice.

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Envirothon Teams

GOAL: As a team, identify 15 trees. You must list at least three (3) key identifying features in the “notes” field of each observation to justify your reasoning.
BONUS: Measure three (3) of the trees as you are identifying it; find the DBH and/or height of the tree, using the methods described in this handout from 2020. Post these measurements in the “notes” field!

Registered Individuals

GOAL: As an individual, identify 5 trees. You must list at least three (3) key identifying features in the “notes” field of each observation to justify your reasoning.
BONUS: Measure one (1) of the trees as you are identifying it.

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This challenge is brought by Ontario Envirothon sponsors

Maple Leaves Forever
Algonquin Forestry Authority

Lähetetty 5. maaliskuuta 2021 22:04 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

3. maaliskuuta 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Ontario Envirothon iNaturalist Project!

Welcome to the 2021 Ontario Envirothon iNaturalist Project! This project will be used to track progress on challenges released biweekly and foster a community of Envirothon participants that want to know more about the world around them.

Check out the Forests Ontario website for more information on 2021 format and FAQ about the program. If you'd like to see live updates as resources are released, follow the Ontario Envirothon Facebook page, or subscribe to our newsletter.

To join this project and post sightings, you will need:

... and that's it! Never used iNaturalist before? Here is a great guide on how to get started! There is also a video you can use for reference. Be sure to check out other sightings in the group and help other participants identify what they have found. If you are under the age of 13, please use this site with parental supervision. Please remember that we are all working together to identify the plants, fungi, and animals shared in this project. All submissions to this project are a small part of an international community of citizen scientists. As such, there is an etiquette to posting and identifying species. Some basic tips:
  • Be bold. You do not need to know what you’re looking at, just make your best suggestion, and others will help you identify what you’ve found.
  • Take multiple photos of the same thing. A single photo may miss key identification features.
  • You do not need to know the species. iNaturalist allows for coarser identifications (ie. "Insect" or "bumblebee" instead of "Common Eastern Bumblebee") that can help narrow down what you're looking at.
  • Avoid automatically agreeing with someone else’s ID. The species that iNaturalist suggests may not be correct. Always use your best judgment when figuring out what you’ve seen.

House plants, gardens, and pets will not be a part of the project. The intent of iNaturalist is to look at the natural world. Captive and cultivated plants and animals are not a part of that – these sightings will be listed as “casual” grade sightings and will not be added to the project.

A new challenge will be posted every other week. Each completed challenge will earn your Envirothon team an additional submission into the draw for spots in the presentation competition if your team is eligible. Each challenge posted to this journal will be associated with a Google Form that your team must fill out to earn the extra entry in the draw.

Participating in Envirothon as an individual student? Great! You might not be eligible to compete in the team-based presentation competition, but you will receive a certificate upon completion of all of the challenges. Also, the individual with the most observations in the iNaturalist project and the individual who has correctly identified the most observations in the project will receive prizes for their participation.

When exploring nature, please be mindful of others, practice physical distancing (2 m), and follow public health guidelines.

If you have any questions about this project or iNaturalist in general, please leave a comment on this journal post. If you have any questions about Ontario Envirothon or Forests Ontario, contact us at envirothon@forestsontario.ca.

Lähetetty 3. maaliskuuta 2021 23:03 käyttäjältä braymade braymade | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

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