Metchosin Biodiversity

Welcome to the web site of the Metchosin BioBlitz and MycoBlitz. The team at the Metchosin Biodiversity Project sponsors the blitzes and publishes the results on these pages in order to:

  • Increase our understanding of Metchosin’s species and ecosystems.
  • Share natural history information with interested people in Metchosin and adjacent jurisdictions.
  • Use this information and awareness to protect and restore Metchosin’s species and ecosystems.

We started our work in 2011. A large number of Metchosin species have been located during the years of the Metchosin BioBlitzes and MycoBlitzes. Until 2018, we kept our species data in our own database. Here, from that database, is the summary of our counts in May of 2018, broken down by organism groups. You can view the entire set of observations–more than 10,000–by species group and by scientific name. You can also download an Excel spreadsheet of all of our data (but with specific observation locations removed). 

In 2018, we migrated our database to iNaturalist. Our most up-to-date inventories (including all of the data from the older database) are now available in the Metchosin Biodiversity project of iNaturalist.

Species counts continued to mount during our various 2019 blitz events and our virtual events in 2020-2021. By Novermber of 2021 we had catalogued over 3275 species, from more than 17000 observations made 350+ people. See the posts below for the latest totals.

The COVID pandemic has affected our inventory work, but we continue to count. We encourage everyone interested in helping us to log their photographed Metchosin observations in iNaturalist. All of these observations will be automatically logged by our 2021 collection project. Curators will review these and move most of them into our iNaturalist database (Metchosin Biodiversity Project).

The Metchosin Talk and Walk series is also on COVID hold. You can read about our previous events on the Talk and Walk pages.

(The Metchosin bioblitz data, by the way, also includes some offshore waters and islands and the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve that are not technically in the boundaries of the District of Metchosin.)

Contorted-pod Evening Primrose survey, Witty’s Beach, 2020

From l. to r., Kem luther, James and Kristen Miskelly, UVic student Maria Varem, Andy MacKinnon, and Jacqueline Claire and Mike Fischer..

On May 7, 2020, a small group of naturalists gathered at Witty’s Beach to do the second count of Contorted-pod Evening Primrose (Camissonia contorta), a rare and small plant that inhabits coastal sand dunes. The counts have been preparation for some restrictive fencing that will protect the dune area from human encroachment. 

The group, maintaining physical distancing, stalked, staked, and counted exactly 70 plants. After the count the group adjourned to the front yard of  Andy’s house on the bluff over Witty’s Beach. There, joined by Mairi MacKinnon, they celebrated the annual return of the plant with a bottle of Andy’s plum wine.