Senior Manager of National Marketing & Events, Canadian Wildlife Federation
Working together, we can stop biodiversity loss — including with fun initiatives like using the iNaturalist Canada platform during the City Nature Challenge.
For those interested in ensuring a bright future for wildlife, there’s a word you should know that speaks to the heart of the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s conservation efforts: biodiversity.
Like “climate change” and “global warming,” the word biodiversity comes packed with various implications related to wildlife conservation in Canada. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth, including the variety available within species (genetic diversity), the variety between species, and the variety of ecosystems.
In 2022, Canada joined the nations of the world to adopt global goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The reasons why are clear — biodiversity is important for sustaining life as we know it, and the present rate of loss of biological diversity is perhaps the greatest global environmental threat facing humanity.
Biodiversity is a key part of our future —think about the involuntary systems within your body keeping you alive — your heart, your brain, your lung, and so on. Similar systems can be found in nature. There are plants using carbon dioxide to produce the oxygen we breathe. There’s an ongoing process of natural water filtration. There’s pollination of plants to produce food and ocean life that helps regulate climate. Biodiversity is critical to the survival of the human species, and right now, we humans aren’t doing the greatest job of protecting it.
The good news is, there are a lot of ways Canadians can help. Most importantly, you can help stop biodiversity loss by acting locally, supporting organizations that conserve wildlife and reduce threats, and supporting governments and businesses that are taking action and improving their practices. Together, we need to increase the area and connectivity of natural ecosystems, restore degraded habitats, and ensure that industries like forestry, agriculture, and urban development are environmentally sustainable.
You can also make a truly impactful contribution to tracking Canadian biodiversity through the use of the iNaturalist Canada platform during the City Nature Challenge from April 28 through to May 7. iNaturalist Canada allows you to upload pictures or record sounds of all the nature you can find. The platform includes recognition software that helps you discover what species you may have found. All that information becomes part of an active database of biodiversity that scientists across Canada and around the world are now using to track species. Over nine million observations of nature have already been tracked in Canada via iNaturalist. With your help, we can reach 10 million in 2023!
For more information on iNaturalist, visit inaturalist.ca.