Gateway Gazette

Parks Canada Invites Families and Friends to Volunteer for an Alpine Search for Aquatic Insects in Waterton Lakes National Park

aquatic sampling3For everyone looking for an adventurous summer activity that involves the chance to discover amazing new insects, exploring the great outdoors, and helping protect the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (W-GIPP), our Alpine Aquatic Insect Bioblitz is a fantastic choice.

Volunteers will help Parks Canada staff sample high-elevation streams in Waterton Lakes National Park to find as many aquatic invertebrates as possible in select alpine environments. The species search is taking place at five sites across three days and volunteers can choose which day works best for them.

The volunteers will help scientists and researchers determine the distribution of rare, cold-water-dependent insect species (such as Lednia tumana). This opportunity is for the more able-bodied and adventurous volunteers who can bring their own day-packs, food and clothing suitable for a full day out in variable mountain weather and assist with carrying sampling equipment.

Volunteers can register for the species survey by going to www.parkscanada.ca/waterton-volunteer and clicking on the Citizen Scientist link. This is event was organized in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service with similar endeavours taking place in Glacier National Park, Montana, the U.S. part of the W-GIPP.

Developing new and innovative programs and services such as this bioblitz allows more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment.

Date: August 25th – 27th
Time: Full day event.
Where: Waterton Lakes National Park, near Bertha, Carthew, Crypt, and Goat Lakes
Which day: Participants can choose which day to attend or attend all three
More information:
www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/waterton/ne/ne3/ne3b.aspx#bioblitz
How to sign up:
Participants can register by going to the bioblitz webpage
www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/waterton/ne/ne3/ne3b.aspx#bioblitz, by calling Dianne Pachal at 403-859-2224 or emailing Dianne.pachal@pc.gc.ca.

aquatic sampling1Cool Aquatic Facts

  • There are over 100 kilometres of rivers and streams, wetlands, and about 80 lakes and ponds in Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • While Waterton has relatively fewer lakes and ponds than other mountain national parks, it has more different types of waters and a wider variety of species living in them. Although abundance is low, the variety of aquatic life is high, with many kinds of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, insect larvae, snails, worms, planktons, five amphibians and 22 fish.
  • The park’s mountain waters are cold (below 15°C), high in oxygen and low in nutrients with little plant life.

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