The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region is holding its annual Bioblitz beginning today and lasting for three days.

This year, anyone can take part and help identify plants, animals, and insects in the biosphere area with the iNaturalist app on a smartphone.

Coordinator Mandy Hobkirk says the Bioblitz examines the biodiversity and species richness of the area and records changes or fluctuations in populations, or invasive species.

She describes it as “a rapid biological survey of flora and fauna which provides us with a snapshot of biodiversity” in the study area.”

Hobkirk says participants can submit observations from anywhere in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Bay, and from the top of Mount Arrowsmith down into the Salish Sea.

“In previous years we would survey one or two locations in the region, this year we’re hosting a biosphere-wide blitz.”

The information will be used to update policies on the management of sensitive ecosystems and habitats.

It’s also a good way for people to get out and enjoy nature and Hobkirk says there’s a prize each day for the person who submits the most observations.

If you’re interested, you can download the iNaturalist app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store, create an account and join the MABR Biosphere Blitz.