Nature Watch
 PlantWatch    |  WormWatch   |  IceWatch  |  FrogWatch  

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Nature Watch Programs


What is PlantWatch?

Do you enjoy the outdoors and gardening? Are you interested in learning about your environment and the threats that we pose to it? We invite you to be part of hundreds of people who are looking at the changes in our environment caused by human activities. It this program, we look at he flowering time of spring plants to determine if the climate and other environmental conditions are changing. It is simple, we note the dates of blooming of targeted species across the province. This data is used to map the "green wave" of spring across the province. As part of a network of watchers, you are kept informed of the results and trends in your province.

PlantWatch is a phenology survey program to monitor changes in the environment. Phenology comes from the Greek "phaino" meaning to appear or show and "logos" meaning to study. So, phenology means the study of seasonal appearances and timing of life cycle events. One of the most obvious events in the spring is the bloom of flowers. Spring plants are sensitive to weather variation and can serve as indicators. They forecast the best time for planting, avoiding pollen or treating pests. In our case, spring flowers help us track climate changes.

What to do?

Each province has a selection of species that you can choose from. It is not neccessary to do all of them. You can decide depending on the time you have and where you live. These plant species are widespread in the Atlantic provinces. The best is to pick a location where you visit regularly, preferably on a relatively flat open area (avoid buildings and shady areas as they will influence temperatures and the flowering of teh plants). When you visit your area, look at your plants. Are they in bloom?

Here are the species and the survey sheets for your province.

New Brunswick Species Survey sheet
Nova Scotia Species Survey sheet
Prince Edward Island Species Survey sheet
Newfoundland and Labrador Species Survey sheet

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