Hey, Earth Rangers! It’s time to get up and get out…outside that is! There is an amazing adventure waiting right outside your door. Your next Mission is to discover the natural world around you!
When you think of cool creatures, does your mind take you to places like the Amazon Rainforests or the savannahs of Africa? Before you ask your parents to book a flight to a far off place, you might want to take a look around your own neighbourhood! You’ll see that there are some pretty cool species right here in Canada!
DID YOU KNOW?
There are over 140,000 species living in Canada! Check out some of the amazing species that call Canada home:
– The greater short-horned lizard can shoot blood from its eyes when threatened
– An Atlantic puffin can carry up to 61 fish in its beak
– Monarch butterflies migrate almost 5,000 km from Canada to Mexico
– Grizzly bears can run up to 48 km/h (30 mph)
– Canada’s largest tree is a red cedar, measuring 6 metres (20 feet) wide at the base and 56 metres (182 feet) tall
– Beluga whales are born brown or dark grey and turn white then they are 6 to 8 years old
– Moose are excellent swimmers, capable of diving more than 5 metres underwater
While many of Canada’s species are really cool, they are also at risk. Thankfully there are special places set aside to make sure they are protected.
Protecting Canada’s Biodiversity,
Starting with Mount Royal Park in 1876, almost 8,000 protected areas have been established in Canada. These protected areas are dedicated to conserving nature. They cover a wide range of habitats, like mountains and plains, boreal forests and tundra, lakes and glaciers. They range from small islands like Georgian Bay Islands National Park in Ontario to HUGE areas like Wood Buffalo National Park on the boarder of Alberta and Northwest Territories, and Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Nunavut.
Although some protected areas are off limits because the ecosystem is too fragile, most are open to the public and are perfect places to explore with your family during your Outdoor Explorer Mission!
Become a Real Outdoor Explorer
The Outdoor Explorer Mission will take you and your family on an adventure that you’ll never forget. Using Environment Canada’s BioKit, you’ll be able to record your experience as you get up close to nature. You also get to:
– Search for animals and plants
– Listen for different nature sounds
– Inspect the ground for animal tracks
– Identify different clouds
– Investigate invasive species
– Rate the area you visited
With the BioKit as your guide, every trip outside will become an adventure waiting to happen!
Here’s what you need to do to complete your Outdoor Explorer Mission:
– Choose an outdoor space to explore with your family: use the Earth Rangers Parks Locator to find one of Canada’s protected areas, a local park or green space near you.
– Download the Nature BioKit or Urban BioKit and use it to start your outdoor adventure.
– Share your adventures with friends and family by emailing or printing the downloadable Outdoor Explorer postcard and spread the word about the importance of conservation efforts in Canada.
– Tell Earth Rangers about your adventures by submitting stories and photos at the end of your Mission.