“Community Wildlifing”

A few days ago I “launched” a new project in oour town that I have called Nature Baie-D’Urfé.

I like nature and spend almost all my free time doing things that involve interacting with nature, be it gardening or wildlifing. But more than that, basically I am a nerd. I am one of those irritating (but I hope useful) people who keep lists of things and in particular I keep lists of birds and flowers and insects I have seen.

It occurred to me one winter day that while all my neighbours think of Baie-D’Urfé as being a green town, that green-ness entirely depends on maintaining the natural biodiversity we have – and there’s another buzz word we use a lot. Let’s face it, if we don’t know what we have then if we lose any of it to development or climate change or accident though, how will we know … unless we keep lists. It’s no good saying to a developer “you can’t build there, it’s an important green space” because the guy looking to make a profit from his buildings will respond with “Prove it”.

Hence accurate, verifiable lists. I didn’t spend a career doing biological things for nothing – this is something I can do. Plus, it’s interesting and it’s fun.

Almost any shared photograph of birds or flowers gets a good audience if posted in social media – so the idea of “Nature Baie-D’Urfé” is to make use of all that public interest by making it easy to record what you have seen around town and in hidden corners of your own gardens. Gradually the lists I have compiled as a starter will be added to and we will, over time, know more and more about the riches we enjoy. Within a couple of hours of the Facebook group going live we had added American Mink to the mammalian checklist – needs to be confirmed but the information given is very convincing – and a beautiful large and unexpected (this far north) moth.

All people are asked to do is to take a picture or write a description and share it – if people have problems with ID then I and some friends will help.

There is a facebook group at:


… and a Website at: