This graphic shows the present state of biodiversity and what we currently know, versus what we do not know. The project aims to build the data and improve the number of known species and the data available on them. Image credit: LIFEPLAN, University of Helsinki, https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/projects/lifeplan/about 

This graphic shows the present state of biodiversity and what we currently know, versus what we do not know. The project aims to build the data and improve the number of known species and the data available on them. Image credit: LIFEPLAN, University of Helsinki, https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/projects/lifeplan/about 

New Research Project for the WRRB

This year, the WRRB has joined a research project based out of the University of Helsinki called LIFEPLAN. The purpose of this research is to “generate a well-standardized global data for a substantial proportion of all species”, something the researchers have identified as a need throughout the world. It is believed that 80% of the world’s biodiversity remains undiscovered and undocumented, and with the current decline of species, time is running out to document as much as possible before it is potentially lost. The research is designed so that organizations like the WRRB and GNWT (whom we have partnered with for our portion of the research), from around the world who have applied to be a part of the project and have been selected, will set up two alternating testing sites, , one ‘urban’ and one ‘natural’. The testing sites, which are roughly 100 metre x 100 metre plots, for Yellowknife are located near Sir John Franklin High School, and the entrance to Prelude on the Ingraham Trail. Over the course of six years (2020-2025), the WRRB Biologists, Aimee Guile and Randi Jennings (and Laura Meinert, when she returns), as well as our partners at the GNWT, will rotate the sites from urban to rural once a year, will install a Malaise trap, cyclone sampler, five cameras, and five audio samplers which go in the trees. Soil samples will be taken eight times a year, and weekly maintenance will be done to ensure batteries are changed, memory cards swapped, and other upkeep is done to ensure the research is consistent, and uninterrupted. These samples will then be shipped to the team at the University of Helsinki, who will conduct all further research on the samples and draft a report of the data collected. The WRRB will have an opportunity to review and offer comments on the final report of the data collected and will be co-authors on the subsequent publications. The WRRB is looking forward to seeing the data that is collected from these sites, and how it will impact local and global ecological understanding. If you would like more information on this incredible project, check out the LIFEPLAN website.