The 2019 New Brunswick Museum Centre for Biodiversity Research BiotaNB project will soon be underway! From June 26 to July 9, more than 50 experts, volunteers and students from across Canada will descend for the first of a two year study of the biodiversity of the Kennedy Lakes Protected Natural Area (PNA), about 58 km east of Plaster Rock along the Plaster Rock-Renous Highway (Hwy 108). Led by the NBM, this is the eleventh annual BiotaNB project to discover and document the biodiversity of the Protected Natural Areas of New Brunswick. This year is also the halfway mark of this two decade long project.
Kennedy Lakes is a Class II Protected Natural Area (PNA) covering about 21,000 hectares of land close to the center of New Brunswick. The central and western areas of the PNA are rugged and mountainous, with elevations to 580 meters. Access to the interior of the PNA is most practical by canoe. A central lakes area is bordered by a field of large boulders deposited by glaciers, providing an unusual habitat that will be of interest to particular investigators. Due to the remoteness of the site, this is one of the logistically most challenging PNA that the BiotaNB program has investigated to date. Base camp labs are serviced by mobile units and a generator brought in just for this project. Most participants will be tenting for the 14 day project.
In addition to biodiversity experts, several Artists-in-Residence will be participating, including Aleta Karstad, an experienced scientific illustrator and natural history artist, and 2018 recipient of the Canadian Wildlife Federation Robert Bateman Award, Mathieu Léger, a multidisciplinary contemporary artist based in Moncton, and Michael McEwing, an artist and art educator from Carleton County, who creates in a variety of media, including oil and acrylic painting, printmaking and mixed media. A solo project by Michael McEwing, Conservation on Canvas, consisting of a large series of oil paintings depicting Nature Trust of New Brunswick preserves toured the province in 2017-18 including the New Brunswick Museum.
On Sunday, July 7 from 2-5:30pm, a Public Open House will be held in the BiotaNB Field Lab, located at the Halfway Inn Outfitters (GPS 46.821682 – 66.642312), approximately 58 KM east of Plaster Rock on Highway 108 and 1.8 km west of the Kennedy Lakes PNA boundary. Come and meet some of the experts and students participating in BiotaNB, and learn about their discoveries. BiotaNB artists-in-residence will be on hand as well during this event to share artistic interpretations.
The NBM wishes to acknowledge and thank the supporters who have made the 2019 BiotaNB possible through their contributions, including New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development, New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund and, and Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation.
For more information:
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva, Communications & Marketing, New Brunswick Museum
(506) 654-7059 or (506) 643-2358