New Brunswick

Grand Lake bioblitz film catches attention of UN secretariat

A film by a Fredericton-based production company that follows biodiversity researchers as they explore the Grand Lake area has its premiere on CBC Television on Saturday.

Every Living Thing - experiencing a bioblitz premieres on CBC Television Saturday

(Nature Trust of New Brunswick)

The producer of a film that follows researchers as they document species in the Grand Lake protected natural area is hoping the documentary will help heighten the profile of biodiversity research around the world.

Producer Lloyd Salomone and director Kent Martin, with Fredericton-based Flower Power Production Inc., got the idea for the film in 2011, when the two were working on another film about the Acadian forest.

Salomone says they crossed paths with some researchers from the New Brunswick Museum — in particular Don McAlpine, the museum's research chair of zoology.

"Don and his colleague Stephen Clayden spoke about their 20-year biodiversity project to go to 10 very large protected natural areas around the province of New Brunswick," he said. "To go there one summer and then the next summer, at different times, because different species come out at different times in the year."

'They have a very strong relationship with the natural world."- Filmmaker Lloyd Salomone, on N.B. bioblitz researchers

Salomone and Martin decided to follow the researchers in 2013 and 2014 on bioblitzes, as dozens of experts from North America and around the world gathered to document species of fish, insects, plants, fungi, reptiles, mammals and amphibians at a site in the middle of the province.

"It was just a matter of following them around and seeing the work they do, and love doing," Salomone said. "It became clear they have a very strong relationship with the natural world and they understand it in relation to climate change."

Howie Huynh, a graduate student from Texas Tech University who took part in a bioblitz, holds a shrew that lives in Grand Lake Meadows. (CBC)
Salomone says the hope was to raise the profile of bioblitzes and biodiversity research — and it already seems to be succeeding. He will meet next week with officials from the Un Secretariate on the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal.

"They are very interested in the film and they want to use the film to heighten the profile of bioblitzes and biodiversity around the world," he said.

The 2011-2020 time period is the UN Decade of Biodiversity.

The filmmaker says he's also applying to film festivals and working with Nature NB to possibly develop a teaching guide, so anyone around the world will be able to screen the film, and host a discussion.

Every Living Thing – experiencing a bioblitz has its premiere on CBC Television Saturday at 8 p.m. AT.