Biodiversity Days 2023

Thank you for visiting our event page for the 2023 event! Please note that this page is no longer active. Click here to check out our 2024 event page!

What is Biodiversity Days?

Biodiversity Days is a month-long event in May, to honour the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22) with a series of engagement opportunities that aim to celebrate and raise awareness of the fragile species, genes and ecosystems that sustain our communities.

To learn more about Biodiversity 2023, please view our 2023 Biodiversity Days Report. 

Events to Celebrate Biodiversity

This year’s third annual Biodiversity Days includes a diversity of events. Explore our many offerings to celebrate biodiversity in 2023:

While everyone’s contending with rising food prices amid inflation right now, there are much vaster challenges on the horizon. With 10 billion people estimated to populate this planet by 2050, the pressure’s on to tackle global food insecurity, malnutrition, and the increasing impact of agriculture on climate change. How can we develop sustainable solutions for world hunger and manage food supplies? While reducing our environmental footprint at the same time? And what urgent actions do we need to take to address these pressing issues? Attend this live webinar to hear a UBC researcher share ideas, perspectives, and expertise on how we can help shape our future of food.

This webinar is part of The University of British Columbia Magazine‘s SPOTLIGHT on The Future of Food.

Moderator: Dr. Tara Moreau, PhD’10 (she/her) — Associate Director, Sustainability and Community Programs, UBC Botanical Garden

Speaker: Dr. Navin Ramankutty (he/him/his) — Professor, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs; Director of the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES)

When: Wednesday, May 3rd 2023, 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Where: Online

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Are you curious about UBC’s urban forest? What trees do we share the campus with, and what are their socio-cultural and ecological roles? Join us for this unique walk and talk to get to know campus trees and learn about student-led applied research initiatives that can help baseline and monitor UBC’s urban forest.

Facilitator: Finn Köpf, Senior Bachelor of Urban Forestry Student, UBC Faculty of Forestry

When: Wednesday, May 3rd 2023, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Where: UBC Campus - Meet inside the atrium of the Forest Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4. The walk will start from there.

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Join the SEEDS Sustainability Program and UBC Botanical Garden for an inspiring and informative event showcasing student-led biodiversity research collaborations and innovative recommendations for a nature-positive campus. Learn about campus ecosystems, local and global biodiversity policy, and student-led research on key topics from climate-resilient campus soils, to supporting endangered bat populations on campus, planning for ecological connectivity and more. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.
Stay tuned for more details about presenters.

When: Friday, May 5th 2023, 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: UBC, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), BC Hydro Theatre

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Plants like trees, shrubs, flowers, and ferns are known as vascular plants, which means they have inner structures that transport water, sugar, and nutrients around their bodies. Learn about new and familiar plants while we explore different groups and their features.

We are home to the largest herbarium in Canada, holding more than 650,000 specimens, some dating back as far as 1804. A herbarium is a museum of dried plant specimens. Herbaria provide a permanent record of our changing flora over time, documenting all plant species discovered so far, their variation, and their past and present distributions. These specimens also hold a treasure trove of anatomical, chemical, ethnobotanical, and molecular information, and document the history of plant exploration.

When: Saturday, May 6th 2023, 10:30am to 1:00pm
Where: Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Cost: Included with general museum admission

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Come learn about our nocturnal neighbours – bats! This walk will provide an introduction to bat biology and behaviour, the different bat species that live in and around Vancouver, and their importance to ecosystems and people. We will visit a nearby bat roost to observe bats emerge for the night, and will use ultrasonic microphones to listen for bat calls. We will not be handling any bats, just visually observing them and listening to their ultrasonic calls. Please note this event is not located on the UBC Farm – see location below!

When: Wednesday, May 10 from 8:30pm to 10:00pm

Where: W. Robert Wyman Plaza on UBC Campus (Main Mall and Memorial Road next to the Frederic Laserre and Old Administration Buildings)

Speakers: Dr. Matt Mitchell, Aaron Aguirre

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Celebrate Biodiversity Days and International Bird Migratory Day by joining us for an introductory bird walk at UBC Botanical Garden. We will identify familiar birds, look for spring migrating species and listen for the birds’ melodious songs. This event is suited for beginner birders and will help you to identify common birds of the Lower Mainland, based on their behaviour, size, shape and sounds. The Merlin App on cell phones will be demonstrated to identify the bird songs and calls. The walk will include:

  • Tips for how to identify bird groups
  • Different habitats preferred by specific bird species
  • Considerations for making bird-friendly habitat in gardens and around your home

When: Saturday, May 13th 2023, 9:00 to 11:00am
Where: UBC Botanical Garden
Cost: $12 Adults, $10 Concession

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Join us for a full day of programming including guided museum tours at 11:30am and 3:00pm, and science activities at 10:30am and 3:30pm, in addition to screenings of “Raising Big Blue” the story of how our blue whale skeleton came to UBC. Admission is by donation for the whole day.

When: Saturday, May 13th 2023, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Cost: Admission by donation

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Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Planner, Karin England, will be joined by Tasha Murray from the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, and Alex Wong from UBC Botanical Garden, for a discussion on how you can take action to support biodiversity and monitor invasive species in your garden. To access the live stream, go to Metro Vancouver's Facebook page at 12:15pm, or follow us on Facebook to receive notifications for this and future live events. Free for anyone to attend.

When: Thursday, May 18th 2023, starting at 12:15pm
Where: Metro Vancouver's Facebook Page
Cost: Free

Watch Here

On the third Thursday of every month, the museum will stay open until 8:30 pm. There will be a guided Collections Highlight tour at 7:00pm. Admission by donation starting at 5:00 pm. All ages welcome!

When: Thursday, May 18th 2023, 5:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Cost: Admission by donation

Learn More

Connect with plants, pollinators and trees through a self-guided walk in the beautiful UBC Botanical Garden.

This children-oriented biodiversity adventure is ~ 90 minutes and includes a self-guided journey through UBC Botanical Garden to find the pop-up education stations in the Garden. Activities included traversing the Greenheart TreeWalk, exploring the Forest gardens, discovering food plants or taking time to watch for birds and pollinators through our educations stations scattered throughout the Garden.

The add-on Kids Nature Kits are an exciting, family-favourite element of our Family Nature Walk. When families arrive at the Garden, Kids Nature Kits are distributed and include a cotton tote bag, a hand-lens to see nature up close, a children's book that celebrates the diversity of species across the Pacific Northwest and a map to guide them on their garden adventure.

When: Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, 2023

Where: UBC Botanical Garden entrance, 6408 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver BC

Cost: $50 per family (Ticket costs include admission to the Garden and TreeWalk)

Add-ons: $40 Kids Nature Kit (one recommended for each child/youth, designed for children and youth to learn about plants, pollinators and biodiversity. More info below)

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Interested in learning more about the goths of the insect world that come out to pollinate after dark? Join us at the UBC Farm for an event spotlighting the diverse assemblage of nocturnal bugs that live in and around Vancouver! We will take a look at some of the insects we catch in our nighttime surveys and see what kinds of critters pay us a visit on a light sheet. We’ll provide an intro on nocturnal insect biology, identification, and the many exciting ways they have adapted to live in the dark. Come learn about how these creatures of the night benefit us and the ecosystems they live in.

When: Thursday, May 25th, 9:30pm to 11:00pm

Where: UBC Farm - 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver, BC

Speakers: Hannah Anderson, Daphne Chevalier, & Matt Tsuruda

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Learn about all of the amazing native pollinators that help pollinate the plants and crops at the UBC Farm. This walk will provide an overview of native pollinator diversity as well as the opportunity to try your hand at capturing and identifying native bumble bee species.

When: Saturday, May 27th, 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Where: UBC Farm - 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver, BC

Speakers: Dr. Matt Mitchell, Tyler Kelly, Terrell Roulston, Melissa Platsko, Sarah Knoerr, and Jennifer Lipka

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Why Biodiversity Days?

UBC Vancouver is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam People. The land has always been a place of learning for Indigenous People, who for millennia have passed on their culture, history and traditions from one generation to the next on this site. 

Biodiversity is integral to past, present and future communities, yet we are losing ecosystems, species and genes faster than we can account for them.  The extinction crisis requires inclusive solutions to prevent ecological collapse.

Biodiversity Days is an annual event that aims to: 

  • Raise awareness of biodiversity and its importance to human and ecological health: 
  • Mobilize local and global action to stop the loss of biodiversity; and,
  • Build a generation of stewards, scientists and citizens that actively protect and restore biodiversity.

Biodiversity Days Organizers: Biodiversity Days is a month-long celebration every May that honours the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22). Local celebrations highlight the many species, genes and ecosystems that sustain our communities. Hosted by UBC Botanical Garden in collaboration with SEEDS Sustainability Program and Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity Initiative (CCUB), this year’s events feature family nature walks, a student Research to Action Showcase, tree and bird tours, citizen science action, virtual events, practical workshops and more.

Biodiversity Days is made possible with funding provided through the UBC Botanical Garden Community Outreach Fund and with funds from the SEEDS Sustainability Program.


Questions? Contact us at: