BC Nature eNews February 2018

Upcoming Events
  • AGM 2018 – Your host, Nature Vancouver, cordially invite you to sign up for another great conference. Registration now open. For registration and schedules, please visit this link.
  • February 28, 2017 – Resolutions for AGM due.March 15, 2018 – Rene Savenye Scholarship due.
  • Hope Mountain Centre – Skagit Valley Bird Blitz – May 4 – 6, 2018 email for further information
    Hope Mountain – Manning Park Bird Blitz – June 15 – 17, 2018 – email
Two Executive Positions open – Volunteers needed
Treasurer needed – Our executive needs a treasurer. If you are a retired (or working)Chartered Professional Accountant – we need you! This is a volunteer position and require a few hours a month, 6 meetings a year via conference call. For the full outline of duties, please email the office.

We are also looking for a second regional coordinator in the lower mainland (Executive)and a harassment officer (Committee head), and a BC Nature representative to Outdoor Recreational Council.
For the full outline of duties, please email the office.

Issue 62
Date February 2018
Spring 2018 Magazine Coming Soon
BCnature Spring Magazine available next week.
Please email if you wish to change from Canada Post Mail to the electronic version.
Columbia River Treaty renegotiations.
We are asking members of BC Nature to give their suggestions on the Columbia River Treaty renegotiations. The deadline is February 28th for these comments. Please submit them to email .
What do you think our priorities should be moving into these negotiations? The building of the dams on the Columbia River and the subsequent flooding to create the reservoirs had large impacts on our landscape, ecosystems, and flora and fauna.
If you want to read about dam impacts, here is a study that summarizes some of the impacts. The Executive Summary will give the gist of the study in only two pages.
We want to hear from you! Any comments are welcomed, even short ones.
Species at Risk (SARA) Consultations
The Government of Canada has launched consultations regarding the potential to amend Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These consultations seek the public’s input into the federal Minister of the Environment’s response to assessments of species at risk submitted by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

In British Columbia there are 7 terrestrial species for which COSEWIC’s assessments could lead to amendments to SARA Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk):
•Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) – a bird found broadly across Canada – Potential new addition to Schedule 1, listed as Special Concern
•Monarch (Danaus plexippus) – a butterfly found primarily in central and eastern Canada, with occasional occurrences in southern British Columbia -Potential change in status from Special Concern to Endangered
•Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) – a bird found off British Columbia’s coast – Potential change in status from Threatened to Endangered
•Rusty Cord-moss (Entosthodon rubiginosus) – a moss found in British Columbia’s central and southern interior – Potential change in status from Endangered to Special Concern
•Sonora Skipper (Polites sonora) – a butterfly found in south-central British Columbia – Potential removal from Schedule 1 (currently listed as Special Concern)
•Transverse Lady Beetle (Coccinella transversoguttata) – an insect found broadly across Canada – Potential new addition to Schedule 1, Special Concern
•Western Painted Turtle, Pacific Coast pop. (Chrysemys picta bellii) – a turtle found on Vancouver Island, some Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Metro Vancouver, and the lower Fraser Valley – Potential change in status from Endangered to Threatened

An additional 5 terrestrial species at risk found in British Columbia had their current status under SARA confirmed by COSEWIC. These are not included in this consultation process, as no regulatory amendment is required. Please note that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also conducting related consultations for aquatic species. The full list of Ministerial Response Statements outlining how the Minister of Environment intends to respond to COSEWIC’s assessments is available at Link

You are invited to submit comments on the potential impacts of amending SARA Schedule 1 according to COSEWIC’s assessments. Comments can be submitted via email to email. The comment period ends on May 22, 2018 for most species found in BC, and on October 22, 2018 for Monarch.

Further information regarding the listing and consultation processes for terrestrial species can be found in “Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act -Terrestrial Species: January 2018″ posted here ). This document also includes a questionnaire that provides guidance on the types of information and comments Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this information. You are welcome to contact our regional office in British Columbia with any questions at link

On the Conservation front
Vancouver Sun Article – Two B.C. steelhead runs at imminent risk of extinction Article

Nature Canada – Demand action for stronger environmental laws – to sign the petition

Nominate a BC river for the 2018 endangered rivers list online form Deadline is March 12, 2018.

Interesting Nature-related Sites and Links
Article – Day to Night Robson Bight – Canadian Geographic Link
CTV News – Sperm Whale sighting near Alert Bay link
Public Consultation on Migratory Game Bird Hunting
The Canadian Wildlife Service is currently holding public consultations on proposed changes to the migratory game bird hunting regulations in Canada for the next two hunting seasons (2018-2019 and 2019-2020). You will find attached a consultation document that outlines the proposed changes (“Proposals to amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations – December 2017”). The consultation period begins on January 29, 2018 and ends on February 28, 2018. During this period, comments can be submitted at the following address: via email

There are two reports that have been posted at the following address: link Reports from previous years can also be found at this address.

For information on the consultation process to establish the migratory birds hunting regulations, please visit: link

Environment and Climate Change Canada Canadian Wildlife Service

Posted in BC Nature, News | Comments Off on BC Nature eNews February 2018

Emily Lohn, CVN Bursary Recipient, 2017

Emily Lohn receiving CVN Bursary Award from Jim Boulter, CVN President, at Mark Isfeld Secondary School Awards Ceremony June 5 2017

The CVN Bursary Committee chose Emily Lohn as this year’s bursary winner for her volunteer commitments in environmental and natural history-related activities and high academic standing at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School. She is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology in the dual admission program at North Island College (Courtenay) and will transfer to the University of Victoria in the last two of the four-year program to complete her degree.

Bursary recipients are invited to give a brief presentation to CVN members on their studies and future educational plans. This gives them an opportunity to say thank you to the CVN community and its donors an occasion to meet the students they are so proud to support.

Posted in Bursary | Comments Off on Emily Lohn, CVN Bursary Recipient, 2017

Botany Outing Report: Palaeobotany, Jan 8th, 2018

Happy New Year!

Presentation on January 8th 

On January  8th  we were treated to a fascinating presentation  by Randal Mindell on the palaeobotany of our back yard, the Comox Valley; we learnt about the importance of the fossil plant record and what it tells us about climate change. In the valley there are a number of excellent locations for fossil plant material, including the Cumberland Mines, the river banks of the Puntledge, Trent and others, the seashores in the Oyster River area, and of course Hornby Island.  We were shown the methodology for obtaining information from cross-sections of sandstone or mudstone concretions through acetate peels (see illustration attached). The acetate film will strip off fragments of wood, seeds, roots and leave of gymnosperms and angiosperms that can then be examined under the lenses of a high-powered microsope.

In fine paedagogic form, Randal summarized at the end what he had covered in the presentation – for your information here is that summary.

  • Late Cretaceous (85-70 million years ago):

Lowland swamp and estuary thousands of kilometers to the south, 10? warmer
Ginkgo, Cycadeoids and other exotic gymnosperms
Ancient flowering plants groups- some still present in the area (Cornus), others long gone (Liriodendron,Platanaceae)

  •  Eocene (~45 million years ago):

Beeches, Walnuts, Laurels and many elements now restricted to tropical and subtropical climates.

  • Post-Glacial community migrates onto barren landscape from the south starting around 14000 years ago, with pine forests giving way to Tsuga (Hemlock), Thuja (Cedar) and Alnus (Alder). Coast Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone established.   “Old Growth” forest patches in the area represent remnants of natural landscapes that have developed over 13,700 years.


Monday February 20th  –  Mosses in Seal Bay Park with Randal in the lead.

This will be a week later than usual because of “BC Family Day”. Time and specific location will be announced closer to the time.

all the best,  Alison

Posted in Botany, Outings | Comments Off on Botany Outing Report: Palaeobotany, Jan 8th, 2018

Botany Outing Report: Labrador climate warming, Dec 4th, 2017

Greetings Botanists.

Report on the December 4th meeting.

We were treated to a fascinating presentation by Luise Hermanutz ( (Professor in the Biology Department, Memorial University, Newfoundland) on the research project monitoring the impact of climate warming in the tundra of  the Torngat Mountains in Labrador on the lives of humans, fauna and flora.  We were introduced to the ecology of the area, the joys of bugs and bears, and to a range of beautiful wildflowers, including the native dandelion, moss campion and of course Labrador tea. Luise has provided a link to the publication on flora that included the Inuit names of plants and information on traditional uses:

Our plants… Our land / Plants of Nain and Torngat Mountains Basecamp & Research Station (Nunatsiavut)

Announcement Reminder

Monday December 18th, 12.30 pm  – our Christmas Potluck lunch. Helen Robinson has kindly offered to host this gathering again this year. Please phone Helen to confirm that you will be coming, so that she knows how many to expect.  After lunch we usually share with the group whatever has been a highlight in the year for each of us botany-wise.

Upcoming Events

On the 2nd Monday in January, that is January 8th ,  Randal Mindell will give us a presentation on the palaeobotany of our own back yard –  “Ancient Plants of the Comox Valley: 85 Million Years of Plant Evolution and Vegetation Changes” . That will be a lot to compress into an hour! Randal has a background in Geology and Botany, with a doctorate from the U. of A., and has much experience both as a teacher and researcher, including at the UBC Botanical Gardens.

Posted in Botany, Outings | Comments Off on Botany Outing Report: Labrador climate warming, Dec 4th, 2017