Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Update on E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC

The distribution maps are now restored on both E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC.  Now we are working on updating our mapping software to the newest version. That should be completed over the next few weeks.  Most components of the sites have now been restored.  Editing continues for nomenclature, that is on-going.  Please let us know if you find that something doesn't work or needs attention.

Friday, April 10, 2020

2020 Checklist of the Spiders (Araneae) of British Columbia now available

Male Rhomphaea fictilium (Hentz), a species of cobweb spider.
Photo by Sean McCann

The 2020 Checklist of the Spiders of British Columbia is now available on the E-Fauna BC checklists page thanks to the efforts of BC spider specialist Robb Bennett and co- authors David Blades, Gergin Blagoev, Don Buckle, Claudia Copley, Darren Copley, Charles Dondale and Rick C. West. This updated checklist features an annotated list of the 893 spider species of BC, a detailed summary of the work involved so far in documenting the spider fauna, and a detailed reference list.  Based on this work, the number of documented spider species have increased:   "The number of species recorded in BC has climbed from 212 in 1967 through 653 in 2006 to 893 in 2020."  More species are expected to be found.

View the checklist here.

Species accounts provided in the checklist provide global distribution information and listings of collection locations/locales in BC for each species.  An example species account for the Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus) is provided below.

Latrodectus hesperus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1935 

Global Distribution: Southern BC to SK south to northern Mexico.

BC Records: Powell R, Savary Is, Nanaimo, Crofton, Duncan, Cobble Hill, Malahat, Sooke area (Monument Ridge, Mt Manuel Quimper), Victoria area (Mary Hill, Mt Braden, Metchosin, Mt MacDonald, Langford, Goldstream Prov Pk, View Royal, James Bay, Uplands Regional Pk, Mt Tolmie, Royal Oak, Sparton Rd, Mt Newton, Island View Beach, Swartz Bay), Saltspring Is (Mt Maxwell), North Pender Is, Galiano Is, Mayne Is, Saturna Is (Warburton Pike), Vancouver area (Centennial Beach), Chilliwack, Lillooet, Nicola Lk, Douglas Lk, Williams Lk, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Oliver, Vernon, Kelowna, Summerland, Penticton, Vaseux Lk, Oliver, Osoyoos, Haynes Lease Eco Res, Mt Kobau, Nighthawk, Christina Lk, Granite Mtn, Trail, Cranbrook

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Wall Lizards in BC

 The  introduced Wall Lizard (Podacris muralis) in BC was previously  reported from a small area east of Victoria (Matsuda 2006) but has expanded its distribution to adjacent areas, including adjacent islands. Citizen scientist and photographer Catherine Babault  has photographed the lizard on Denman Island (March 2020), providing documentation.   Reptile and amphibian specialist Brent Matsuda is working to confirm her observation. 

Read more about the Wall Lizard from the Habitat Acquisition Trust here

Broad-winged Hawk in BC

A new article on the Broad-winged Hawk in BC by Rick Toochin, E. Alan Russell, David Baker, Paul Baker, Louis Haviland is now posted on our Birds of BC pages.

This is an interesting bird species and the authors provide a good overview and some insight into occurrences in BC:   "In British Columbia, this species has been rapidly increasing in frequency of detection since 1990, and has been found breeding in the Peace River Region, the Golden area, and the Prince George region, but the northern region of the province is highly under-birded and it is far more likely that the Broad-winged Hawk has moved further west as a breeder than current records reflect (e-bird database 2020). The secretive nature of this species, coupled with its relative scarcity, makes finding nest sites difficult. This is likely why there are to date only a few known nest sites in the province. Despite few nests discovered, there have been an ever increasing number of fall and spring migrants all over the province in the past 10-20 years (e-bird database 2020)."

Yellow-browed Warbler in BC

Yellow-browed Warbler, photo by Peter Candido

Several new bird articles prepared by Rick Toochin have been posted on the E-Fauna Birds of BC pages, including an article on the Yellow-browed Warbler.  Rick says:  "The Yellow-browed Warbler is a recent addition to the avifauna of British Columbia in the fall of 2019 and is classified as an accidental vagrant."  Bird articles by Rick are added on an on-going basis, so keep an eye on the bird page for more.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Citizen scientist documents raccoon in Prince Rupert.



Citizen scientist Jim McLauglin recently sent us a photo that documents the occurrence of a raccoon in Prince Rupert.  Mammal specialist Dave Nagorsen says: "[This is] the northernmost occurrence on the BC mainland to my knowledge. Could be an escaped pet or an accidental transport from the Haida Gwaii population or a southern population?"

While we don't know the origin of the raccoon, it is observations like this that help to inform our knowledge of BC wildlife species.   Thanks Jim!

Mammals of BC 2019

Recent genetic work on mammals has resulted in changes to species recognition.  In BC, this has affected species recognized in the province.  An updated list of mammals of BC is being prepared by mammal expert Dave Nagorsen.  According to Nagorsen (pers. comm. 2019) some of the coming changes include splitting of water shrews, dusky shrews and flying squirrels into two species.  We also now recognize two species of martens in BC, American Marten (Martes americana) in eastern BC and Pacific Marten (Martes caurina) in western BC.  Animals found in between may be either species, or hybrids.   Watch for the new checklist to learn more.  Thanks to Dave Nagorsen for providing this information.