Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eric (Rick) Taylor Takes on Fish on E-Fauna

BC is a province rich in fish, from the freshwater fish species found in our streams, lakes and other freshwater wetlands, to the marine species of the Pacific ocean, and to the species that live in both worlds.  They are a significant component of the biodiversity of British Columbia, with many considered species at risk in Canada. In order to assist us with covering fish species on E-Fauna BC, Eric Taylor has agreed to become Fish Editor.  Eric has been assisting us with identification of freshwater fish species and checklist additions for some time, and will now expand his role.

Eric is a Professor of Zoolgy at UBC, and is presently Director and Curator of Fishes, Beaty Biodiversity Museum (UBC). He is also Co-chair of the Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittee of COSEWIC (the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada). In his research, Eric is interested "population structure and the historical and contemporary processes that influence population structure, speciation and hybridization (both ecological and genetic mechanisms of divergence and persistance in the face of gene flow), and the implications of these processes to biodiversity conservation."

Read more about Eric here and here

Friday, July 25, 2014

Michael Hawkes, E-Flora's New Algae Editor

Mike Hawkes photographing seaweeds at Bamfield, photo by Denise Bonin

Michael Hawkes is a BC botanist with broad interests.  He has a special fondness for marine and desert ecosystems, he has been involved with the biology and horticulture of succulents since 1967 and, since 1972, his marine research has focused on the seaweeed flora of British Columbia. As part of his work on seaweeds, he has been involved in conducting intertidal and subtidal surveys along much of the BC coast, a significant endeavour.  He has spent 3 years as a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland's Leigh Marine Laboratory.

Overall, Mike is interested in the natural history, biogeography, and systematics of Pacific Northwest & New Zealand seaweed floras, the reproductive biology of red algae, and the role of marine protected areas (MPA's) in coastal zone conservation strategies.

Mike teaches several courses at UBC, including Introductory Biology: Ecology, Genetics and Evolution, Biology of Non-vascular Plants (the algal portion of the course), Plants and People, and Phytogeography

For several years now, Mike has been submitting seaweed photos to E-Flora and updating the seaweed species list for the province.  Now he's taken on the task of editor of the algae section on E-Flora.

View Mike's photo gallery on E-Flora here.
View a partial list of Mike's publications here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Moths, moths moths: Libby Avis becomes E-Fauna's Moth Editor

 Dart Moth (Abagrotis pulchrata), photo by Rick and Libby Avis

After reviewing moth photos on E-Fauna BC for some time, as well as submitting more than a thousand photos to the moth photo gallery, Libby Avis has agreed to expand her role in E-Fauna and take on the role of moth editor.  Libby will be both reviewing and publishing photos, as well as tracking nomenclature and handling moth inquiries.

View Libby's moth photo gallery here.
Read more about Libby and Rick Avis, and their moth work, here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

E-Fauna BC: Ian Gardiner becomes editor for freshwater molluscs.

  Ubiquitous Peaclam (Cyclocalyx casertanum), photo by Ian Gardiner.  Specimen carrying young.

Ian Gardiner has been stunning us all with his photos of freshwater molluscs and crustaceans for some time now, and he has collected and reported several new species for BC.  Now he takes on the role of editor for freshwater molluscs, a group that is often overlooked.  Ian will continue to provide species checklists for groups of freshwater molluscs as well as provide short introductions to species, but now he will add photo publishing to that list. 
View Ian's photos on E-Fauna here.
View Ian's photos on E-Flora here.
Read more about Ian's work on E-Fauna here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Steven Joya: E-Flora BC's new bryophyte editor

Exciting news on E-Flora BC.  Bryologist Steve Joya has taken on the role of bryophyte editor. Steve is a bryologist from Vancouver, whose main area of interest is in British Columbia mosses. His interest in bryophytes was sparked after attending a workshop conducted by Shona Ellis and Wilf Schofield. Since earning a B.Sc. in plant biology from UBC, he has worked on various bryophyte-related projects, assisting with field surveys, identifying collections, and databasing herbarium specimens. He has also participated in several bioblitzes as a bryophyte expert.

Steve has been reviewing bryophyte photos for identification on E-Flora for several years, and it is great to have him take on this expanded role, where he will not only continue to identify bryophytes, but also make the best selections of photos as the default photos on our bryophyte atlas pages.

View Steve's bryophyte photos on E-Flora here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three New And Updated Bird Articles Now Available on E-Fauna

Thanks to the efforts of BC birders, three new comprehensive articles on rare bird species are now available on E-Fauna BC. These cover the Yellow-green Vireo, the Western Scrub-Jay, and the Dickcissel. Excerpts of the articles are presented on our atlas pages, and full articles with photos are available in our Notes and Articles section.

More bird articles are in preparation, so check back now and then for more detailed articles.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Biodiversity and Citizen Science: Cypress Provincial Park Bioblitz 2014

This is the time of year when citizen scientists make the most of their time. If you haven't already participated in one, then why not try the Cypress Provincial Park Bioblitz--details below.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

E-Flora BC: Family Name Changes

Plant taxonomists have been making many nomenclatural changes to plant names, and this includes changes to family names.  Recently some genera have been shifted to other families.  Over the next few weeks, you will notice that these changes are being put in place on E-Flora BC. 

Some of the changes you will encounter include the placement of maples (Acer) under Sapindaceae instead of Aceraceae, onion (Allium) under Amaryllidaceae instead of Liliaceae, and camas (Camassia) under Asparagaceae, instead of Liliaceae. 

In order to ensure that you can still search by family name, even if you don't know the new family names for species, we are developing a synonym search for families much as we presently have for species.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Featured Species: Globular Peaclam

Globular Peaclam, photo by Ian Gardiner

When we think of wildlife in BC, we tend to think of the larger photogenic species such as bears, elk, fish, and turtles. Or we think of the colourful, often alien-looking, species of tidal pools and other marine habitats. The sea stars, the nudibranchs, the sea urchins, the jelly fish. Oh, and sharks and whales.  We don't always think about the really teeny species, 'invisible' species such as peaclams.

Peaclams are a group of freshwater bivalves that are found in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams throughout BC.  They are characterized by their tiny size and presence in freshwater habitats and they are usually associated with freshwater vegetation.  In BC, we have fourteen species of peaclams listed, including the Alpine Peaclam, the Pygmy Peaclam and the Globular Peaclam.

The Globular Peaclam, Cyclocalyx ventricosum (syn. (Pisidium ventricosum), is a tiny species of clam that is found throughout North America.  In Canada, it is found from Newfoundland to British Columbia, "north to Ungava and the western Arctic coast" (BCCDC 2014).  It is found in permanent (perennial) water bodies (lotic and lentic habitats) such as lakes, ponds, and rivers--it has never been found in ephemeral or temporary aquatic habitats (BCCDC 2014).

In their guide to freshwater molluscs of the Laurentian Great Lakes, Mackie et al. describe the Globular Peaclam as occurring on muddy and sandy substrates, but indicate that it shows preference for "soft sediments in quiet shallow waters" (Mackie et al. 1980).  Ecologically, this species has been found to be present in greater numbers "in the upper sediment layers closer to sites of marl deposition" (IUCN 2014).

The BC Conservation Data Centre considers this species to be "relatively uncommon" in BC (BCCDC 2014).  However, its tiny size means that, unless you are specifically looking for it, it is likely to be overlooked.   

View the E-Fauna BC photo gallery for the Globular Peaclam here.
Visit the E-Fauna BC atlas page for this species here


Mackie, Gerald L. David S. White, Thomas W. Zdeba.  1980.  A guide to freshwater mollusks of the Laurentian Great Lakes, with special emphasis on the genus Pisidium.  Environmental Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 144 pages.