Our crews are capturing the natural beauty of one of British Columbia’s most valuable habitats; Wetlands!
Columbia Spotted Frog
The Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) is not particularly picky on where it makes its home as long as it is near a body of water such as lakes, ponds, streams, marshes or wetlands. This species may be sensitive to population disturbance as it takes a long time for it to reach an age where it can reproduce. The Columbia Spotted Frog is protected under the British Columbia Wildlife Act.
Marsh Wrens are commonly found in freshwater and brackish marshes with vegetation that consists of cattails, reeds, bulrushes, or sedges. This Marsh Wren was spotted performing his musical number at the Cowichan Estuary during a swallow monitoring walk.
The Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), is the only milkweed native to B.C. and occurs in the dry areas of the southern interior. This photo was captured at Osoyoos Oxbows.
This Mallard duckling was spotted at Buttertubs Marsh in Nanaimo during a site tour. The Mallard hen incubates eggs for an average of 28 days and leads the ducklings to wetland within 24 hours of hatching. The hen will stay with her brood until they are about 8 weeks of age and are able to fly.
East Kootenay Fen
The Kootenay BCWF pod spent a day at this east Kootenay Fen for WESP. The crew found some Common butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) and Drosera capensis, which are rarely seen in the area.
This Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora) was spotted at Englishman River Regional Park. Habitat loss and degradation are a primary cause for the decline of this species. The loss of wetlands in the lower Fraser Valley and on southern Vancouver Island to urbanization and agriculture has significantly reduced available breeding habitat.
Western Painted Turtle
The Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta belli) is the only native pond turtle left in B.C. The Painted Turtle requires wetlands, ponds or similar small bodies of water for hiding and foraging. Unfortunately, due to the alteration or destruction of this important habitat, this species is threatened and considered blue listed in B.C.
Morning Dew at Silverdale Creek Wetlands
Morning dew is an important source of moisture for plants, soil, insects, and small animals, especially in environments where water resources are limited.
The Dot-Tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta) is part of the Libellulidae family of dragonflies. It can be found in B.C.’s Southern Valleys, making its home in warm, non-acidic lowland waters.
This ladybug was spotted on a Yellow Rattle at the Night Owl wetland on Salt Spring Island.
This is the view near one of Nature Trust of BC’s wetland sites in the Flathead Valley.
Great Blue Heron
This Great Blue Heron was spotted fishing at the Silverdale Creek Wetlands. The Great Blue Heron’s diet is made up of almost anything it can skewer with its long beak. Fishing makes up the majority of their diet, but they can be found stalking everything from insects to small mammals.
Sundews (Drosera) make up one of the largest groups of carnivorous plants. Their long tentacles have sticky glands at the tip which look like dew glistening in the sun, attracting insects that the plant feeds on.
Invasive Oxeye Daisy
Although quite pretty, these flowers are considered a noxious weed in many parts of B.C. A single plant can produce up to 26,000 seeds that can survive in the soil for up to 20 years. In large quantities, this invasive plant reduces the number of native plants and reduces forage for livestock and wildlife.
Pitt Addington Marsh
The Nature Trust of BC crew were out on the water at the Pitt Addington Marsh and captured this shot of a female mallard with Widgeon Valley National Park in the background.
Silverdale Creek Wetlands
This was an early morning capture of the Silverdale Creek Wetlands as the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition crew carried out some maintenance along the trail systems.
This Western Toad was spotted during WESP training in the Lower Mainland. One of the greatest impacts on Western Toad populations in B.C. is habitat destruction. Development in and around wetlands can destroy or isolate populations.
Mourning Cloaks (Nymphalis antiopa) are found across Canada and as far north as the tundra. They are one of the few species of butterfly whose range extends into Europe and Asia.
This Cardinal Meadowhawk Sympetrum illotum was spotted at the Murrayville Wetland in Langley. British Columbia is home to 87 species of Dragonflies; a quarter of which are considered rare or potentially at risk. The most serious stress on dragonfly populations has been the elimination or alteration of their fresh water habitats, such as the draining and filling of marshes.
Weasels have a high reproductive rate which is necessary as they also have a high death rate due to predation. This skull was found at the Toles wetland site in Kamloops.
North America has over 450 native species of ladybug. Ladybugs can reproduce several times a year. The female ladybug will lay hundreds of eggs at a time, often choosing to place them inside colonies of aphids or other plant-eating insects.
“This work is important because wetlands are some of the most valuable habitats you can restore that cover a vast majority of everything within the area. In restoring wetlands, you can create habitat for a range of animals, plants, invertebrates, amphibians and fish. Everything uses them.”
Norm Allard, Community planner, Lower Kootenay band