1. Presentation by Dave Leman and Cheryl Livingstone-Leman, 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 19, The Exploration Place
The Leman team will be giving a prop-rich talk on conservation in Africa. Dave has been to Africa seven times, for up to a year at a time, and in August will be co-leading a two-week trip to Tanzania, focussing on the regional biodiversity and ecology, wildlife conservation, and natural resource management issues.
Participants will be staying at Robson Meadows Campground: the notice board at the campground entrance will indicate at which sites. For information, contact Gail Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Nancy Krueger at 250-563-7896. Note that in future the Bird Blitz will be held every second year rather than annually.
1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, April 24
It was a cool and damp Sunday morning. Despite this, 13 hardy volunteers turned out, including several members of the Prince George VLA Enhancement Association. We picked up litter around the western end of the Wetland at Norwood Street and along the waterway from Norwood to the Carrie Jane Gray underpass in Strathcona Park. We had a needle disposal kit but found few needles, just a few spent cartridges. Most of the litter was what you would find in any well-used park or open space except for a couple of large items of furniture that had been tossed in the bush near the Wetland. Members of the VLA team hauled them out and disposed of them in the bin provided by the City of Prince George. The biggest problem we observed was the blocked culverts along the waterway through the VLA, reducing or preventing the flow of water into the Wetland. Special thanks go to Lee from the VLA for hosting us at the Green Space on Oak Street and to Terri at REAPS for her support and for delivering hot coffee donated by Tim Hortons. We are grateful to BC Nature for their financial support to help clean up the waterway into the Wetland.
2. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party, May 8
This time it was a cool, damp Sunday afternoon – perfect conditions for planting. Fifteen volunteers met at the observation deck by the footbridge to remove invasive plants and plant native shrubs. See Bob Steventon’s photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bubba55/sets/72157665742611333/. We combined forest industry-style planting with gardening tricks to try to improve the plant survival rate in this inhospitable environment. Eric, Katryna and Breanne from Spectrum Resources led the way by digging over 100 large planting holes using pick-axes and shovels (a task beyond the ability of most volunteers). Others followed behind to plant prickly roses, black gooseberry, willows and red-twig dogwood using lots of compost, water and a special teabag fertilizer developed for forestry replanting. Volunteers also dug out two large contractor bags of the dreaded common tansy roots, and replanted bare areas with wild grasses and fast-growing fescue and annual rye seed. Anne Hogan and Sandra Kinsey filled over 90 4L jugs with water and hauled them to the site along with the plants. Penni Adams and Northwest Invasive Plant Council provided hand tools and gloves and a shelter tent. We are grateful to Allan Carson, Naturalists Club Board member, for making us aware of the teabag fertilizers; to the City of Prince George for staff support; and to Heather Meier (Club Vice-President) for lending us her shelter tent as cover from rain showers. Pacific Salmon Foundation provided funding for the replanting project.
An Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Workshop will be held on Thursday June 16th, from 11:00am-4:00pm. in Quesnel, BC, atThe at the Billy Barker Casino Hotel Showroom in Quesnel. Supported by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, this event will bring regional stakeholders together, raise AIS awareness and identify actions to protect the Cariboo from the threats of these harmful invaders. See https://www.regonline.com/QuesnelAISworkshop .
The BC Birding Atlas, the result of five years of observations and the efforts of 30 authors, 20 editors, 45 coordinators, 1,300 field volunteers, 40 photographers and 150 partners, supporters and special contributors, is now complete. You can explore it at www.birdatlas.bc.ca.
Today (14 May) has been the Global Big Day, during which more than 10,000 birders will have recorded sightings of 5,000+ species of birds. You can see the results at ebird.org/globalbigday/.