Did you know…amphibian breeding season has begun!

Now that spring is finally conquering the winter weather, the amphibians in the Fraser Valley are rousing from their winter habitat and making their way to their breeding sites. You might have heard male chorus frogs calling at night recently? Even though they are one of our smallest frogs, they have big voices especially when they congregate at breeding time (hence the name). They are the most noticeable frog calling at this time of year and a sure sign spring is on its way!

This means the frogs and toads are on the move – watch for them crossing the roads on rainy nights!

Red legged frog on the right and tiny Chorus frog on the left

Have you ever wondered why the frog crossed the road?

As far as amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) are concerned, this is the most important event of the year, and they are all making their way from where they spent their winters, to a pond, marsh, wetland, ditch or even abandoned swimming pools to breed and lay eggs. In our region, this often means that amphibians will have to cross at least one or two roads on their quest to find a mate. Unfortunately, road mortality is a significant threat to our native amphibians and this is particularly concerning given that quite a few of our local amphibians are of conservation concern, largely due to their shrinking habitat.

Since spring is late this year, warmer wetter nights will most likely mean a spike in their migration over the next couple of weeks. Please slow down and be on the lookout for amphibians while driving on wet nights.

If you are out during the day, keep an eye out for freshly laid egg masses in bodies of water. We have just completed a handy Aquatic Amphibian Egg Masses in the Fraser Valley ID sheet that can help you figure out who laid the eggs. There is also the corresponding Frogs and Toad of the Fraser Valley ID sheet if you want more details on the adults.

Recruiting amphibian detectives!

It’s that time of year again…the Amphibians are on the move to their breeding pond and we need help tracking them!

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Do you enjoy cold walks on rainy nights?  Would you like to learn how to identify the different amphibians who are on the move? If so sign up to be an amphibian road survey volunteer and help us monitor the roads in Ryder Lake!

The Fraser Valley Conservancy is looking for tough volunteers to help with night time amphibian surveys as a component of our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.  The objective of this survey is to determine the effectiveness of our toad tunnel and associated fencing at reducing road mortality.  We will be counting live and dead amphibians along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack, BC.

Volunteers must be prepared to walk 6 km in cold, dark and wet conditions while searching for amphibians.  Surveys will start after dark and last until the survey is complete, generally 1-3 hours.  You will need weather appropriate gear (rain jacket, rain pants, boots or waterproof shoes, gloves).

Unfortunately, surveys cannot be planned in advance as they are completely dependent on rainy weather.  If you are interested in volunteering for this project please e-mail Sofi (Sofi@fraservalleyconservancy.ca) and you will be added to a contact list.  When it looks like conditions are going to be good (i.e. wet) an e-mail will be sent out requesting volunteers for a specific day and time.  Usually this e-mail is sent the day before or sometimes the day of a survey.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call (604-625-0066).

Rescheduled AGM next week – Tuesday March 7th

Notice of Annual General Meeting

March 7th, 2017  7:30 pm
33171 2nd Avenue, Mission BC

  • Meet the FVC staff, Directors, and other members
  • Learn what we’ve been up to in 2016
  • Hear about our plans for the future
  • Participate in society business including election of board members
  • If you are interested in sitting on our board, contact us for details and to apply to the nominating committee.
  • Annual $10 membership fee will be collected at the door.

Guests and new members are always welcome!

Meet and greet starts at 7:00 pm. The AGM will commence at 7:30 pm.

We are meeting in the Training Room to the right of the FVC office (Google Maps link)

Amphibian Fencing Volunteers Needed Sunday February 26th

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help install directional amphibian fencing for our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project. The Toad Tunnel is not only used by the thousands of toadlets in the summer but also by the ecologically important breeding adults in the early spring as they migrate to their breeding pond. To ensure this crossing structure is effective, we need to install fencing that will direct amphibians towards the tunnel entrance. The adult amphibians will start migrating to the wetland for breeding in late February or early March.

The fencing will be constructed from silt fencing material attached to wooden stakes using staples or screws. This is the same type of lightweight black fabric fencing seen near construction projects.  The most challenging part of this project will likely be working in wet or muddy conditions on a steep slope. Volunteers must be prepared to work in cold or wet conditions and will need work gloves.

We will be onsite at the Toad Tunnel on Sunday February 26th starting at 10am (wrapping up at 1 pm). If you are interested in volunteering for this project to protect some frogs and toads please send Sofi an e-mail so she can send you further instructions!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call (604-625-0066).

Windebank Creek Update 2016

Every year in November we look forward to having a volunteer event at our Windebank Creek property that corresponds with the seeing the salmon returning to spawn. Unfortunately this year we had to cancel our annual event due to yet another serious flood that deposited over a metre of silt over the lower half of the property.

But just like the salmon, who refuse to give up on this site, so do we!

We have just approved our management plan for this property and have an interested funding source lined up to help us implement it in 2017. Nothing is confirmed yet, but we will have news about our plans and events where the community can help in the spring – so make sure you check back then!

A fun day celebrating wildlife in Chilliwack!

We had a great day on Saturday, hosting our annual species at risk outreach event in Chilliwack. With over 200 people attending, we heard about all sorts of interesting critters they see in their homes and backyards.

We got to meet Stomper the Barn owl, who was a great ambassador and very patient for such a long day being the center of attention, and learn all about owls and what they eat.

There was big Bullfrog and a beautiful Painted turtle, both of whom live in our local waterways, along with other rare and more common amphibians.

There were native plants on display that can be planted to enhance our backyards. Those who wanted to learn more signed up to participate in our Nature Stewards program.  If you didn’t get a chance to come out, but are interested in participating on our Nature Steward program you can still sign up by contacting us.

 

A huge thanks to our host (The Local Harvest Market), our participating partners (South Coast Conservation Program, Raptors Ridge, Precious Frog), and of course our awesome staff, board members and their helpful volunteers!

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