Looking for volunteers who like working on dark rainy nights, looking for toads – Dead or Alive!

With the weather warming up the amphibians of Ryder Lake will soon emerge from their winter hibernation and start their trek to the  breeding pond. We are currently updating our amphibian road survey volunteer list to help us monitor their migration. So if you enjoy cold walks on rainy nights and you would like to learn how to identify the different amphibians as they cross the road we could use your help!

We are looking for 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 along the road. Surveys will start after dark generally take 2-3 hours to complete, depending on how many amphibians are out. You will need weather appropriate gear (rain jacket, rain pants, boots or waterproof shoes, gloves).

Unfortunately, surveys cannot be scheduled in advance as they are dependent on rainy weather conditions – the adult amphibians only migrate in the rain! We manage for this by compiling a list of interested volunteers for the season. When it looks like the conditions will be good for a survey (i.e. wet) Sofi will email everyone on her registered volunteer list, requesting help for a specific date and time. The first volunteers who respond will be her helpers for that survey. Usually this e-mail is sent the day before or sometimes even the day of, a survey night.

If you are would like to sign up for this interesting and challenging experience please e-mail Sofi to be added to this year’s volunteer contact list.

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

Amphibian Fencing Volunteers Needed!


Spring is just around the corner, so once again we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help install directional fencing for our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project, aka the Toad Tunnel. In the next few weeks the adult frogs, toads, and salamanders will start migrating to the wetland for breeding. We install fencing at this time of year on the forest-side of the road to help direct the adult amphibians towards the safe passage of the tunnel.

The fencing will be constructed from silt fencing material attached to wooden stakes using staples and screws. 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 Saturday March 3rd at 11 am. If you are interested in volunteering for this project to protect some frogs and toads please send Joanne an e-mail or call 604-625-0066 so she can send you further instructions!

Do you have what it takes to be a frog finder?

This positon has been filled. Thank you for your applications. If you are interested in volunteering with the Precious Frog project, follow this Facebook page for the most recent opportunities.

How do you know that spring is almost here? You start to hear the chorus of frogs and you know that amphibian breeding has begun!!!

We are gearing up for the always busy breeding season and looking to add one more member the team to help the Precious Frog project for 5 weeks. To be considered, you must have a positive and eager attitude that won’t get squashed by spending cold wet days tromping around wetlands. You also must have excellent eyesight, observational skills and attention to detail. If this sounds like you read on…

And use this link to submit your application.

We are looking to expand our team, yet again!

This time we are looking for something a little different…

Are you a people-person who likes things to be well organized, fun and educational? If so, we are on the search for a Communications Assistant who is looking to support our conservation goals and assist in in all aspects of our work in an enthusiastic manner. There are two main components to the job description:

First and foremost is working in our office, supporting the Executive Director as an administrative assistant, helping with the customer service aspects of our organization. This will include responding to general inquiries, corresponding with donors and members, writing fun and informative quarterly newsletters, managing databases, writing grants and assisting with fundraising initiatives. This is a key role to help build our organization and it will be the primary focus of this person’s work.

Second, will be working on various FVC projects, helping out “on the ground” with our field crews. This work will include controlling invasive plants on our properties (physically strenuous work in all kinds of weather), helping with planting  and volunteer events, assisting with field surveys and supporting our project staff where needed.

This will be a one-year term employment (with the intent to be renewed annually), based on a 32-hour per week schedule (additional hours may be available based on other work secured). The initial pay range ($16-$20/hour) based on experience and skills.

We are looking for someone to grow with us and ideally to continue long-term, based on their skills and our needs. This will be an ideal position for someone who has some experience or transferable skills looking to pursue their passion for conservation.

Required Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills (applicants will be tested on this). The successful candidate must be able to write quickly and effectively, be familiar with social media and comfortable with all aspects of Microsoft Office.
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting public events.
  • Familiar with the Fraser Valley and local conservation issues.
  • Physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions.
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends (for survey work and the occasional weekend event) when needed.
  • Must have a reliable vehicle that can be used for work (applicable mileage is reimbursed). Our office is based in Mission and public transit is not an option for any of our work in the valley.
Asset Skills:
  • Post-secondary education in a related field of study.
  • Customer service and/or fundraising background preferred.
  • Project management experience including grant writing, budget management, due diligence and risk assessment.
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge.

We do not have a preference for the type or level of post-secondary education you have, or the number of years you have worked. The quality of your experience, skill set, and ability to communicate how you can support the conservancy’s work will be used to evaluate your eligibility for this position.

We are looking for someone who will grow with our organization, propose effective and creative solutions, be highly organized, all while being diplomatic and enthusiastic. We encourage our employees to pursue their areas of interest and support them with continuing education and by providing a positive work environment.

If you think you have the skills and dedication to be considered for this position, please email a cover letter outlining how the experience listed in your attached resume demonstrates your suitability for this position. Applications will be accepted until midnight February 4th, and interviews will occur that week. Ideally, we would like to fill this position by mid-February.




Did you know…our latest ID sheet for Owls is out and ready to be put to use!

As part of our continuing series to highlight both common and rare species that live in our valley, our latest ID sheet is here. Winter is a great time to be on the lookout for the beautiful and fascinating owls. They provide a valuable contribution to our ecosystem by being a safe and natural form of rodent control. Download your own copy of the ID sheet here.

As most of these owls are only out and about in the evenings it is helpful to know what they sound like. Below are the corresponding links to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology audio files:


We are looking for a contractor to help us with habitat evaluation work for the Oregon Spotted Frog


We are on the hunt again…this time we are looking for a new contractor to assist with the Precious Frog Project. Due to staff and contractor changes over the past year, we now have opportunities for someone with the right experience to assist with some components of this project. To be eligible to work for the FVC as a contractor you must be self-employed, possess appropriate insurance, and provide all necessary tools to complete the work.

Currently, we are looking for someone with experience assessing habitat, primarily from a desktop perspective (GIS/orthophoto and other landscape data), to provide an analysis that will help guide population assessment and recovery work of the Oregon Spotted Frog. This document will be created in collaboration with the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team (OSFRT); throughout the process there will be meetings to guide the work. Details are as follows:

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Evaluation of Semmihault and Elk Creeks, Chilliwack BC

  • Describe the landscape around new Oregon Spotted Frog (OSF) populations through mapping and summaries;
  • Assess habitat available to support OSF;
  • Identify and classify threats to the OSF population; and
  • Describe and evaluate feasible options to mitigate threats.
  • Complete desktop analysis using GIS and available online resources;
  • Create maps as appropriate;
  • Conduct literature search/review;
  • Interview local governments, community groups (streamkeepers, restoration groups, naturalists), biologists, etc.; and
  • Conduct field visits, as appropriate, to get lay of the land.
Report Topics:

Part 1: Habitat assessment and maps (at watershed scale – all named watersheds containing OSF Critical Habitat in Chilliwack)

  • Water feature types (percentages)
  • Soil profile
  • Water quality (if available)
  • Hydrodynamics (historic profile and identify/describe what influences current modified regime)
  • Vegetation (assessment and classification of riparian area, general context of instream vegetation)
  • Land use type (current and historic; classify to agricultural type, residential, industrial, etc.)
  • History of habitat disturbance, enhancement and restoration

Part 2: Assess habitat available to support OSF based on land use and biological context (at Critical Habitat scale)

  • Oviposition
  • Summer rearing/foraging habitat
  • Overwintering

Part 3: Identify and classify threats to the OSF population (watershed and Critical Habitat scale)

  • Use established threat matrix to identify, classify and describe threats to OSF

Part 4: Describe and evaluate feasible options to mitigate threats

  • Use habitat limitations and threats identified in parts 2 and 3 to propose feasible mitigation opportunities.
  • Successful contractor notified and participates in planning meeting week of November 27th, 2017
  • First draft due February 23rd, 2018Final draft due March 31st, 2018
  • Total maximum budget is $9,760.00 plus applicable taxes

The Technical Advisor for this project is Kendra Morgan, Aquatic Environmental Biologist, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (South Coast) Kendra.Morgan@gov.bc.ca

The Contract Administrator is Joanne Neilson, Executive Director, Fraser Valley Conservancy, joanne@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Interested contractors are invited to submit a concise proposal to Joanne outlining how you would address the above topics and requirements, plus your curriculum vitae, by midnight November 26th, 2017.


Join us for Rally in the Valley to learn about how you can help our species at risk…

The FVC is partnering with the SCCP to host a workshop about species at risk on Wednesday, September 13th. The afternoon session will provide updates from expert biologists and government staff and is designed for those working in habitat with species at risk. More information and session registration form is availble here.

The evening session is an opportunity for everyone to learn about how individual citizens can help out. We will have other community groups joining us hosting displays and giving presentations. Everyone is invited to come learn about what is going on in the community and how they can help. Advance registration via this link is helpful, but not required.



What to do when you find tiny toads in your yard!

To understand why there are tiny toads suddenly appearing on your property it is important to know their life cycle and how your yard plays an important role…

The Western Toad is the only species of toad found in BC. Despite a wide distribution throughout the province. It is experiencing a significant population decline, mainly due to loss of habitat.

When the toads are 3-5 years old they migrate to a wetland during the night in the early spring to breed and lay eggs. The fertilized eggs develop and hatch into tadpoles that swim and feed together in large synchronized schools. After several weeks, when the water warms up, the tadpoles metamorphose into tiny toadlets that emerge from the pond and migrate en-masse towards forest, grassland, and other moist terrestrial habitats where they spend the majority of their lives. Unlike the adults,  tiny toadlets migrate during the daytime, and since they migrate en-masse they can be quite noticeable crawling through fields, backyards and roads.

If you do see toadlets migrate through your property you can help them survive by…
  • Watching your step! The toadlets are tiny (about the size of a dime) and due to their colouration they can be hard to see.
  • If you have a large number in your yard try and avoid areas where they are congregating- in most instances it only takes them 2-3 days to pass through your property.
  • Do not pick them up, as this is a very stressful time for the toads and they will be disoriented when you put them back down on the ground. As well, products on our skin can be harmful to them.
  • Ensure that your pets do not harass the toadlets
  • Avoid mowing your field or lawn where the toadlets are found
  • They will be most active during the cooler times of  the day, during the hot midday they tend to hunker down in shaded areas to wait it out. If you notice that they are crossing a road in your neighborhood, use an alternate route during the morning and evening hours when they are most likely out on the roads.

These mass migrations happen only once a year, so within 10 days they will have moved on, hopefully to a safe forest home.

If you do find toads on your property and/or you have any questions/concerns please do not hesitate to contact us via email or phone 604-625-0066

Thank you for helping the toads in your community – they will return the favor by eating lots of pesky bugs!


We’re growing again…looking for an exceptional restoration field technician to join our team!

The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) is excited to announce a brand-new position for a wetland restoration technician! This person will be working as part of the Precious Frog team, on the first year of a three-year project with great opportunities for growth in future years. If you have a background in restoration, ecosystems knowledge and are dedicated to conservation, read on….

We are looking for a flexible, curious, and personable employee who can take on project management roles. You will work with a diversity of personalities in challenging conditions, and will need to be able to think on your feet. Applicants with local knowledge and ties to the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland preferred. You will be mentored by several knowledgeable biologists; together you will be working towards the recovery of the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog and other wetland species in the Lower Mainland of BC.

Description of Work:

Fall and Winter
  • Learning and implementing all technical aspects of the Precious Frog project. Including database management, documenting methodology, statistical analysis, restoration project planning, as well as site investigation and design.
  • Site enhancement work including invasive control, native plantings and bioengineering.


  • February through March assisting with all aspects of the busy amphibian breeding season: egg mass surveys, capture-mark-recapture, bacterial swabbing, marking and release of juveniles.
  • Reporting to government and funding sources.
  • Field duties in the early summer include night-time bullfrog surveys and control programming, data entry and management, field equipment care and maintenance, etc.
  • Late summer activities revolve around the habitat restoration projects. Maintaining and monitoring past projects, as well as coordinating current projects.
  • Working with municipalities, providing support for frog-friendly drainage maintenance.
  • Assisting with outreach and mentoring of student staff.

General Work Requirements:

You must be capable of performing physically demanding tasks such as walking long distances in mucky sites, paddling canoes and kayaks, lifting and transporting canoes and kayaks, carrying field equipment, etc. Waders and field equipment will be provided. You must be willing to work a flexible schedule during the field seasons.

Our office is in Mission, and many of the field sites are in the Eastern Fraser Valley. You must have a reliable vehicle and be able to transport field gear with you. You will be reimbursed for mileage from the office to field sites.

You will be hired for to work full-time (40 hours/week) from September 4th to March 31st, 2018. If you are the right fit for our team, a two-year extension will be offered at the end of the first work term. The intent is for you to grow with our organization, and potentially work on other projects as the years progress. The starting rate of pay will be $19 to $23 per hour, based on level of experience.

Required Qualifications, Experience and Skills:

  • Bachelors degree in a related field.
  • Minimum of two years (24 months) relevant work experience.
  • Eligible for professional or in training designation  I.E. BC Registered Professional Biologist, Professional Agrologist, Professional Engineer and Geoscientist, etc.
  • Experience in aquatic field work.
  • Versatile, adaptable and resourceful: able to incorporate adaptive management principles, rapidly assimilating new information and adapting activities while maintaining the integrity of the project.
  • Demonstrated landscape assessment skills for the purposes of habitat restoration and site management planning, including vegetative, topographic, hydrologic, soils assessments.
  • Experienced in project management (work planning, contractor coordination, safety, budgeting).
  • High level of comfort working independently in remote areas.
  • Experience writing and implementing a management plan.
  • Detail oriented with highly developed observation skills.
  • Highly competent in MSWord, Excel, and desktop GIS skills.
  • Knowledge of local plants, Fraser Valley ecosystems, species at risk, invasive species, and wetland species.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written, to a wide range of audiences.
  • Experience coordinating field crews, students, and/or volunteers.


  • MSAccess, FileMakerPro, Adobe InDesign, QGIS knowledge.
  • Topographic surveying experience.
  • Overseeing a construction project experience.
  • Amphibian experience.
  • Bullfrog control experience.
  • Knowledge of local land use practices.

Application Process:

Submit a cover letter, which clearly outlines how you meet the above requirements, and corresponding resume to admin@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Applications will be accepted until midnight Sunday, August 20th, interviews will be conducted later that week and may include a practical component. There may be a testing component as part of the interview process, and you may be asked to provide an example of a habitat restoration plan or implementation report that you have produced.

Only applicants short-listed for the interview process will be contacted.

Toadlet Migration 2017 – Not What We Expected!

One of the things about working with nature is that you never can predict what is going to happen. Science is a tool we use to help guide our decisions, but when it comes down to it nature is going to do its own thing.

Our latest experience with this has been the 2017 Toadlet migration. Before we installed the toad tunnel, we spent many years researching the best location where it could help the most toads cross the road safely. For the first two years it worked well, they migrated along the directional fencing we installed with the help of volunteers, to either the tunnel or the culvert under Elk View Road. This year we were super prepared for the pending migration, everything was meticulously installed while the weather warmed up and the toad tadpoles morphed into little tiny toadlets. However, instead of following their usual route out of the wetland, across the hay field, they decided to go in the opposite direction this year! So now there are streams of migrating toadlets, crossing Elk View Road out of the other end of the wetland and too far south from our fencing and tunnel to benefit from its safe passage. Only the occasional toadlets are migrating the other direction and can benefit from the use of the tunnel.

Therefore, it is especially important this year that people follow the voluntary detour. The toadlets are so tiny it is impossible to see them when driving, many people don’t even notice them when walking. There is no way to avoid killing toadlets driving on Elk View Road between Ryder Lake and Huston Roads, however there is a simple detour that only adds 300m to the drive. The only way can help the toadlets this year is by taking the detour.

We will endeavour to continue to post updates on our YouTube channel if you want to follow there migration progress this year.

Hopefully next year they will continue with their usual migration route. In the meantime, the FVC staff will review the results from this year’s data collected and see if we can come up with an alternate safe crossing if the toadlets repeat this pattern again in the future.