Fencing successfully installed at the Toad Tunnel!

Toad fencing Volunteers 2016.

Toad fencing Volunteers 2016.

A huge thank you to the awesome group of volunteers who showed up on Saturday morning and installed fencing to guide migrating frogs and toads through the new toad tunnel!

Adult frogs, salamanders, and toads are now on their annual spring migration from their forest homes to various ponds and wetlands where they will lay their eggs.  The newly installed fencing will guide them to the toad tunnel which allows safe passage under Elk View road.  We installed the fencing along the forest side of the road (opposite the breeding pond) to guide the animals safely through the tunnel and towards the wetland.

We also added some fabulous compost/sand mix from Biocentral to the tunnel making it more like the natural environment.

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Amphibian Fencing Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for Volunteers to install amphibian fencing!

Saturday February 13th, 2016 from 10am – 1pm

Toad tunnel fencing 2015

We are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help install directional amphibian fencing for our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.  The amphibian crossing structure has been installed thanks to the contributions made by Lafarge Canada Ltd (more details).  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 Saturday February 13th starting at 10am. If you are interested in volunteering for this project to protect some frogs and toads please send me an e-mail to obtain further details!  Snacks will be provided.If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call (604-625-0066).

Spring Break Job Shadowing Opportunity with the Oregon Spotted Frog Project!

Are you a grade 11 or 12 student (or know one) in Mission, Abbotsford or Chilliwack who is interested in getting into a career in conservation biology? Did you see the Chilliwack Progress article and think this may be a great learning experience?

If so, check out this great opportunity to learn from the biologists working with the highly endangered Oregon spotted frog during Spring Break. This is a temporary paid position with the Fraser Valley Conservancy from March 14th to 25th, 2016. Full training and field gear will be provided. You do not need to have previous experience, just a willingness to learn and great enthusiasm for the outdoor environment.

Send your resume to Aleesha@fraservalleyconservancy.ca by March 1st to be considered for this opportunity.

OSF spring break 2016

FVC AGM Tuesday February 16th, 2016!

In an effort to avoid having to take care of society business during the busy summer field season, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) much earlier this year (February 16th). If you are interested in volunteering for a position on our board please email us, the board nominating committee will be meeting on January 26th and will be considering applications at that time.

Annual General Meeting

February 16, 2016 7:30 pm
33179 2nd Avenue, Mission BC
Join us at our Mission office to hear and see
what we’ve been up to this past year!
  • We will present information on the projects we have been working on this year.
  • You can meet the FVC staff, Directors, and members.
  • Participate in society business including election of board members.
  • Annual $10 membership fee will be collected at the door, guests are also welcome.

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


 

Another inspiring day at Windebank!

One of the best things about working in the conservation sector is witnessing first-hand the amazing ability of nature to rebound and the dedication of community volunteers to help out. This was reinforced to us yet again during our latest work party at Windebank Creek this past weekend…

Our great group of volunteers!

Our fantastic group of volunteers!

This salmon bearing stream in Mission has been continually impacted by us humans: it has been diverted from its original course to create enough land to build a shopping mall; its natural channel width has been limited by land use of the surrounding landscapes; it was illegally cleared of it riparian vegetation in 2008; it regularly experiences large amounts sediment and debris washing downstream during heavy rain events which alters the stream bed; and yet, the salmon continue to return to spawn every year!

It was great to have our regular volunteers return along with lots of new faces help us clean-up our section of Windebank Creek on Saturday. We continued our battle against the blackberry which will allow the native plants to establish themselves and eventually out-compete the blackberry. This will ultimately create a more diverse riparian habitat to shade the stream and provide habitat for non-aquatic species, and we can already see areas of improvement. We repaired sections of damaged fencing and removed a pick-up truck load of garbage from the site; we are installing sensitive habitat signage in an effort to dissuade the ongoing inappropriate use of this property.

We learned about the work the Mission of Stream Streamkeepers group has been doing monitoring the site (8 spawning Chum counted along this stream last week, and 37 the week before!).

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

A group of BCIT Ecological Restoration students have taken on the site for their project and will be doing all sorts of interesting surveys and restoration work on the site in the coming year. It is very exciting to see all the enthusiasm to help this site return to a functioning ecosystem.

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

Thanks everyone!

Volunteers needed for a Clean-up at Windebank!

It’s that time of year again!

We are looking for volunteers to help us clean-up our Windebank property on

Saturday November 14th from 10am to 2pm.

Removing blackberry near Windebank Creek

The salmon are currently spawning in the creek so it’s the perfect time to clear out some blackberry and observe these amazing fish!  We have had some good success fighting against the blackberry over the past year but this persistent plant will just not quit.  We are looking for volunteers to help remove blackberry and prune some of the native plants.  We will have some gloves and extra pruners on hand but if you can bring your own that would be great.  Please dress appropriately for the day – who knows what the weather will bring!  The ground can be quite mucky this time of year so rubber boots are recommended. We will also be removing some garbage from the property and will have appropriate safety gear for that activity.

This fall clean-up event will take place at the usual location: the dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission (you will see the gate to our property which lies below the mall at the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector).

We will have a guest speaker at lunchtime to talk about what the fish are currently up to in the creek.

If you can confirm you will be attending  that would be great, send us a quick email to let us know so we have enough supplies on hand. If you want to just decide and show up on the day, that is fine too – the more the merrier!

Thanks for making Yarrow Nature Day so much fun!

Thank you to everybody who joined us for Yarrow Nature Day!  We were really excited to hear about all the interesting animals that have been seen in Yarrow.  We look forward to continuing our work in this unique environment through our Nature Steward Program.  If you missed hearing about our free Nature Steward program at this event and want to learn more follow this link! We are especially grateful for all the kids who helped us test out some new educational games and brought great spirit to both nature walks.

 

Pamela Zevit, from the South Coast Conservation Program, led two very interesting nature walks.  Some participants were lucky enough to see an at-risk Pacific sideband snail and a Western red-backed salamander.

 

 

We also want to thank all our project partners who made this event a success! We had a huge variety of educational games and displays!

We also had in attendance a special guest… a Coast Painted Turtle who hatched this spring!

We also had in attendance a special guest... a Coastal Painted Turtle hatched this spring!

 

Ever Wonder What it’s Like to be a Summer Student with FVC?

As a team of three summer students working for the Fraser Valley Conservancy we had many interesting experiences. While a large part of our job was removing Himalayan blackberry, a necessity for any conservation work in the Lower Mainland, we also took part in a variety of different projects and picked up new skills along the way!

Our crew began in May conducting snail surveys at the Three Creeks site in Abbotsford. We learned to identify some local species, specifically the red-listed Oregon forest snail and the blue-listed Pacific sideband snail. We were lucky to find several of each in our plots, as well as a very friendly ensatina salamander.

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Pacific sideband snail

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Common ensatina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then travelled to the man-made Peppindale Wetlands in Aldergrove where our crew was taught how to complete topographic surveys. We surveyed wetland plants and also searched the area for bullfrogs, looking for the large egg masses and listening for the unmistakable plopping sounds made by young frogs.

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Removing invasive American bullfrog egg masses.

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Conducting topographic survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our time at these sites we began work with the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition, a partner organization with the FVC. At their sites in Yarrow, we helped to survey fish at a stream in the Yarrow Eco Village. The crawfish were definitely the trickiest to retrieve though I am happy to say that we all survived without injury!

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Our crew of three surveying fish in Yarrow.

While our other experiences were definitely memorable, we all agreed that our favourite part of the summer was working by Ryder Lake in Chilliwack during the mass migration of juvenile western toads. We were amazed to see thousands of these dime-sized toads travel across roads from their breeding ponds to their forest habitats. During the migration, we assisted with toad surveys and learned how to hold and measure these little amphibians. Our crew also helped to install directional fences to corral the toads towards the FVC’s new amphibian crossing structure dubbed the “toad tunnel”.

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Western toads caught on the wrong side of the fence using an “escape hatch” to crawl to safety.

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Sub-adult Western toad who has made it safely through the tunnel to the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The field experiences and learning opportunities this summer were priceless. The knowledge, industry contacts and hands-on experience will help our careers and has left us with some great memories.