Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Using vodka to further science: The micro-photography of Ian Gardiner

E-Fauna photographer Ian Gardiner has taken 10th place in the Nikon Small World photomicrography contest with a photo of a clam shrimp from Alberta. 

According to the news release:  "Gardiner's detailed portrait of a clam shrimp from the Alberta Prairie was recognized in the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. His profile of a five-millimetre-long female with eggs was the only Canadian entry that placed, finishing 10th, in October."   In the news release, Ian expanded on his technique for photographing these tiny crustaceans:  "I give them a small shot of vodka, which kind of keeps them quiet so I can photograph them," 

Read the article about Ian's photography here:

View more of Ian's work here

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A New Fairy Shrimp for BC: Eubranchipus intricatus

Male Smoothlip Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus intricatus), photo by Ian Gardiner

E-Fauna BC freshwater mollusc editor Ian Gardiner has done it again.  Earlier this month, he discovered a new crayfish species for BC, and now he has discovered another new species for BC--the Smoothlip Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus intricatus).  Ian photographed and collected this tiny crustacean from two temporary sloughs near Jaffray BC in the Kootenays.  His find is a first for BC and specimens have been sent to the Royal BC Museum for their collection.

Ian indicates that this species of fairy shrimp is found in temporary pools of low salinity and its range in North America is limited to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Montana, Minnesota, Wyoming and Massachusetts.

View Ian's fabulous photo set for this species here.
Read more about Ian Gardiner here

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Four New Rare Bird Articles Now Available on E-Fauna BC

Thanks to expert birders Rick Toochin, Don Cecile and Jamie Fenneman, four more rare bird articles are now available on E-Fauna BC. These cover Black-headed Gull, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Loggerhead Shrike, and Whooper Swan,  To view the articles along with a comprehensive distribution map, visit the atlas pages.  To view the full articles (PDF) with photos visit our Notes and Articles section on the home page.

These rare bird articles are comprehensive and are extremely informative about each rare bird species found in BC. They review the distribution of the species globally, in North America and in British Columbia. The full article provides a detailed species description to aid in identification in the field and a complete list of observations for BC. 

These new articles brings the total rare bird articles on E-Fauna BC to sixty, with more articles now in preparation. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mapping Update 2015

The interactive GIS mapping available on E-Flora and E-Fauna BC has been updated with new, easy-to-use software. Visit our full-size GIS maps to view new features, easy-access legends, and additional map tools.  We have added special zoom features to regions of interest, and map coordinates are now readily visible.  We will continue to add features to the maps, including additional biogeographic layers.

As an additional bonus, we have now added the ability to view map data (the data behind the distribution dots) from both the full-size maps and from the small maps on the atlas pages.

Click here to view a sample atlas page (Common Garter Snake).  Click on the full-size map link below the map to view the new mapping.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Crayfish Species Documented in British Columbia: Northern Crayfish (Orconectes virilis)

Northern Crayfish (Orconectes virilis), photo  by Ian Gardiner

The Northern Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) has been documented in British Columbia for the first time.  E-Fauna BC freshwater mollusc editor and photographer Ian Gardiner has both photographed and collected this species in the East Kootenays.  Until Ian's work, BC had only one reported crayfish species, the Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), which occurs further to the west in BC.   

In describing his find, Ian says:  "Informal reports of crayfish in the Kootenays, east of the known range of the Signal Crayfish, have occurred in the popular outdoors press and on internet sites but without reference to any particular species. In 2014 and 2015, this author both collected and photographed specimens of the Northern Crayfish in the east Kootenays. It was documented at the following sites: 1) a pond 3.2 km SW of Grasmere, BC 2) Loon Lake, 1.8 km NW of Grasmere, BC."

"There appears to be no reference in the formal literature to the occurrence of Northern Crayfish in British Columbia. The E-Fauna BC photographic documentation and specimens collected by the author, from the East Kootenays just north of the US border, would seem to be the first confirmation of this species in British Columbia."

View our atlas page for the Northern Crayfish.
View Ian's photos of the Northern Crayfish.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

More Rare Bird Articles Now Available on E-Fauna BC

Several new rare bird articles have now been posted on E-Fauna BC in our Notes and Articles section.  These include articles for Smew, Gray Wagtail, Hooded Warbler, White-tailed Kite, White Wagtail, and White-winged Dove.  Thanks to authors Rick Toochin, Jamie Fenneman, Don Cecile and Gary Davidson for providing such detailed species accounts.  All articles are accompanied by voucher photos and include details on all occurrences in British Columbia. 

These articles are an excellent way to learn about vagrant and accidental species in BC, and include informative discussion on species movements and migration.  Full global range summaries are provided. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

E-Flora BC: List of non-established species in the province now updated

E-Flora BC presents an atlas of the recognized flora of the province, species that have been confirmed as growing wild in BC in sustaining populations. These are the established species.  However, there are other species found in the province and new species appear on a regular basis.  These include incoming species and garden escapes that are periodically found growing wild but are not yet established and populations often do not persist. 

On E-Flora BC, we present a list of non-established species of vascular plants compiled by BC botanist Frank Lomer.  Frank has been keeping track of reports of new species and has found many himself during his field work.  Each year, new species are added to the list, while others are assessed to determine if they have become established and should become part of the flora of BC or if they should be kept on the non-established list, which is effectively a 'watch list' for the province.

We have just updated this list of non-established species for 2014, with some new additions, and some species now added to the BC flora.

One example of a species just added to the non-established list in 2014 is the watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). In his note on this species, Frank says: "The watermelon will sprout from seeds, but rarely grows large enough to produce ripe fruit. Plants with immature fruits will show up in landfills and soil dumps (Lomer 8574 @ UBC). Ephemeral. Year first noted: 2013."

Another example is the Asian dwarf bamboo (Arundinaria humilis).  Frank says:  "Perennial Asian dwarf bamboo is occasionally cultivated and will persist from dumpings and spread from plantings. Collected along a grassy ditch dyke by a blueberry field in Richmond, Metro Vancouver (Lomer 8216 @ UBC). Occasional. Year first noted: 2013." 

The 'watch list', or non-established species list, is important. It provides an early warning system of sorts for incoming and escaping species that can have the potential to become significant invasive species in the BC landscape.

You can view Frank's list of non-established and incoming species for 2014 here.