The 2021 iNaturalist observations have been moved over to our Metchosin Biodiversity Project Database.
We had an impressive number of observations logged within the bounds of Metchosin this year. About 280 people made more than 4500 observations of more than 1300 different species.. Another 690 people–almost all experts in their various fields–chimed to help with the identifications.
These observations raised the number of species that have been identified in Metchosin and the neighbouring Race Rocks. At the end of 2020, the species count stood at 2920. At the end of 2021, the species total had climbed to 3280, an increase of more than 350 species.
The people who played the largest roles in finding and logging new species in 2021 were Garry Fletcher, James Miskelly, and Ian Cruickshank. The three of them accounted for about 30% of the observations.
Here are some highlights from the iNaturalist work of the Metchosin Biodiversity Project work in 2021:
- We finally observed the Common Green Darner, Anax junius. It gets its name from its resemblance to a darning needle. Ian Cruickshank came across it and got a photo..
- We found a grasshopper we had not logged in earlier bioblitzes, the Fontana Grasshopper, Trimerotopis fontana. Photo and ID by James Miskelly.
- House finches are red and brown, right? Apparently not all of them. Here is a “leucistic” (i.e., whitish) house finch, an even captured by Valerie Meesschaert.
- Hannah Glass captured a wonderful photo of our Northern Pacific Tree Frog, Pseudacris regilla.
- There were several black bear sightings from the fall. Here’s one from the area across the Pedder Bay inlet from Pearson College. (Cute, but don’t touch! Observation by Ian Cruickshank.)
- Lots of photos of seals and sea lions. Here’s one that was snapped by Michael Gallo (@wildgallo), a Toronto wildlife photographer who was visiting Metchosin.
- Liam Ragan, a prolific naturalist and coordinator of the IBA project, was in our area this year and captured a good image of a local web-making spider, Areneus trifolium, the Shamrock Orbweaver. Rebecca Reader-Lee, whose hand is in the photo, showed Liam the spider when he was bird banding at Rocky Point Bird Observatory.
- Our local Mike Fischer photographed a spider that gave us a new species record. It is a spider from the Genus Habronattus (paradise spiders).
- Tasha Lavdovsky, local documentary filmmaker and artist, the one who found, ID’d, and documented the rare Pseudocyphellaria lichen in Fairy Creek, was in our district working on her lichen ID skills and shot some remarkably good pictures.
Some late breaking news to get the 2022 bioblitz work off on a good foot–District resident Bill Weir has just found the first-ever Metchosin specimen of Cordyceps militaris, the Scarlet Caterpillar Club. This is a species of fungus that parasitizes insects. It grows inside the insect’s body, kills it, and sends up a fruiting club-shaped mushroom to spread its spores to other insects.