By David Clements/Special to Langley Advance Times
For the third year running, Langley’s watersheds were “bioblitzed” by camera-carrying nature enthusiasts, this time recording 521 species of animals, plants, and fungi.
Six different watersheds making up the Township of Langley were crisscrossed by 119 observers, who made a total of 2091 observations.
This time it was the Nicomekl watershed that boasted the highest number of species with 230 species, followed by Glen Valley (196), the Little Campbell (182), Yorkson (178), Salmon River (171), and lastly the Greater Aldergrove watersheds (162).
The Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society also hosted a mini-bioblitz at Yorkson Community Park.
This is the fourth blitz the YWES has hosted in their watershed. Most exciting this year was that they were able to break out their new bioblitz kit they assembled with nets, microscope, ID books, and more through funds from BC Naturalists Foundation.
Some very unique and wonderful organisms were seen throughout all the six watersheds.
Mammal species sighted included Mule deer, Douglas’ squirrel, common racoon, and coast mole.
In the midst of driving to a spot I was going to be blitzing, I spotted a deer on 264 Street. I stopped to take the photo, then went on, not realizing until that night that I’d actually captured a photo of two deer, mother and fawn.
Then there were many bird species, including Bullock’s oriole, green heron, barred owl, western tanager, red-breasted sapsucker, and Anna’s hummingbird.
And we can’t leave out the reptiles and amphibians such as garter snakes, various frogs, and salamanders.
Or the invertebrates like the western tiger swallowtail, red admiral, Johnson’s jumping spider, twice-stabbed stink bug, many species of bees, Pacific sideband snails, the reticulate tail-dropper slug, and the Pacific banana slug.
And finally, the fungus, some of the most unusual organisms, like the slime molds (which aren’t actually fungus) such as dog vomit slime mold, wolf’s milk, and chocolate tube slimes, as well as types that really are fungi but still bizarre like jelly spot fungi and witch’s butter.
Although the Langley Watershed bioblitz is over for another year, there are many bioblitzes going on all the time.
I encourage you to participate in the Fraser Valley bioblitz run by “The Knotweed Lab” this summer, to help gauge how much last winter’s flooding moved knotweed around.
Take photos of knotweed plants you spot in the Fraser Valley and post your photos on iNaturalist to be included.
If you haven’t joined iNaturalist yet, check it out – it is a great way to track the organisms you see and to observe what beautiful and bizarre organisms people are spotting here locally and around the world.
– David Clements PhD, is a professor of biology and environmental studies at Trinity Western University