Wet and wild!
By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant
Aquatic ecologist Mike Pearson is passionate about species at risk. He uses his Ph.D not only for research and consultation, but also to collaborate with environmental non-profits like the Wilderness Committee and the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia.
A lot of his work right now focuses on a couple of fish: the Salish sucker and nooksack dace. Both are small (10-25 cm) and have small ranges.They’re unique to the watersheds of BC’s lower mainland and Puget Sound in the US.
Mike also works with frogs, the close cousins of our toad friends. In the springtime, he goes out looking for egg clusters of the Oregon spotted frog, a provincially red-listed species.
Based out of Agassiz, BC (near Harrison Hot Springs), Pearson Ecological Consultation does work throughout the Fraser Valley, from Burnaby to Chilliwack. The wetlands and marshes that Mike works in are incredibly rich with biodiversity. Frogs and other amphibians, fish, songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, small mammals, coyotes, as well as lots of insects and invertebrates all coexist in the wetlands and streams of the Fraser Valley.
Sadly, many aquatic systems have been lost to industrial and urban development, agriculture and habitat degradation. Pearson Ecological works to restore these habitats to their original structure.
After restoration work is complete, Mike and his collaborators continue to monitor the habitat, tracking animal populations. Restoration work is incredibly beneficial to species at risk, since habitat loss is so widespread and many species are desperate for a home.
Mike has generously offered to take four lucky nature-lovers out on a private field trip – it’s one of the perks available for a $1000 contribution to our Toad People crowdfunding campaign.
On a field trip with Mike, you and your friends would accompany him on some of his field studies. You get to actually help with the research!
You’ll go out in canoes, paddling the flatwater and enjoying the scenery. Depending on the dates, you’ll also get a chance to put on waders and wade through the wetland, quietly watching schools of nooksack dace and Salish suckers, or investigating the shallows for Oregon spotted frog eggs.
Claiming this perk on our Indiegogo page is a great way to help species at risk, more ways than one!