Toad People | British Columbia
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British Columbia Tag

The Gems of the Swamp: Looking for amphibians with Monica Pearson

By Isabelle Groc, Toad People Co-Director / Wilderness Committee BC Species at Risk Project Coordinator

 

Join Monica Pearson on a wetland field trip to see Oregon spotted frogs and other amphibians. (Photo: Isabelle Groc)

Join Monica Pearson on an exclusive wetland field trip to see Oregon spotted frogs and other endangered BC amphibians. (Photo: Isabelle Groc)

When she was two years old, Monica Pearson lived close to Camosun Bog in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park. She spent most of her time outside sitting on a trail and playing with plants.

 

Her fascination for all things wild never faded, and as an adult she became a conservation biologist specializing in at-risk amphibians and wetland habitat restoration in British Columbia. Her favourite part of her work is designing and building habitat – a task she compares to sculpting with an excavator.

 

For the last eight years, Monica has been studying the secret life of one of the most beautiful and cryptic gems of the wetland, the Oregon spotted frog.

Turtle power

By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant 

 

Andrea Gielens releasing turtles

Become a Toad Person to join Andrea Gielens for a 1-on-1 field trip to see painted turtles in their habitat! (Photo: Wildlife Preservation Canada)

Andrea Gielens grew up in Aldergrove, BC, next door to a prime habitat area for Oregon spotted frogs. She’s always been interested in animals – from hatching frogs in buckets in her backyard to saving birds and shrews from the neighbourhood cats.

 

“Like most kids, I thought I was going to be a vet or a marine biologist,” Andrea recalls. “It wasn’t until my last semester of university that I got to be involved in direct conservation work with a local conservation centre.”

Giving a hoot for BC wildlife

Sofi with barn owl

Sofi Hindmarch is a barn owl researcher in southern BC. Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign to join her on a field trip with baby owls! (Photo: Isabelle Groc)

By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant

 

Sofi Hindmarch has been interested in conservation since her childhood in rural Norway. As she she grew up, she saw new roads and logging change the landscape around her – processes called “development.” These changes upset her, and she has since made a career exposing habitat destruction and working to protect wildlife.

 

Sofi came to Simon Fraser University 10 years ago, studying how various human activities affect barn owls for her master’s degree. Now she is earning her PhD and doing more fieldwork with baby barn owls in southern British Columbia.

 

As part of the crowdfunding campaign for our film, Sofi is generously inviting up to 6 people to spend a day in the field with herself and the owlets. You’ll even get a chance to help with her research!

Wet and wild!

By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant

 

Mike Pearson

Become a Toad Person and you could join biologist Mike Pearson for an exciting wetland field trip!

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.

What does it take to save a species? A people-powered movement, and an endangered species law

By Jennifer Deol, BC Species at Risk Project Assistant

 

Community members in Ryder Lake, BC have taken amphibian health into their own hands.

Community members in Ryder Lake, BC have taken amphibian health into their own hands. Photo: Isabelle Groc.

There is no debate anymore – wild species around the globe are drastically declining. And caring citizens across the globe are tired of being bystanders to the sixth mass extinction, while decision-makers dither on policies and politics.

 

With British Columbia’s own provincial government failing to pull its weight in this biodiversity crisis, a local community in Ryder Lake, Chilliwack BC has stepped up to the plate to protect BC’s only resident toad – the western toad.