National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Should you find yourself walking any West Coast beaches this winter, take a moment to send loving vibes to the tiny — but mighty important — little fishes that may be underfoot, a Cortes Island marine biologist recommends.
It’s peak spawning season for the Pacific sand lance, one of the crucial forage fish species being mapped as part of an extensive citizen science project along the east coast of Vancouver Island, says Sabina Leader Mense, the marine stewardship co-ordinator for the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI).
Continue reading Mapping forage fish on Cortes Island
This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.
“This is black bear country. It has always been black bear country. Northern Cortes Island is likely where most of the bears live. Black bears can travel very far in one day and they are good swimmers. They do travel from island to island and there are likely year-round bears here. In the fall of 2019, there was a bear sighted at Blue Jay Lake. Then in April 2020, there was a black bear around Green Mountain. Since then, we’ve had conflicts with two bears: one in Whaletown and one in Squirrel Cove,” said Autumn Barrett-Morgan, a volunteer co-ordinator with the Friends of Cortes Island’s wildlife COEXistence program.
Continue reading Coexisting in Black Bear country
Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Every autumn, B.C.’s Cortes Island rolls out a critical road safety campaign to protect some of the smallest and most vulnerable members of the community — rough-skinned newts.
Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), a local conservation group, established the Newt X-ing Action Project to protect the little creatures, which face hazardous trips across roadways when they leave their wetland habitats and head into nearby forests to hibernate at the start of the rainy season.
Continue reading Cortes Island’s Newt-X-ing