Tag Archives: Royal BC Museum

MYCOBlitz 2023 on Cortes Island

“The goal of a MYCOblitz is to document MYCOdiversity; i.e. the diversity of fungal species present on Cortes Island.Fungal fruiting bodies vary month to month, location to location, season to season. Therefore ongoing MYCOblitz’s are required to cover these bases!!” – email from Sabina Leader Mense

Close to 70 people of all ages took part in Cortes Island’s community fungal forest walk on November 1, 2023. The students of the Cortes Island Academy were among them. We were greeted outside the Linnaea Education Centre by one of the islands better known scientists, who declared:

“Good afternoon. Good afternoon. ‘Truncocolumella citrina‘ you can call me, the Latin name for Lemon truffle. On any day other than MYCOblitz, my name is Sabina Leader Mense. I’m a founding director and an educational research associate with the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortez Island Society and it’s my pleasure on their behalf to be hosting MYCOblitz 2023.” (Cheers)

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The Taxidermist behind Wild Cortes

Laurel Bohart has volunteered her time to mount or prepare the study skins of 100 birds, fish and mammals for the Cortes Island Museum. She is a member of the Board and one of the co-curators of Wild Cortes in the Linnaea Farm Education Centre. Bohart is also a professional taxidermist, whose interest can be traced back to her parent’s missionary years in Nigeria during the mid 1960s.

The first words she used to describe taxidermy were, “It’s fun.”

To which she added, “It’s a form of sculpture when you mount a bird or a mammal. It’s better than a photograph, which is two dimensional. These are three dimensional.”   

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Slugs and bugs are worth saving, too

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Conservationists striving to prevent species from going extinct find it tricky enough to save Canada’s most magnificent and iconic animals, like southern resident killer whales, mountain caribou or grizzly bears. 

But most of the 640 wildlife now listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act are flora and fauna that don’t get time in the spotlight. More than a third of at-risk species are plants, mosses and lichens most people would probably walk past without a second glance. 

Another 30 per cent are slimy, slithery, creepy creatures that folks might well notice but find repellent. But critters like slugs, bugs and snakes are critical to ecosystems, too, and deserve a lot more love. 

So, Canada’s National Observer asked three B.C. biologists to champion a less charismatic creature they think is fascinating and deserves a little public adoration.

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Tla’amin: Better museums; better history

qathet Living, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In the movement to decolonize BC’s museums, one of the most accomplished professionals is a member of Tla’amin Nation: Siemthlut (Michelle Washington.)

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Bringing Klahoose ancestors home

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Klahoose Nation’s traditional winter village lies at the head of Toba Inlet on B.C.’s west coast along the southernmost flank of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Nearby, alongside the Tahumming River, is an old cemetery sparsely covered with wooden or stone markers, mainly active while the Klahoose still lived in the Toba.

But some markers sit at the head of holed out graves, fenced off with care despite being empty.

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