A Tale Of Two Parks

Hey folks!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring! I sure have been. Everything here in BIO Collections is going well.  There has been some standardized sampling done at the rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge (see Shannon’s, Josh’s, or Danielle’s blogs for more details!). Everyone is also getting geared up for the Don River Watershed Bioblitz this weekend.

As for me currently, I just finished processing the standardized samples from Pacific Rim National Park and now I am starting the processing on Gulf Island National Park! Both are located in British Columbia. One day as I was looking through my microscope I realized…I had no clue what these parks even looked like!  Out of curiosity (and a bit of embarrassment) I did some research and I have decided I am going to share it with you!

Both parks are located at the southern portion of Vancouver Island. Pacific Rim is on the west side and Gulf Islands on the east side.  They are roughly 180 km away from each other. While their close proximity might suggest that their climates are similar, both parks are quite unique from one another!


Gulf Islands National Park Reserve includes 16 different somewhat smaller islands. It also includes some islets and reef areas collectively making a total of 33 square kilometers of protected land.  The islands locations give rise to Canada’s only area with a Mediterranean-type climate.  The summers are usually warm and dry and the winters are mild and wet, not usually dropping below zero degrees Celsius. This microclimate allows for some interesting diversity among the organisms that live there!

This is an aerial photo of Russell Island, one of the many included in the archipelago of The Gulf Islands. http://www.gulfislandsguide.com/russell-island-gulf-islands-national-park/
This is an aerial photo of Russell Island, one of the many islands included in the archipelago of The Gulf Islands. http://goo.gl/1XIuYQ

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is known for its rugged coastline and its extremely lush temperate rainforests. The areas along the coast have a Maritime-like climate, contrasting the areas inland which tend to have a humid rainforest climate. It is comprised of three areas, Long Beach, West Coast Trail, and the Broken Group Islands.  In the fall and winter the areas gets exposed to continuous moist air masses from the Pacific Ocean. These air masses are forced to rise because of the surrounding mountain ranges, which ultimately leads to a large amount of precipitation.  Pacific Rim National Park is only one of a few rainforest areas in Canada!

This is a picture of an old growth forest deep inland in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. http://wallpaperswide.com/old_growth_rainforest_in_pacific_rim_national_park_vancouver_island_canada-wallpapers.html
This is a picture of an old growth forest deep inland in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. http://goo.gl/MH3gcE

That is pretty much it for this week folks, but since this blog entry is a little less buggy (pun not intended) I will leave you with a joke. What is a caterpillar scared of?…….a dogerpillar!!! Stay tuned for info on my next trip to Rare, Bioblitz stories, and maybe even another lame joke or two!

Thanks for reading.