Bee on Clover

Beginning to Barcode British Columbia

The summer of 2014 can be said to have been CBG’s busiest field season. Not only was it the final year of the Canadian National Parks (CNP) Malaise Program, but we also focused on concentrated sampling efforts in provincial parks within Ontario and British Columbia (BC). Now that the CNP Program is complete, we were finally able to process some of our BC samples.

CBG collaborated with BC parks to start a Malaise trap program in provincial parks, protected areas, and ecological reserves in the province. A contact from the federal government also helped us out by sampling in the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria. In total, 10 sites were involved in the BC Malaise Program collecting samples from the Okanagan Valley, Vancouver Island’s east coast, a bog near the Babine Mountain, and even on the island of Haida Gwaii. In addition, the BIObus also journeyed to BC to perform Standardized Sampling in three different parks: E.C Manning in the south, Burnt Cabin Bog in the interior, and Kinaskan Lake in the north.

BC Map
Map and list of sampling sites involved in the BC Malaise Program (yellow; sites 1-10), including images of the traps in each locality, and the Standardized Sampling Program (red; sites A-C).

We analyzed a portion of the Malaise samples from each of the ten parks. A total of 11,348 specimens were captured and 2271 BINs (Barcode Index Number, a proxy for species) were detected in these samples. Over half the individuals being flies (Diptera), followed in abundance by bees, ants and wasps (Hymenoptera), moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), and true bugs (Hemiptera).

Taxonomic breakdown of (A) 11,348 total specimens processed and (B) 2271 total BINs collected in the BC Malaise Trap Program 2014.

The BIObus crew really enjoyed travelling through BC. It’s not every day you get to drive through an entire province from bottom to top. BC has beautiful mountains and enormous tracks of forest. E.C. Manning, located in the heart of the Canadian Cascade Mountains, had a variety of habitats to sample from, including a sub-alpine forest with a little bit of snow left on the ground and a Pacific coastal forest completely covered in a soft moss bed. Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve, near Smithers, had an enormous bog that was full of life and was fairly easy to navigate considering most bogs you can find yourself sinking into if you’re not careful where you step. Kinaskan Lake had a crystal clear lake next to a heavily forested parkland.

E.C. Manning Provincial Park
E.C. Manning Provincial Park
Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve
Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve
Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park
Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park

In these three parks the BIObus crew set up our Standardized Sampling program which included a Malaise trap, a flight-intercept trap, pan traps, pitfall traps, leaf litter collection for Berlese funnels and sweeping using insect nets of each site. In total, 18,944 specimens were processed from 31 individual collecting events leading to the generation of 2626 BINs.

If you want to read more details about this report check it out here.