Garry Oak Ecosystems, and the Arthropods that live there

Garry oak ecosystems (GOEs) are unique communities and environments that contain naturally occurring Garry oak trees (Quercus garryana) and the particular flora and fauna associated with them.  These ecosytems are among the most threatened in Canada, and sadly, less than 5% of the original habitat exists in pre-European settlement condition.  To make matters worse, the remaining GOEs, only found in southeastern BC in Canada, are under serious threat from land development, fire suppression, and invasive species.

Malaise trap set up in a Garry oak ecosystem near Prospect Lake in Saanich, BC.
Malaise trap set up in a Garry oak ecosystem near Prospect Lake in Saanich, BC.

The Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team is devoted to conserving and restoring these ecosystems and BIO has recently partnered up with members of this group to look at the arthropod community associated with GOEs.  With the help of Dave Fraser (BC Ministry of Environment), Leah Ramsay (BC Conservation Data Centre) and Claudia Copley (Royal BC Museum), the BIObus team deployed a malaise trap for 20 weeks near Prospect Lake in Saanich, BC (N48.520 W123.430) this summer.  At the end of September, a team from BIO will be picking up the samples and they’ll be returned to BIO for analysis.  Monica Young, who is part of the team visiting this trap and other sites in BC where arthropod trapping was conducted, was recently interviewed about this project — along with Dave and Claudia — by Ian Jessop of CFAX1070.  Click below to listen to the interview.  In several months, we’ll have the first detailed inventory of the arthropod species associated with a Garry oak ecosystem across an entire season.

(above image from www.GOERT.ca, taken by Brian Reader)

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