We are a non-profit society. We work to understand, appreciate, protect and restore
the ecosystems and watersheds in the Yellow Point area of Vancouver Island and to inspire and support local residents and visitors to do the same.
We clocked up a similar number of species as previous years, with fewer observers. We had 298 research grade species as shown below, thanks to the quality of the observations and the support of the wider iNaturalist community helping ID the entries.
YES board members are not eligible for prizes, and so our prize winners are Annette Lefaivre (visiting from Calgary and helped map the area), Liam Steele (from Ladysmith and an outstanding young naturalist) and Heath Bleau (who recently moved, with his wife Kathy, to Nanaimo). Annette and Heath received a set of 10 Briony Penn Nature cards, and Liam was persuaded to accept a BC Museum Mushroom book, in part as a thank you for all his work helping to ID species.
We also awarded a school prize to the Grade 3 class at the Stz’Uminus Community School, who joined the BioBlitz for the first time and will be presented with a set of the Pacific North West Plant Knowledge Cards and a set of Briony Penn’s Nature posters.
Our results compared to last two years (given in brackets) are as follows:
Pacific Trillium (Trillium ovatum) was the most observed and by the most people. Western Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) was spotted multiple times by a few people. The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) was the top observed species last year and no one recorded it this year.
Other notable differences were that there were only 4 sightings of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus) was absent this year, and western meadow rue (Thalictrum occidentale) was seldom seen.
The most observed species aligns with my experience of this season – the trilliums were out in force, the robins were furiously nesting and dominating the dawn chorus, and I did not see the Great Blue Heron by the Ladysmith Marina (but they are back now).
The top introduced and invasive species recorded remain: Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) – located along Cable Bay Trail, in Joan point Park, Holland Creek Park, Holland Creek Estuary Trail, Haslam Creek, near yellow Point Lodge and along power line ROWs. Broom cuts are planned for some of these locations. European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) – located in Stocking Creek Park, Holland Creek Park, Morden Colliery, Kinsman Park, Estuary Trail, and other roadsides Spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola) – all the above parks!!
I will be using and adding to this data set to help determine where we need to remove invasives from our parks and other special areas.
There was some great teaching and learning happening in the online chatter. Next year let’s expand the learning to the field, organise some group walks and take the iNater chatter to the field.
See you same time, same place next year! Reserve April 26-29th 2024 for getting out in nature with your friends, family, and other naturalists. This date aligns with the global City Nature Challenge BioBlitz and we hope Nanaimo and other Vancouver Island Cities will join in again.
A BioBlitz is when ordinary folks wander out into the local woods and wetlands, looking for as many different species of plant, animal, bird and fungus as we can, and take a photo, using the iNaturalist app. When lots of us to it over a short period, it gives us a snap-shot of how Nature is doing.
Please encourage people to participate! There’s a poster here that you can print, and put up in your local area. Keep on reading, below!
Friday April 28th – Monday May 1st – take pictures of wild fungi, plants and animals
Tuesday May 2nd – Sunday May 7th – upload and identify the species in iNaturalist
Results will be announced by May 14th and prizes chosen by the end of May.
To participate in the BioBlitz, you need:
A free I-Naturalist account or app;
A smart phone or camera to capture images or sounds;
A smart phone or computer to upload images or sounds
4. Go to YES BioBlitz 2023 (it does not work using Safari). Create an account, or log in if you have one.
5. Top right, click “Join”
6. If you still have questions, message us in iNaturalist or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to chat, leave your number and we will call back.
The area for the Bioblitz includes Ladysmith, South Nanaimo, Cassidy, and our coastal waters to the east as shown on the map below. We are looking at adding more area south of this and will update the site if successful. Note there are many public parks where you can explore and there are reserves and private lands, where you need permission.
All photos and recordings taken during the designated dates and times (6 AM on April 28th to 8 PM on May 1st) in our geographical location will count towards our YES BioBlitz. Of course everything entered in I-Naturalist outside this time-frame is also valuable!
This year’s prizes will be sets of 10 nature cards by the Salt Spring naturalist and artist Briony Penn.
There are great resources on iNaturalist on how to participate as a school group, how to take photos which can be identified, and how to use iNaturalist.
There is a lot of local interest in finding land where we could establish a natural/green burial site in the Yellow Point and Cedar area.
This would satisfy a spiritual need for people who wanted their remains to to rest in the arms of a forest, and an ecological need by protecting an area of forest that might otherwise have been cut down.
To learn more, we invited Cathy Valentine from the Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery to make an evening presentation, and help us to learn how we could remember a loved-one in a forest that would over time become a towering old-growth forest.
If you are interested, and if you know land that might be suitable, please contact Pamela Walker, 250-245-9155
We invite you to join us for our YES AGM and Potluck Supper. In person, not by Zoom!
We will look back at the past year, and consider our plans for the future. And oh yes, we’ll do the normal AGM things (at 6pm), including inviting new people to join our Board/Team.
It’s at the home of Carolyn Herriot and Guy Dauncey, 13561 Barney Road, off Yellow Point Road – the white house at the bottom of Barney Road. After you go up and down the hill, turn left, park on the road, and walk in! Bring something yummy to share.
Wednesday April 12 , 7pm Sharp-tailed Snakes and other Reptiles of Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands
Join us as the Yellow Point Ecological Society and the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust host biologists Carrina Maslovat and Laura Matthias for a presentation on Sharp-tailed Snake conservation efforts in our region.
Sharp-tailed snakes are a Species at Risk threatened primarily due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Previously thought to be found only in the Gulf Islands, the southern tip of Vancouver Island and one small area of the mainland in Pemberton, sharp-tailed snakes were recently found in the Cedar area.
Find out more about this interesting species, the conservation efforts to protect them, and what you can do to help. They will also talk about other reptiles with whom we share our local habitat.
This is a big project that we have been working on for two years. Our goal is to complete and print a super-useful resourceful guide for all local land-owners and stewards of the land, to guide us as we manage the land and all the co-inhabitants with whom we share it.
This is our Table of Contents. We will gradually add links to pages as we complete them.
The Salt Spring author, naturalist and artist Briony Penn has kindly allowed us to convert some of her beautiful illustrations into greetings cards, which we are selling as a fundraiser for YES. $6 each. Buy 3 or more $5 each. Add $5 for postage if you would like us to mail them to you.
We are not set up for an on-line shop, so please bear with us! The cards shown below are available by all five methods. Various other designs are also available if you visit the three outlets listed in method 1.