BC contains just over 1% of Canada’s wetlands.3% of BC is considered wetland. Def’n- Land that is saturated long enough to promote wetland or aquatic processes indicated by poorly drained soils, hydrophytic (water tolerant) vegetation and biological activity adapted to a wet environment. Shallow open water- 75% of wetland is water with less than 2m depth. Can be part of other wetlands.Marsh-periodically flooded with slow moving or standing water. Fresh or saltwater. Swamp- standing water, less flow. Deciduous and coniferous cover. Fen is peatland with water table at or just above the surface. Wetter than bogs, decomposed sedge and brown peat moss. More nutrient rich and less acidic. Bogs are peatlands with water table at or below the surface. Decomposed sphagnum moss, highly acidic and low in nutrients.
As much as 90% of matter is removed as water flows through wetlands. Includes sediment and chemicals. They bind with sediments on the bottom and are stored or converted into non-toxic material by plants. Flood control (attenuation)- slowing and storing flood water. Sponge effect. Erosion control from fast moving waters, release water slowly during drought. Transitional richness of plants and animals. Many species of birds, amphibians, mammals and fish are dependent on these habitats. Act as carbon sinks. Recreation, scientific and educational opportunities.
Northwestern Salamander- neotenesLarge- 24cmLive as long as 5yrs.Can be neotenous or become terrestrial after 1-2 years. Sexual maturity one year after metamorphisis. CarniverousPoison on tail
Long Toe SalamanderWill become terrestrial in the first summer except in very cold areas where they may overwinter the first year. Live 6-10 years.Widespread across BC and habitat typesSecretes poison that can act like rubber cement that can hold predators for up to 40 minutes while they get away. Regenerate body parts.
Pacific Chorus FrogLive in a variety of habitats (even urban)Breed in permenant or ephemeral water. Can travel great distancesNewly metamorphosed frogs are only 1cm.Can throw their voice. Will stop calling when threatened.Change colour rapidly in response to temperature and humidity.
Northern alligator lizardHibernatesGives birth to live young. Live near the hibernacula.Importance of upland habitats- connectivity
Habitat destruction and alteration- dyking, drainage, cuvertsInvasive speciesSpoil/Waste disposalPollutants
Here is a pic of the Pemberton Valley flying in from the west. It is so interesting to see from the air. All the old channels are really easily visible even though many of them have been farmed for many decades. It is also amazing the feats of the engineers who worked in the middle of last century to dyke and drain this area. I am going to look at two in particular, the Lillooet River connection to the Ryan at Riverlands and the Arn Canal.
Watershed- Ecosystem function, connectivityRestoration- protection is far more important because it is difficult to create nature. Site-specific management strategies can be developed in consultation with partners, First Nations, stakeholders, and the general public.Various land uses can be accommodated according to agreed-upon management objectives (e.g. recreation, grazing, agriculture, forestry etc).A WMA designation can serve as a legal mechanism to help implement wildlife/habitat conservation objectives identified in a strategic land use plan.Wildlife and habitat management options are flexible, ranging from no intervention at all to significant restoration and enhancement efforts.A WMA affords a wide range of opportunities to raise an area’s profile while engaging the public in shared conservation and stewardship activities.