Organizers of a wildlife census in Metchosin surpassed the target of 1,000 species during the district’s third bioblitz.
A bioblitz takes a 24-hour snapshot of regional diversity.
A group of 55 species experts identified 411 vascular plants,102 birds, 115 marine animals,125 mosses and liverworts, 83 mushrooms, 99 algae, 31 insects and spiders, 186 lichens, five slugs and snails, eight amphibians and reptiles and nine mammals.
“I would never have thought that we could reach 1,100,” said Kem Luther, a local naturalist. “A mobile three-person search team led by biologist Hans Roemer zipped between Metchosin locales like a SWAT team, scanning, recording and collecting. During the six hours of forays on Saturday they found one new species every 40 seconds. If there was a Guinness book of records for bioblitzes, they would be in it.”
The two previous blitzes had found 850 and 930 species. They had hoped that this year’s total might reach 1,000.
“The number of species we found tells us how special Metchosin is,” said Metchosin Councillor Moralea Milne. “We’ve got some of the rarest habitats in Canada here. Our Garry Oak meadows are important remnants of a once-extensive, now- endangered ecosystem.”