Last semester there was a day that was the longest day, but still a good day. It was a field trip day. I was in a class called “Conservation of Migratory Species” taught by a wonderful tutor, Mai Yasue. In this class we were looking at particular issues associated with the preservation of species that require large ranging territory and/or are seasonally migratory. Since our area of the world has plenty of these species, we left campus for a day to go see some of them in real life.
Our first stop was a bird banding location called Colony Farm, which is run by the Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC). It’s a popular location for migratory birds as well as residents. We went on their last day of mist netting for the year where birds are caught in mist nets, banded, and released. Through doing this they are able to see if birds come back each year (they do) and track where they may end up at other times of year. We were able to watch the process and even release the birds after they had been banded.
From there it was on to Grouse Mountain to see their Grizzly Bears. The bears, Grinder and Coola, were found as cubs and after being raised by people are unable to be released due to governmental regulations. They hopefully serve as an inspiration to visitors to care about the bears habitat and draw awareness to issues of conservation.
The farmers of Delta have an NGO dedicated specifically to them, in the form of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust. This organization has various projects in the works to provide habitat for migratory birds and other critters, while benefiting farmers through soil replenishment and hedgerows.
After a fun 12 hour day of seeing local initiatives that related to our class we headed back to Squamish. Just in time to start working on a paper.