IT Conservancy Report

Islands Trust Conservancy report:

Lasqueti Island

John Osland Nature Reserve (JONR): Historically the wetland at the JONR was drained and used for agriculture. In 2012, the agricultural ditching was removed and the wetland naturally returned. Over the years planting and fencing has taken place at the JONR to begin to restore the impacted areas. In 2021, with the CESI funding, an enhancement plan was written by SAR biologists Carrina Maslovat and Laura Matthias and initiated with the help of Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy (LINC), Nanaimo Area Land Trust (NALT), Katimavik volunteers, False Bay schoolchildren and Lasqueti residents. Together we are working to continue the restoration of this wetland. 2021 activities included:

 Over 1000 acoustic bat files were recorded on a bat detector in just one night and seven confirmed species were detected including federally Endangered Little Brown Myotis;

 50 m of fencing installed for 3 small exclosures to protect previous planting restoration areas (2013-2018) from feral sheep and deer;

 Removal of invasive Himalayan Blackberry prior to planting in and around the fenced exclosures; and,

 394 native species planted in 2 existing exclosures that were built in 2018.

Islands Trust Conservancy Briefing Page 2

 

Mount Trematon Nature Reserve (MTNR): A five-year biodiversity study began in 2021 in the MTNR under the guidance of Dr. Cora Skaien. The study uses the Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) design, which assesses the condition of a site before intervention and after, while also having control sites that did not receive intervention to account for changes that may have occurred naturally over time.

The first part of this study involved tracking changes in vegetation via natural regeneration from seed banks and dispersal both within and outside of a fenced area by monitoring ten 7-m radius plots over several years. The first vegetation inventory was conducted in the spring of 2021 of the natural regeneration plots before the fencing was constructed. Changes in vegetation within these plots will be assessed annually for the next few years. The second part of the study involves planting species associated with two habitat types within the Coastal Douglas-fir zone – the riparian and dry forest ecosystems. These have high biodiversity and pollinating value.

In October 2021 CESI funded a 4-person fence building team to build a 120 m x 60 m 6-foot high exclosure with fencing materials funded by SAR funding. After the fencing was installed 15 LINC volunteers helped plant 196 native species over 8 plots (4 control plots- 2 dry forest, 2 wet forest and 4 protected plots - 2 dry forest and 2 wet forest). Funds towards the plants and the study have also been received through LINC and the donor family successfully applying to the Public Conservation Assistance Fund - Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

 

Salish View Nature Reserve (SVNR): Work continued on the enhancement plan developed in 2020 for the human-built pond at SVNR. Support from CESI in 2021 provided funds to plant additional native plants within the exclosure (fenced and planted in 2020 with 841 native plants using SAR funds), to increase biodiversity and replace any plants that might not have survived the first year of planting. Botanist Carrina Maslovat visited SVNR in August 2021 to assess survivorship of previous plantings and develop a planting list for fall 2021 to augment existing plantings. The extremely hot and dry summer of 2021 resulted in the death of a number of the shrubs and trees planted in the sites further from the pond. In October 2021, planting of 131 native species was accomplished with a total of 16 volunteers, 12 from LINC and 4 from NALT.

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