Burns Bog Conservation Society conducts ecological and biodiversity research within the Delta Nature Reserve. With the help of volunteers, we study the bumble bees, birds, and amphibians that make Burns Bog their home. If you’re interested in becoming a “citizen scientist” please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bumble bees are incredibly important insects that help pollinate many types of plants in the bog. While other animals such as hummingbirds, beetles, and flies also pollinate plants, bees are by far the most effective pollinators around! Pollinator surveys involve catching these busy bees with nets, cooling them down to make them less active, and then identifying which species of bee it is. When we’re done, we help the bee warm up in a safe, shaded area, so that they can get back to their busy day of collecting pollen!
These surveys help us understand population trends. Many bee species are facing pressures due to shrinking habitats and climate change. By monitoring local bee abundance over time, and learning more about the habitat and plants that bees rely on, we can learn how to better protect and recover these essential insects!
Bird Call Surveys
Many birds spend their summer in Vancouver, settling down with a mate and raising their young before heading down South. The many ecosystems within Burns Bog support hundreds of birds, including many species of songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and owls. We conduct surveys in the early morning hours when male birds are most active. The unique calls, sung by different bird species, allow us to keep track of the bog’s birds without ever even seeing them. New apps, like Merlin Bird ID, record and identify bird calls, allowing everyone to participate in research. Understanding which bird species use Burns Bog as their home and which habitats they prefer is essential to protecting endangered species. So, the more researchers, the merrier!
Frogs and Salamanders are some of the more difficult residents of Burns Bog to find! To survey them, we set up simple plywood “cover boards” (also known as artificial cover objects, or ACO’s) which keep the soil and peat underneath moist by blocking sunlight and preventing evaporation from occurring. This creates tiny “microhabitats” where amphibians like to hide to stay moist and cool. Volunteers periodically flip over these boards, and count the amphibians underneath!
Globally, amphibians represent some of the most endangered and threatened species. Collecting long term data on local populations, and learning more about their habitat needs, will help us care for the sensitive animals.
Want a more in-depth explanation of our research? Please check out our volunteer handouts!
- Bird Call Survey Handout: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FslHbRkm5NB3YTo4xOKVgXT601Ru6yjKbfj4x_EdIHU/edit?usp=sharing
- Cover Board Survey Handout: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cUFcM8ZMHRftxtYllFJIxV655eYnQIkhqza9b04rzjk/edit?usp=sharing
- Pollinator Survey Handout: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i4sd3QRBCEph3273X-Dq1eSq2ATAlFo2GNSGFdk2mQ0/edit?usp=sharing
For a more detailed report on the results of our biodiversity research in the Delta Nature Reserve,, please check out our summer report for 2022: BBCS R&S Summer Report.docx
There are lots of ways to keep up with us!
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Follow us on Instagram (@burns_bog).
- Keep up with us on Facebook (Search for Burns Bog Conservation Society).
- Follow our Twitter (@burns_bog).
If you are interested in signing up to become a research volunteer, please sign up at [https://burnsbog.org/volunteer-opportunities/]
Or email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for more information on ecological research and stewardship in Canada? Check out these other organizations!
- BC Marsh Monitoring Program
- Bumble bee watch
- Urban ecology institute
- Frogwatch BC
- Birds Canada