You are here: Home » Carden Alvar » Notes from the Field – Spring 2020

Notes from the Field – Spring 2020

The Trudeau family have really stepped up at Church Woods.  Not only do they monitor for salamanders, but they kept a close eye on this 10 hectare Nature Reserve  in Shanty Bay while it was closed to the public. 

When we opened last Saturday, the whole family helped to ensure the opening went smoothly.  Thanks to Kim and Mark, and their three children Adeline, Woodsley, and Graham.     More photos here


Mel and Al water testing at the Sweetwater Nature Reserve.

Household teams are helping us get the job done through this quarantine.

On April 23rd, Melanie and Al Tuck began water monitoring at one of our newest acquisitions the Sweetwater Nature Reserve. 

Since it would be very difficult to keep our water monitoring equipment sanitized as it passes from team-to-team, we are doing a revised protocol:  water teams from the same household are simply doing temperature and depth at their sites.   While basic, temperature and depth provide critical information on drought years and whether nor not our streams can be classified as cold water, cool water, or warm water.  This has an impact on which aquatic species can live there. 

The stream flowing through Sweetwater gives every indication of being a cold water stream, but Mel and Al will be providing a final verdict on this at the end of their monitoring season. 

See a video of the stream here:

The Burnie sisters enjoy salamander monitoring.

On April 18th, after much begging, Joelle coaxed her reluctant sister to the Adams Nature Reserve, where she monitors for salamanders.  Once her sister saw her first egg mass she became enthusiastic and beat Joelle to finding three masses in the vernal pools!  

The Adams Nature Reserve  is known for its rich vernal pools which provide seasonal habitat for the safe development of salamanders, frogs, and insects who are unable to withstand predation from fish. 

For the past year we have kept these pools off-limits to the public due to their sensitivity and a dog’s fondness for playing in pools and puddles. 




Ann and Neil Gray monitor both Turnbull Ranch and Kris Starr Sanctuary for Amphibians.  

Neil got this terrific shot of Ann at Kris Starr April 8th .  







Katrina Hunt and Kim Ariss normally team up to do Frog Call Monitoring at the Adams Nature Reserve.  Alas they do not live in the same household and so Katrina has taken on some Land Stewardship duties at Alexander Hope-Smith instead.

On April 5th she coaxed her daughter, Hannah, out the door to check in on Alexander Hope-Smith for us.  

Photo of Katrina Hunt wearing her Citizen Science Badge:  Hannah Hunt.  





Turtles took advantage of the warm sunny day April 2nd to bask at one of our nature reserves.  Can you spot them?  There are two.

Reptile Monitoring season is official here!

Photo by Toby Rowland  





Neil Gray photo by Ann Gray



We received our first report of Western Chorus Frogs calling in the area on April 1st.  

Stay tuned for an audio recording and more details!  







Dave Hawke continues to protect wildlife from harm, this time on the new Sweetwater Nature Reserve. About one kilometer of rusty barbed wire has been cut down along Pearl Carrick Road and rolled to lessen the chance of a deer, moose or enthusiastic birders running into the neck-height wire.





Click here to read the Winter 2020 Notes from the Field.