With COVID-19 measures restricting our movements over the past 16 months, more of us have been exploring local parks and dyke trails, enjoying Delta’s scenery and skies, and discovering nature at our back door. Our community’s wildlife is extraordinarily diverse!
The Fraser estuary is known internationally for its abundant bird life. Enormous flocks of waterfowl winter here, including snow geese from Russia. Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds migrate through on a flyway stretching from the Arctic to South America.
Our mild winters attract birds of prey, including owls, hawks and eagles. Salmon that spawn in the Fraser River system rely on the estuary for critical stages of their life cycle. Delta’s offshore waters are home to marine mammals, including orcas, humpbacks and grey whales. Burns Bog is recognized as a unique habitat for special plants, insects and small mammals. Delta is a great area for nature.
The complex network and interdependence of animal and plant life is known as “biodiversity.” The need to protect it was the driver behind the City of Delta’s 2018 “Birds and Biodiversity Conservation Strategy”. This strategy was suggested and strongly supported by the Delta Naturalists Society (DNS), a group formed in 1988 and affiliated with the provincial organization BC Nature.
Naturalists know how critical it is to have in-depth knowledge of wildlife species and their habitats, to ensure their survival. As a contribution towards Delta’s strategy, DNS published two brochures in 2015: Birds in Delta and Experience Birding in Delta. More than 10,000 copies of these brochures have been distributed free to families, schools and anyone living in or visiting Delta, thanks to the City’s support.
To further help identify our city’s biodiversity, DNS is producing a series of new nature brochures this year. You can now pick up Animals in Delta, Intertidal Life in Delta and Bugs in Delta at Delta facilities, public libraries and City Hall, or download them from the DNS website. Brochures on Butterflies and Moths, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Fungi and two on Plants, will be completed in 2021. This project is made possible thanks to generous financial support from the City of Delta, Pacific Parklands Foundation, BC Naturalists Foundation and Delta Naturalists Society.Once normal activities resume, Delta Naturalists will host walks focused on biodiversity, including “bio-blitzes” where we will spot local species and record them on the iNaturalist app. We welcome new members; please visit our website: www.dncb.wordpress.com and Facebook page.