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Species Identification - WHAT SPECIES LIVE HERE?




Barnacles belong to the arthropod phylum and are actually a crustacean therefore; it is related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimps. They can be 0.4 - 2.7 inches in diameter and are usually seen on rocks, crabs, whales, and even turtle shells. Their heads are attached to the animals or rocks and eat with their feet. Most barnacles are hermaphrodites so they have both male and female organs inside of them but in order to reproduce they must be fertilized by their neighbour.

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Mallard Ducks
Mallard Ducks

The Anas Platyrhynchos or the Mallard ducks are a species native to B.C. The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. They live in wetlands and eat small animals as well as water plants.


Robin up close
Robins are one of the common species across North America. Robins have an orangie warm color on their breast, sing sweet cherry song, and make an early appearance around the end of winter. Although they are usually near towns and cities, wilderness (forest mountain) are also their habitat. You can spot the robins in parks most of the time, tugging out earthworms from the ground.

Birdhouses at Habitat Island

Canada Goose
Canada Goose
The Branta canadensis or the Canada goose is a large wild goose species with a black head and neck; it lives close by or in fresh water. They are usually 4.2 to 5.6 ft in height with a 30 to 43 inch wingspan. They can be found in wetlands and they eat leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds and berries. They usually breed all over North America.

Robin at Habitat Island

Agelaius Phoeniceus
(Red winged black bird)

Agelaius Phoeniceus are black bird with their bold coloured red wings spread throughout North America. They can be spotted on their favourite rest place, like on cattail plant or on soggy soil and telephone wires, when they are back for spring. The black males have glossy feather along with scarlet-yellow shoulders that puff up or hides depending on their confidence in the new environment. Females on the other hand have dark brown coloured furs.
Red Winged Black Bird closeup


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Moss on rocks


Mosses are usually bright green in color and they don’t have vascular tissues therefore they lack stems, roots, and flowers. Instead of roots they have rhizoids which help anchor them to the ground or on rocks. Moss can only grow in clean environments and are able to absorb plenty of water to prevent erosion. Due to its absorptive nature it was used as bandages during WW1 and was used to soothe infections with its antibacterial properties.

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Kelp is a large green-brown plant with leaves called blades and at the base of the blades there are “bladders” which are round pods that keep the kelp upright so the top of the blades can reach the sunlight. They can be found in the Pacific Ocean and often survive better in colder water with lots of strong currents because it brings nutrients that kelp needs. It doesn’t have a vascular system but it absorbs nutrients and gases that it needs from the water that it’s in. It’s often used in soups or for other dishes, in fertilizer or even in makeup and personal care products such as toothpaste and shampoo

Cattails in wetland lakes

Cattails are plants in a wetland environment with a flowering spikes, and flat blade leaves that are around 3 to 10 feet. They are found commonly in large marshes and on the edge of ponds and lakes. The pollinated flowers have fluffy seed heads that is spread from the blow of the wind. Cattails spread through their root system to make many species of its kind. Aboriginal people use the bark of the cattail to make mats, blankets and even ceiling of their tent.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Pinus banksiana also known as jack pine can range from 9-22 metres tall and it’s rarely as tall as 30 metres. It has short, light green pointy needles which are yellowy green. The buds are blunt pointed and are pale reddish brown in color and the twigs are ridged and slender.

Jack Pine up close

Nootka Rose
Nootka Rose

The Nootka Rose is a native species of North America. It is part of the rose family. The leaves are deciduous and pinnately compound with 5-9 leaflets. The leaves are arranged alternately. The leaves are grown in pairs and are light green in colour. The edges of the leaves are toothed. The plant prefers to grow in moist soil and sunlight, although they can also thrive in areas that are shady. The flower has a pleasant scent. Pink flowers usually grow in groups of two or three.

Oregon Grape Holly

These Oregon grape holly are evergreen shrubs that have bronze-red colouring leaves (new growth) that turns into glossy dark green leaves (spiny foliage) as it grows bigger. Later, the bright yellow flowers are followed up by dark blue berries. Although the berries are extremely tart and sour, the aboriginal people make bakery goods with other sweeter berries and are used for wine as well. They also use the roots for fresh tea; and some parts of the leaves are edible after boiling them in hot water and air dried until tender.

Oregon Grape Holly leaves

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar

The Western Red Cedar is an evergreen coniferous tree and a native species of North America. This cedar tree can grow and reproduce under shade. It can range up to 65-70 m tall and 3-4 m wide. There foliage is formed with scale-like leaves in opposite pairs. It’s green at the top and green with white markings underneath. The cones are thin with overlapping scales. The Natives used the wood from the tree to make canoes, totem poles, and houses.

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Douglas Fir
Douglas Fir

Most pine trees possess a thick and scaly bark. The leaves are needle-like shaped that remains on the tree throughout the year. The Douglas fir, also known as Pseudotsuga menziesii is an evergreen conifer which is native to Western North America. The Douglas Fir produce cones, which contain the male and female sex organs. This concludes that pines are monoecious plants. The seeds of the pine contain wings, which makes it easier for dispersal with the help of the wind. Many pines often grow on the acidic, well drained soil.

Red Flowering Currant

Ribes sanguineum, the flowering currant, red flower currant, or red-flowering currant, is North American a species of flowering plant in the family Grossulariaceae, native to western United States and Canada, It can grow from 5-10 ft tall, with leaves that are 1-2.5 inches wide. The upper surfaces are mostly green and smooth while the underside is whitish and finely haired. The flowers are pinkish red with 5 petals. The berries are ⅜-⅝ inches long, the colour when ripe is a deep purple. Aboriginal groups like the Saanich, Cowichan, Squamish and Sechelt ate them fresh and rarely dried them.

Red Flowering Currant

Common Chokecherry

The chokecherry is a native species of North America and a species of bird cherries. Chokecherry leaves are long and shaped like ovals. In spring, you can see white flowers growing in clusters on the plant. The fruits on these plants can be red or black and are often bitter and sour. Aboriginals collected these fruits to eat and used the wood for handles. Other uses from this plant are wine, syrup and juice.

Common Chokecherry flower clusters

Speckled Alder

Speckled alder, also known as Alnus incana are widely grown in gardens and nurseries. This plant can easily be trained to a tree-like form by removing the lower branches. The Speckled alder provides shade for many wildlife such as moose, deers and rabbits. Natives Americans use the speckled alder to treat anemia, as an emetic, a compressor wash for sore eyes and many more. The Speckled alder colonize in stream banks, lake shores, and damp meadows

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                                                                                       Speckled Alder

Rubus Armeniacus or Himalayan Blackberry  
(image right)

The Himalayan Blackberry is a perennial plant which means it can last a long time. They are native species to Armenia and Northern Iran. They are invasive species of North America. This species is very similar to blackberries. They prefer to grow in areas with sunlight and rich soil. The evergreen leaves usually have 3 or 5 leaflets that are oval-acute shaped and dark green on top while the bottom is pale and white. The tip of the leaves is pointed and wooly underneath. The edges are toothed. This plant can produce fruits that can range from dark purple and black. Flowers are produced in late spring and early summer. They grow in the second year of growth and usually have five white or pale pink petals. 

Katsura Tree

Katsura Tree, also known as Cercidiphyllum japonicum is native to China and Japan, which was imported into North America by an American consul to Japan, sent the seeds to his father who is a horticulturalist in New York. The Katsura tree may grow up to 18m in height. The twigs are quite slender, while buds borne on dwarf shoots sit against the twig. Leaves are arranged nearly or oppositely from each other. Fruits are born as pods, which could be in groups of 2 to 4.

Katsura Tree

Bigleaf Maple

Bigleaf Maple is a deciduous tree and is native to North America. The leaves that belong to this species are the largest of all maple leaves and trees. Tends to grow in shady area where the soil is moist. This plant has five palmate lobe leaves. The leaves are usually shiny and green. The leaves turn gold and yellow in the fall. The bark of the tree is shallowly grooved and greyish brown in colour. The trees can grow to become almost 50 metres tall but are mostly 15-20 metres tall. The flowers bloom in spring and are often long and greenish yellow in colour. Maple syrup has been made from the sap that came from this tree. Wood from the tree bark has been used to 
make different furniture.

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                                    Bigleaf Maple 


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Robin - An orangey warm color, sings songs, early appearance and the end of winter Mallard Ducks - Males have glossy green heads and have grey on the wings and belly. Females have brown speckled plumage Red Flowering Currant - Pinkish with 5 petals, leaves’ surface is green and smooth.Underneath leaves’ is white and finely haired. Berries are deep purple when ripe. Oregon Grape Holly - Bright yellow flowers that eventually turn into dark blueberries. Douglas Fir - (Evergreen conifer) Pine tree with needle like leaves. Bark is thick and scaly. Western Red Cedar- Evergreen coniferous tree which can grow and reproduce under shade. Big Leaf Maple - Largest of all maple trees(deciduous tree), have  5 deeply incised palmate lobes. Grows where soil is moist, leaves are green and shiny. Nootka Rose - Deciduous and pinnately compound leaves with 5-9 leaflets. Leaves are arranged alternately. Pink flowers in groups of 2-3. Jack Pine - Short, light green pointy needles which are yello…

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