From time to time, HAT is lucky enough to include students in our projects. Today, we'd like to do a student highlight, and feature one of our student collaborators' projects from her perspective:
"Hello HAT members!
My name is Bryana Matthews and I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria. I’m currently completing my last semester of school with a BSc in biology and a diploma in the Restoration of Natural Systems. As my final project to complete my diploma, I have partnered with HAT this fall to restore Blue-grey Taildropper habitat on one of the local covenants. At the end of October, some volunteers and myself tackled some of the invasive plant species on the site. We were able to fill 3 garbage bags of English Ivy, 2 garbage bags of English Holly, 1 garbage bag of Laurel-leaved Daphne and 5 garbage bags of Scotch Broom! As the second part of my project, with the help of Kristiina Ovaska, I have set out 60 artificial cover objects (ACOs) to monitor the presence of the Blue-grey Taildroppers. For the month of November, I am monitoring the ACOs and have already observed some Banana Slugs using the covers. I am however still hopeful to observe the endangered Blue-grey Taildropper!"
This local covenant that Bryana assisted in restoring hosts multiple sensitive ecosystem types providing excellent wildlife habitat. The property represents mature Douglas-fir and Garry Oak meadow ecosystems on the shore of Prospect Lake. A number of old growth Douglas-firs over 400 years old are represented on this property. The covenanted area hosts an ephemeral stream and associated wetlands as well, seasonally providing additional riparian areas. In this moist area, the Pacific Tree Frog (Hyla regilla) has been observed. Deer, owls, raccoons, and cougars also roam the area. Several invertebrates including snails, spiders, and beetles were documented during Blue-grey Taildropper surveys too.
Please share this news article with any students in the area you know that may be keen on partnering with HAT.