New Western Painted Turtle populations?

In the past week, 2 potential Western Painted Turtle populations have been identified.  The first identification was made by 2 biologists who identified an endangered Western Painted Turtle at Kemp Lake in Sooke this week.  "It was basking on a log with 2 Red-eared Sliders and an Eastern Painted Turtle, both of which are introduced species." says Christian Engelstoft (MSc, RP Bio). On top of that, last week a HAT member also sent in a photograph of an adult Western Painted Turtle near the Metchosin Golf Club - exactly where the turtle was living is still unknown.

While there we still have many more questions than answers about these turtles, the report highlights the importance contribution keen observers of nature make to our understanding of species at risk.  Each year, new populations of rare and at-risk species are found when members of the public send us their photographs and observations.

If you think you’ve seen something unusual, take a photograph and tell us about it by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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New Western Painted Turtle populations?

In the past week, 2 potential Western Painted Turtle populations have been identified.  The first identification was made by 2 biologists who identified an endangered Western Painted Turtle at Kemp Lake in Sooke this week.  "It was basking on a log with 2 Red-eared Sliders and an Eastern Painted Turtle, both of which are introduced species." says Christian Engelstoft (MSc, RP Bio). On top of that, last week a HAT member also sent in a photograph of an adult Western Painted Turtle near the Metchosin Golf Club - exactly where the turtle was living is still unknown.

While there we still have many more questions than answers about these turtles, the report highlights the importance contribution keen observers of nature make to our understanding of species at risk.  Each year, new populations of rare and at-risk species are found when members of the public send us their photographs and observations.

If you think you’ve seen something unusual, take a photograph and tell us about it by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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CRD Parks Strategic Plan - Public Input sessions

CRD Parks is hosting a series of public consultations to gather input for their new 10 year strategic plan.

We sometimes take it for granted that parks are protected places, but it important to let our regional government know that people value these parks as fragile natural environments whose primary purpose is to conserve ecosystems.  Especially when a barrage of new user groups seek to access and to change the use of parks.

There is also an online form here:  http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/planning/strategicplan.htm

Meeting dates are:

Juan de Fuca
Otter Point Fire Hall, 3727 Otter Point Rd

May 12

Doors open: 6-7pm
Dialogues: 7-8:30pm
Wrap-up: 8:30-9pm

Sooke
Sooke Hall, 2037 Shields Rd.

May 13

Doors open: 6-7pm
Dialogues: 7-8:30pm
Wrap-up: 8:30-9pm

Saanich Peninsula
Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney

May 18

Doors open: 6-7pm
Dialogues: 7-8:30pm
Wrap-up: 8:30-9pm

Westshore
Lady of Our Rosary Parish, 798 Goldstream Ave.

May 17

Doors open: 6-7pm
Dialogues: 7-8:30pm
Wrap-up: 8:30-9pm

Salt Spring Island
Anglican Church, 110 Park Drive

May 19

Doors open: 6-7pm
Dialogues: 7-8:30pm
Wrap-up: 8:30-9pm

There is also an opportunity for community groups to make presentations to the Parks Strategic Planning Citizens’ Advisory Panel on May 29th.

I encourage you anyone who can to attend one of the sessions.

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Have you checked your Snake boards?

Sharp-tailed Snake Monitors, please check your Artificial Cover Objects (shingles) for snakes!  Sharp-tailed Snakes are most active during the spring and fall, so now is the best chance you have of finding these elusive critters. If you do find a snake, try to take a picture, and let us know as soon as possible.  Young Garter Snakes are often confused with Sharp-tailed Snakes.  Check our Sharp-tailed Snake Stewardship page for more information about their life-history and identification.

Finally, if you live in remnant Garry oak meadow or on a steep slope with wildflowers and think you may have Sharp-tailed Snakes on your property, contact us about becoming a Sharp-tailed Snake monitor.

coiled_STS_web_copy

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Have you checked your Snake boards?

coiled_STS_web_copySharp-tailed Snake monitors, it's the time of year to check your Artificial Cover Objects (shingles) for Sharp-tailed Snakes.  The spring and fall are when Sharp-tailed Snakes are most active, so your best chance finding them is right now.

If you find a snake, try to take a picture if possible, and let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 250 995-2428. 

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