The Northern Red-Legged frog is on the endangered species list

What’s in your backyard?

Mission property owners can learn about local wildlife

How well do you know your neighbours? Not the ones living in the house next door, but the ones that are living in your tree, under the rock, or in the creek that runs along your property.

These natural places could be home to endangered creatures in your area.

“Quite a lot of endangered species can actually be found in Mission,” said Lovena Morton, a wildlife habitat protection intern with the South Coast Conservation Program (SCCP).

The most common are the Oregon Forest snail, Pacific Sideband snail, Northern Red-Legged frog, Great Blue heron, and Band-tailed pigeon.

“Mission also has Pacifc Watershrew, a rare plant called the Phantom Orchid, and there’s Western Painted turtles in Silvermere Lake.”

“Each property is different,” added Tamsin Baker, stewardship coordinator with the program. “We’re mostly interested in finding areas with habitat.”

Over the next few months, members of the SCCP are offering to help you learn more about the nature in your backyard and show you how to improve habitat for the native plants and wildlife. They can also suggest ways to incorporate native flowering plants on your property to attract certain birds and bees, while controlling invasive species.

“On one property, we helped the landowner restore a portion of Windebank Creek by removing invasive blackberry and planting native vegetation along the creek,” said Morton.

There are currently more than 260 endangered plant and animal species living in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

As the human population grows, the natural areas and the species they support shrink, said Baker, noting stewardship is one way to help maintain the environment’s diversity.

The free program is available to property owners with land adjacent to a forest, wetland, creek or pond. Financial support of the program is provided by Environment Canada.

For more information, or to set up a visit, call Tamsin Baker at 604-202-2381 or email tamsin@sccp.ca.