The Oystercatcher: News and Events from the Mayne Island Conservancy

July, 2020

Land Slugs and Your Garden

Land Slugs and Your Garden
By Joël Lavigueur

What is a slug? It's a snail with a housing problem! It’s true! A slug is essentially a snail with little to no shell. They are part of a class of molluscs called gastropods (from the Greek for “stomach-foot”), just like nudibranchs and whelks. Land slugs are a well-known slimy encounter in Pacific Northwest forests. As with many creepy crawlers, they are very misunderstood. Some of us might …

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Mayne Island Sea Cucumbers

Mayne Island Sea Cucumbers
By Charlotte Matthews

Weekly Sea Discovery: Sea Cucumbers Are Amazing Nutrient Cyclers While kayaking during our eelgrass surveys this week, I looked down and noticed some bright orange specks hidden amongst the algae and kelp. As we went shallower, I could see that these vibrant blobs were orange sea cucumbers! While nuzzled in between rocks and kelp, these sea cucumbers had their tentacles …

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crab-on-hand

Mayne Island Field Notes

By Nancy Gibson

We are excited to announce a new feature article series in the Oystercatcher which will involve you!

Whether hiking our forested trails, scrambling along shorelines, paddling in a canoe or kayak, sitting on the deck, or working in the garden, we all find many moments that delight us about our beautiful island. For this series, we invite Mayne Islanders of all ages to record and submit their observations of a special moment in nature they would like to share with our readers. You do not need to be a writer - our editors will compose a short piece based on your description. If you are a poet or a photographer, we welcome submissions from you as well.
Here are some questions which might help you get started :
Where and when (season, time of day) did this event occur? Describe the moment in terms of sight, sound and smell. What was it about this experience that delighted, amazed, excited or amused you?
Please email your submissions to info@mayneconservancy.ca.

Bay Pipefish

Bay Pipefish
By Charlotte Matthews

Weekly Sea Discovery: Bay Pipefish and Eelgrass Beds As you walk through or snorkel around the eelgrass beds of Mayne Island, you may not see the excellently camouflaged bay pipefish. Found swaying amongst the eelgrass, bay pipefish look almost identical to the plant's blades. Eelgrass beds and other seaweed patches that these pipefish live in are usually found in more …

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Porcelain Crabs

Porcelain Crabs
By Charlotte Matthews

Weekly Sea Discovery: Delicate Porcelain Crabs of the Intertidal While porcelain crabs may look like true crabs, they are more closely related to squat lobsters and hermit crabs. They have flattened bodies so they can squeeze between rocks and crevices on rocky shores. One identifying feature is their large, broad claws, that can sometimes be even larger than their body! …

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Citizen Science, and the Crows and Ravens of Mayne Island

Citizen Science, and the Crows and Ravens of Mayne Island
By Nancy Gibson

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Northwestern Crows and Common Ravens, two of Mayne Island's Corvid bird species? The Mayne Island Conservancy is eagerly anticipating a visit by Dr. Ben Freeman, postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia to teach us more about them. At this time, we are unable to give a firm date for Ben's …

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Pacific Hake

Pacific Hake
By Charlotte Matthews

Weekly Sea Discovery: Pacific Hake are an Integral Part of B.C.'s Marine Ecosystem This week we’re featuring a fish that has both economic and ecological importance to the BC coast and marine ecosystem. Pacific hake is the most abundant groundfish in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystems (including the Salish Sea). Groundfish are fishes that are bottom-dwelling (live on, or …

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Ochre Sea Star

Ochre Sea Star
By Charlotte Matthews

Weekly Sea Discovery: Wasting Sea Stars of the Intertidal Many of you may have noticed or heard about the virus causing sea stars along the Pacific Northwest to waste away, known as Sea Star Wasting Disease/Syndrome. The virus isn’t new, but changes in ocean temperature and marine environments have resulted in mass die-offs of sea stars. One sea star that …

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