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Exotic Wall Lizards of the South Coast
February 24, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us for a presentation by Dr. Gavin Hanke, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum. This talk will detail the origin and subsequent invasion of two species of exotic Wall Lizards in Washington and British Columbia. Since 1967, Common Wall Lizards have spread from Metchosin to Campbell River on Vancouver Island, are found on Denman, Saltspring, Pender and Hand Islands, and recently colonized the lower mainland at Powell River, Vedder Crossing, and Delta. The Italian Wall Lizard so far has been found once in Vancouver in 2019, but a population has been established on Orcas Island for 14 years. Common Wall Lizards were an intentional introduction in BC, but we have no idea how Italian Wall Lizards arrived in the Pacific Northwest.
Gavin Hanke joined the Royal BC Museum in 2004 with much of his published work on fossil fishes (acanthodians and early shark-like fishes) of northwestern Canada. He has described and named 10 new fossil fish species, and has another six new species descriptions still to publish.
Gavin has many publications, including two chapters in the Naturalist’s Guide to the Victoria Region, and 28 species entries in Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife (2001), both aimed at a general audience.
Gavin also works with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to document marine fish distributions, is working on a series of papers detailing many new species records and species range extensions along our coast, and works with the BC Ministry of Environment to collect and monitor exotic vertebrates, with a special interest in the role of the pet trade, angling industry and importation of live food fishes as a source of exotic/invasive animals.