Author Archives: Irene

Don’t Let It Loose! Be a Responsible Pet Owner

As a suitable follow up from #WorldTurtleDay yesterday and to highlight the population of endangered Painted Turtles who make Burnaby Lake Regional Park their home.

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The Invasive Species Council of BC has proclaimed May  as Invasive Species Action Month.

While we usually think of invasive plants first, they also include animals and organisms that are not native to BC, and have serious impacts on our environment, economy and society. Invasive species can out-compete native species for food and space, damage ecosystems, disrupt food sources and introduce parasites and disease.  Some of the most serious invasive species were originally sold as pets or plants for water gardens and aquariums.

Most pets don’t survive in the wild – some die by being killed by predators or hit by cars, and others die of starvation. It is inhumane to release an animal into an environment it is not accustomed to. Releasing a pet into an unsuitable habitat is also considered animal cruelty and charges can be laid (BC SPCA).  However, several species have the ability to thrive and reproduce in their new environment.

The following exotic pet and plant species are commonly released into the wild, and have had serious impacts on BC’s native ecosystems and natural flora and fauna.

  • Red Eared Slider Turtles
  • European Rabbit
  • American Bullfrog
  • Koi Carp
  • Goldfish
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil
  • Parrot Feather
  • Brazilian Elodea

For example, the  Endangered Western Painted Turtle is a native Species at Risk within Burnaby Lake Regional Park and has faced many challenges with Red Eared Slider Turtles from pet shops that people have released into Burnaby Lake when they decide they no longer want their pet.  with which they compete.

Plants and animals should never be released into the wild: For information on actions to take visit www.bcinvasives.ca and www.bcinvasivesmonth.com.  Any sightings of these or other invasive species should be reported to the local invasive species committee.  Remember to sign the Don’t Let It Loose Commitment Form.

May Flowers at Last!

Rhododendron Festival Image 2017

It was long, weary winter and a very wet Spring so far. We’re hoping all those April showers are resulting in some gorgeous May flowers with more blue skies and warmer days ahead. We’ll be at the annual City of Burnaby Rhodofest on Sunday with information about invasive species, nest boxes and our activities at Burnaby Lake Regional Park. The forecast is for a sunny warm day – See you there!

Click on the link below for more details:

Burnaby Rhodofest 2017

Bird Impact Reduction Day

Today is Bird Impact Reduction Day.  It is important to bring attention to this now as the birds are very active. Our friends at the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC are tending to a steady influx of birds from window strikes (over 500 in 2016). They range from temporary shock to broken wings and keels (breast bones).

From Bird Studies Canada’s site, here it what to do if you find a bird that had impacted a window and is stunned or injured:

  • Gently place the bird in a paper bag or small cardboard box with air holes
  • Roll clean tissues or paper towels into a donut shape and place around the bird
  • Never feed the bird or give it water
  • Place in a quiet, dark, secure area
  • After an hour, take the box or bag to an area away from other buildings and windows, and release the bird
  • If the bird is unable to fly off or if there are visible signs of injury, contact Wildlife Rescue Association of BC at 5216 Glencarin Drive, Burnaby, (604) 526-7275.

* Although handling birds poses very little risk to human health, wearing gloves is recommended.

To see what you can do around your home. there are many techniques available, from window treatments to the placement of feeders, that you can use to reduce the potential for bird collisions at your home,  Click below for the latest brochure to make your Home Safe for Birds.

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FLAP Home Safe For Birds