Hirundo rustica [Threatened / Blue-Listed] Barn swallows can be found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. In our region, the barn swallow winters throughout South America and then returns to North America to breed in the summer, covering up to 14,000 miles during the round trip migration! This bird prefers open country, fields, and agricultural lands.
Tyto alba [Threatened / Blue-Listed] This medium-sized owl stands 30 -37 cm (just over a foot), and has a unique light-coloured heart-shaped face with dark eyes and a light beak. Preferred feeding habitat is open fields and grasslands. Nesting commonly occurs in barns and other built structures, natural tree cavities, and nest boxes. Barn owls may roost in forest trees in winter.
Prophysaon coeruleum [endangered / red-listed] This small slug is blue-grey in colour and may have lighter speckling. Parallel grooves and ridges are present along the back and along the sides of the foot. Total length is less than two inches. This is a forest animal with a preference for undisturbed mature forests.
Chordeiles minor [Threatened/ Yellow-Listed] The common nighthawk is a medium-sized bird (22-24 cm) with a large head and a very small bill. Nighthawks are typically crespuscular, flying at dawn and dusk to feed on flying insects. They are quite camouflaged, having a mixture of black, browns and greys through their plumage as well as barring on their chests.
Ramalina subleptocarpha [Blue-listed] This lichen is in the Ramalinaceae family. This unique ribbon-like lichen is branched from a narrow holdfast in two’s (dichotomously) and the branches can be up to 15 cm long. It is pale grey to greenish yellow, very flat and thin and never forming bundles of hyphae. It grows only on the bark of trees. It occurs south to California.
Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] This large, black waterbird has white tufts on the sides of its head and a yellow-orange throat. It also has a characteristic crook in its neck. It is found in marine habitats such as estuaries, bays, harbours and inlets.Double-crested Cormorants nest in colonies usually on the ground on rocky, barren islands with sparse vegetation.
Collema auriforme [Red-listed] Curious with its habit of growing on our Garry oaks, this species more commonly occurs on alkaline ground or rock in other jurisdictions. With its prominently thickened margin (like an ear) and profusion of globular propagules, it’s easy to recognize and locally rare. Known on Salt Spring Island only from one location.
Usnea intermedia [Red-listed] Usnea intermedia (western bushy beard) is a grayish-yellowish pale green, irregularly much-branching, stiff shrubby foliose lichen commonly anchored on holdfasts on trees, often on oaks. Abundant apothecia are convex discs with a ring or thallus-like margin having tendril-like fringe radiating from it. It was formerly called U. arizonica in North America.
Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] The great blue heron is a member of the Ardeidae family, which includes herons and egrets. This family is distinguished by its long, pointed bills, stilt-like legs and slender, bendable necks. The fannini subspecies of the great blue heron occupies coastal British Columbia.
Phocoena phocoena vomerina [Special Concern / Blue-listed] The Harbour Porpoise is one of the smallest whales, averaging around 2 m in length. It is a shy species that is relatively short-lived (usually less than 20 years). They are grayish-white along their sides, fading to almost white on the underside. They have a small triangular dorsal fin about midway on their backs.
Myotis keenii [Blue-listed] Keen’s bat has large black ears, brown fur, and may show dark shoulder markings. It is a small bat, weighing less than a Canadian dollar coin.These bats have a low reproductive rate, producing a single young per year, so populations are vulnerable to environmental stresses such as land development, wind turbines, and logging.Keen’s bat hibernates in winter and has been found hibernating in deep caves which provide stable humidity and temperature, allowing the bats to conserve energy.
Orcinus orca [endangered / red-listed] This whale is identified by the long dorsal fin and the white markings on the head and underside. The southern resident killer whale population is declining in size, presently with less than 100 animals. Killer whales have a low reproductive rate, late age of maturity, long gestation period (up to 17 months) and may reproduce only at intervals of five years or more.
Myotis lucifugus [endangered / red-listed] The Little Brown Myotis is vulnerable to a fungus infection, white-nose syndrome, that is killing bats at an alarming rate in eastern North America and is rapidly spreading west.This typical Little Brown Myotis is a small furry animal about the length of a human finger and the weight of a large coin.
Dermochelys coriacea [Endangered / red-listed] The leatherback is occasionally sighted in the ocean in the vicinity of the Gulf Islands. This is the world’s heaviest reptile and it can measure over two meters in length. The limbs are paddle-like, lacking claws, and the back of the turtle has seven prominent ridges. The diet is largely jellyfish.