Callophrys mossii mossii[Blue-listed] This is a small brownish butterfly with a coppery undersurface. The lower hind-wing has a white line separating an inner dark patch from an outer lighter patch. The butterfly is associated with warm dry Garry oak habitats. Adults sip nectar from the stonecrop plant Sedum spathulifolium on which they lay eggs and on which the larvae feed.
Glaucidium gnoma swarthi [Blue-listed] This small brownish-grey owl (less than 20 cm) has a white belly with dark streaks, white spots on the head, and two dark patches on the back of the neck that resemble eyes. The tail is relatively long. Food may include a wide variety of prey, including other birds, mice, voles, amphibians, snakes, and insects.
Rana aurora [special concern / blue-listed] The red-legged frog is found in southwestern British Columbia, Washigton, Oregon, and northern California. Its preferred habitat includes streams, ponds, marshes, and moist forests. Red-legged frogs range in colour from dark brown, olive, grey, to reddish and have black spots on the back. The skin on the underside of the legs and the belly is red.
Contopus cooperi [threatened / blue listed] This relatively large flycatcher (18-20 cm) has a fairly large head, white centre of breast and grey-olive sides on its breast. The back and wings of the flycatcher are a darker brownish-grey, and the throat is white. Males and females have the same colouring, though males tend to be a bit larger in size.
Monodenia fidelis [blue-listed] The Pacific sideband is one of the more conspicuous land snails that we have in our region. It can be seen on the surface of forest floors, sometimes in trees, and at the base of bigleaf maple trees or in leaf litter. It is found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California.
Dermatocarpon leptophyllodes [Blue-listed] A foliose or leaf lichen in the Parmeliaceae family that is found only on coastal rocks. It is a pale greenish colour with tiny leaf-like lobes that are no more than 0.4mm wide. It has a lower surface that can be somewhat shiny and can look leathery with a dusting of black spots. It occurs in Western North America, Northern Europe, Asia and Southern Africa.
Falco peregrinus anatum [special concern / red-listed] This-crow-sized bird has a bluish-gray back, barred chest, black wedge under the eye, and long pointed wings, V-shaped in flight. Falcons nest on cliff ledges, especially near wetlands. Stewardship involves protection of nesting habitat from disturbance, and avoiding use of pesticides. The construction of elevated nest platforms has resulted in successful falcon occupancy in some areas.
Progne subis [blue-listed] The purple martin is the largest swallow in North America, reaching between 17-20 cm long. Males are iridescent purple-black, while females and immature birds are dark on the upper side and paler on the under side. They feed on exclusively on insects. Martins are colonial nesters, having up to several dozen pairs in a breeding colony at times.
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.
Contia tenuis [Endangered / red-listed] This is a small snake, usually reddish-brown, with a thorn-like tip on the tail, a dark stipe across each eye, and black-and-white barring on the underside. When disturbed, the snake may burrow downward rather than slither away. This snake has been found in open areas, forest edges, roadsides, arbutus-oak-Douglas-fir woodlands, and south-facing rocky slopes.
Dendragapus fuliginosus [Blue-Listed] This chicken-sized bird is sooty grey to brownish in colour with a light grey band at the tip of the tail. The male may show visible yellow wattles over the eyes and yellow throat sacs used in hooting. This species seeks out forest clearings and forest edges in summer where food is abundant. Summer food includes berries, seeds, buds, needles, and insects.
Eumetopias jubatus [Special Concern / blue-listed] The Steller Sea Lion is the largest sea lion, distinguished from seals by the presence of external ear flaps. Males are larger, weighing between 400-800 kg, while females average between 200-300 kg. The name is derived from the ‘mane’ of light coarse hairs that develop on the neck and chest of mature males.When at sea, sea lions are found in small groups or individually.
Melanitta perspicillata [Blue-listed] are sea ducks that winter in shallow coastal waters preferring a pebble or sand bottom, and breed on shallow lakes in boreal forest and tundra. They mainly eat molluscs and freshwater invertebrates, diving for prey in the soft substrate. They lay 6-9 eggs in a hollow in the ground near the water that they line with vegetation. Males defend the close proximity of the nest.
Sphaerocarpos texanus [Red listed] This small, thalloid, bright green branched liverwort is found on flat, lightly shaded soil. Usually by roadsides. The species is sexually dimorphic, with male plants usually 3–5 mm in diameter, females up to 12 mm in diameter. The plant is a winter annual, appearing in autumn and dying in spring. Notably, the spores occur in sets of four, called tetrads. Unlike most other species of liverwort, the spores stay in these tetrads until they germinate.
Nearctula spp [special concern / red-listed] This small arboreal snail, about 2mm in height, can often be found 5-6 feet up on large Bigleaf Maple trees. They are typically found in mature second growth and old growth forests with major threats being habitat loss and fragmentation due to human development. Three sites were discovered for this species in 2010, never before seen on Salt Spring Island.
Corynorhinus townsendii [Blue-listed] The Steller Sea Lion is the largest sea lion, distinguished from seals by the presence of external ear flaps. Males are larger, weighing between 400-800 kg, while females average between 200-300 kg. The name is derived from the ‘mane’ of light coarse hairs that develop on the neck and chest of mature males.When at sea, sea lions are found in small groups or individually.
Sialia mexicana [Red-listed] The males of this songbird have a bright blue upper body and throat, orangy-brown breast and sides, a brown patch on the back, and gray belly feathers. Females are a more drab grey-blue colour with a duller reddish colouring on the chest. They have a grey crown, back, and throat. The western bluebird (Sialia mexicana) was once a common migratory songbird in our region.
Aechmophorous occidentalis [Special Consern - Red Listed] are a seabird that eats small fish by diving in open water, spearing or catching the prey in their bill. They often swallow larger fish at the surface. These birds breed and nest on freshwater lakes and marshes, laying 3-4 eggs in a solid nest that is built on floating logs or other vegetation. Both sexes build the nest using plant material they bring up from underwater.
Chrysemys picta bellii [Endangered / red-listed] The western painted turtle is a relatively common turtle throughout much of its range. In Canada, there are three subspecies which extend from Ontario westward to British Columbia. In BC, the western painted turtle subspecies (Chrysemys picta belli) can be found, with the Pacific Coast population being federally listed as endangered.
Megascops kennicottii kennicottii [Threatened/ Blue-listed] The western screech owl is a small owl measuring 19 – 26 cm (less than a foot long), grey-brown in appearance with dark wavy stripes on the breast. The eyes are yellow and small ear tufts may be visible. Screech owls inhabit low elevation forests and will occupy cavities of large trees, especially dead trees (snags).
Western Toad Bufo boreas [Special Concern / Blue-listed] The western toad is a member of the family Bufonidae. It can be found in the Yukon, British Columbia, and western Alberta, as well as several western states in the U.S. The skin of a toad is bumpy and dry, ranging in colour from olive-green to reddish brown to almost black. The belly is pale and mottled, and there is an obvious white or pale stripe running down the back.