Recent Newspaper & Magazine Articles

written by members of Delta Naturalists’ Society
or about activities or events featuring DNS & DNCB members

Click on Title of Article to navigate to the complete story

Date of Publication
Title of Article  Synopsis or extract
Name of Publication Author of article
May 20, 2016

First-ever online B.C. Breeding Bird Atlas finds many bird species are on the move

…The B.C. Breeding Bird Atlas is based on an unprecedented five-year field survey carried out by an army of enthusiastic volunteers and coordinated by the nonprofit group Bird Studies Canada (BSC). Its completion required more than 56,000 hours of fieldwork that collected more than 630,000 records…
Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Apr 29, 2016

Program helping birds find a place to nest at Kings Links

Birds are getting some human help when it comes to finding a place to nest at Kings Links Golf Course.

There are 50 tree swallow nest boxes set up of the East Ladner course as part of a Delta Naturalists Society program. The most recent ones were installed last week…

Kings Links is also home to boxes designed for barn owls and bats…
Delta Optimist Dave Willis
Apr 22, 2016

“Peep-In” showcases shorebird migration on Roberts Bank


On April 30, two Delta community groups, APE (Against Port Expansion) and CAPE (Citizens Against Port Expansion), are hosting their third annual “Peep-In”,  a celebration of the shorebird migration at Roberts Bank, near the mouth of the Fraser River in Delta.

This event will showcase the spring migratory passage of millions of small sandpipers, known colloquially as “peeps”, and explain the threats facing them because of the Port of Vancouver’s plans to industrialize the area.

Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Mar 31, 2016

Plans for new Fraser River bridge ignore agricultural and environmental concerns

…Building a 10-lane highway across the Fraser will only increase the pressure to develop remaining Delta farmland, in the same way that Richmond was developed in the 1970s…

…Important ecological areas lie close to, or right under, the proposed bridge, including Metro Vancouver’s Deas Island Park, Deas Slough, and the South Arm Marshes, a provincial wildlife management area (WMA). The Fraser River’s South Arm brings more than three-quarters of the total river flow to the sea.

Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Mar 1, 2016

Who is looking after the Fraser River’s estuary?

…It is high time to form a new multi-agency coordinating body to take over responsibility for the environmental protection of all habitats and wildlife in the Fraser River Delta, estuary, and adjacent waters.  The Fraser is the world’s greatest salmon river, and it is in the top 50 heritage rivers globally. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Feb 19, 2016

The common dandelion… is only one of hundreds of non-native flowering plants that were introduced into the Lower Mainland, intentionally or accidentally, over the last 150 years.

Such invasives now dominate the landscape, squeezing out the many beautiful native plants that once graced local forests, prairies and wetlands. Local species that survive should be cherished as heritage plants.

Surrey-North Delta Leader Anne Murray
Jan 25, 2016
For a bird that was once on the U.S. endangered-species list, the bald eagle has made a remarkable comeback. … the number of bald eagles wintering in the Fraser River delta has increased dramatically, with winter counts averaging between 600 to 1,300 birds.
Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Nov 15, 2015
…loon pairs faithfully return each spring to the same traditional lake they used in previous years… The common loon’s close connection to such specific winter habitat highlights Delta’s importance for these special Canadian birds. Many loons spend the winter on Boundary Bay and Roberts Bank.
Delta Optimist Anne Murray
Aug 28, 2015

… children today can recognize hundreds of corporate brand logos but very few common birds, flowers, or trees…

… the Delta Naturalists’ Society has … produced a handy pamphlet, Birds in Delta, featuring members’ photographs of 56 of Delta’s common and not-so common bird species, with a short description for each one.
Delta Optimist Anne Murray
June 12, 2015
In the eagerness to maximize house sizes and profits, many new and infill developments occupy the whole extent of a lot, leaving no room for trees or landscaping.  This disregards the many studies that show suburbs with natural landscaping have higher property values.  Trees make a neighbourhood a more desirable place to live.
Delta Optimist Anne Murray
May 7, 2015

For International Migratory Bird Day, a call to action to save the Fraser delta

Over a million shorebirds migrated through the Fraser delta last month. Ducks, swans, and snow geese were also on the move, heading for their breeding grounds further north and east. This month, it is the turn of warblers and flycatchers, small woodland birds that fly north to the boreal forest to build nests and raise young… Georgia Straight Anne Murray
March 31, 2015

From snakes to spawn, wildlife congregations show richness of local habitat

This spring has seen two fascinating events on the shores of Boundary Bay in South Delta: an amazing gathering of garter snakes within the dyke, and a massive spawn of herring just offshore. Such phenomena illustrate the importance of the Fraser delta for a wide range of animals… Georgia Straight Anne Murray
March 2, 2015

B.C. wolf kill a misguided effort to save mountain caribou

The (wolf) cull is a provincial government plan to protect endangered mountain caribou by systematically exterminating more than 180 wolves. The wolves have been targeted as the culprits in the caribou’s demise, despite long-standing evidence that changes to the landscape and climate warming are the underlying problems. Georgia StraightBC Nature Summer 2015 p. 14 Anne Murray
Feb 11, 2015Feb 24, 2015

Sphagnum moss: A Delta heritage plant

The moss that’s now many metres deep in Fraser delta bogs began accumulating over 3,000 years ago. …In the wet heart of Burns Bog, the largest and most well known of our local bogs, layers of sphagnum, fed by rainwater, have grown into a dome five metres above the surrounding delta.
Delta Optimist/Surrey North Delta Leader Anne Murray
Jan 22, 2015

Looking back on nature in 2014

2014 was a bittersweet year for nature in the Fraser delta. While some species fared well, others struggled desperately for survival. Our wealth of migratory wildlife is unique in Canada and needs proactive attention. Let’s make it a priority for the new year.

Surrey North Delta Leader Anne Murray
Jan 7, 2015

Resolve to enjoy a local year of nature

Taking a walk on the wild side is proven to improve mental and physical well-being, and it can be done without going far from home, so your wallet and the planet will not suffer.  (with suggestions for each month) Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Dec 9, 2014

The failure of public consultations in B.C.

The widespread public consultations that led to environmental and agricultural protection in the 1990s have been replaced in the last 20 years by increasingly aggressive tactics. Closed doors and backroom deals are now the norm in transforming our local landscape. Public input carries no weight in final decisions, which are driven by political ideologies far more than a search for best solutions. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Oct 23, 2014

The not-so-scary world of birdwatching

Birdwatching, birding, or ornithology is a worldwide pastime. Interest in birds and their conservation is the rationale for the world’s largest nature conservation partnership: BirdLife International. This extraordinary global organization has more than 13 million members and supporters in 120 countries, from Andorra to Zimbabwe. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Sep 24, 2014

There is no Planet B

We have a choice of caring for our home planet and surviving, or trashing it and becoming extinct … climate change is here, it is happening, and adaptation and amelioration must take place now. We only have one planet; there is no Planet B. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
June 4, 2014

Vancouver is a great place for nature viewing

Black bears, bobcats, coyotes, porpoises, and sea lions, not to mention hundreds of bird species, all share the Lower Mainland with 2.6 million human inhabitants… Visiting the right habitat at the right time of year increases the chance of wildlife viewing success. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Apr 25, 2014

“Peep in” highlights sandpipers threatened by Port Metro Vancouver development

Biologists estimate 600,000 western sandpipers and 200,000 dunlins pass through Brunswick Point mudflats during northward migration… migratory birds would be affected by the Deltaport Terminal 2 project. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Feb 28, 2014 Vancouver joins rewilding discusssion Two hundred years ago, grizzly bears and wolves inhabited the forests and marshes where Vancouver now stands, yet there were no coyotes or raccoons. The majestic condor, far larger than the bald eagle, roamed up the coast searching for whale and sea lion carcasses. Salmon spawned in hundreds of streams that flowed where city streets now lie. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Jan 30, 2014 Alien species invasion introduced animals may survive and breed, becoming invasive species. They then start spreading further afield. … Life is tough for native animals … competition with introduced species is yet one more challenge for them. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Dec 17, 2013 Whales and dolphins stand to lose in Port Metro Vancouver developments Roberts Bank is exceptional wildlife habitat, supporting a range of animals from juvenile salmon to western sandpipers. The waters are rich in marine mammals, including grey whales; endangered southern resident killer whales, or orcas; harbour and Dall’s porpoises; and two species of sea lion. Humpback whales are once again a regular sight after an absence of nearly a hundred years. There is an existing port here, but do we really need to double it? The environmental risks are enormous and the economic projections are far from convincing. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Oct 16, 2013 Boundary Bay Dykes, Delta and Surrey, British Columbia An Important Bird Area well known for owls, raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds.  The 10-mile Boundary Bay dyke trail from Mud Bay to Beach Grove offers great birdwatching and exceptional views of salt marshes, mudflats, distant islands, and snow-capped mountain peaks. BirdWatching magazine (December 2013 edition) Anne Murray
Oct 25, 2013 The Future of Delta’s Southlands hangs in the balance Farmland or urban development? That is the issue South Delta residents will be debating when we attend public hearings October 28 to 30 on the future of the Southlands property. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Sep 19, 2013 Public must be watchdogs for Fraser delta development …enticing tradeoffs are being planned for the MK Delta Lands Group property on the north Delta side of Burns Bog, the Southlands development (formerly the Spetifore Farm) in South Delta, and Port Metro Vancouver’s latest scheme for yet another container terminal (T2) at Roberts Bank. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Sep 12, 2013 The value of marshes and mud flats The varied wetland habitats in the Fraser delta are a key reason for the number and diversity of birds found here. Surrey Leader Anne Murray
Aug 29, 2013 10 ways to Come Alive in Nature Getting out in nature for health and happiness Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Jul 22, 2013 The creation of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust The 20 year history of the DFWT, a model for cooperative conservation — how to keep farms productive while fostering their value as critical wildlife habitat in the Fraser delta. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
May 28, 2013 Moby Doll remembered The changes in attitude and the deeper understanding we have developed towards “killer whales” in the past 50 years. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
April 22, 2013 Death and Dandelions: Are cosmetic pesticides worth the risk? The Canadian Cancer Society considers some herbicides, chemicals that kill unwanted plants, to be a serious risk to children’s health. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
March 22, 2013 Fresh water is B.C.’s greatest resource Glacier-fed streams, flowing rivers, beautiful lakes, rainy winters, drinking water from the tap, and hydroelectricity powering our homes… it is easily taken for granted. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Feb. 22, 2013 A dark cloud hangs over South Delta The delta landscape … is changing rapidly, powered by agencies and policies that destroy the environment and ignore community concerns. Georgia Straight Anne Murray
Feb. 14, 2013 Moles and voles: the hidden life of small mammals Two native mammals with similar names but which play quite different roles in our local ecosystem. Surrey Leader Anne Murray
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