On April 18, 2008, GROWLS hosted, together with the Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee, an evening presentation and discussion entitled, “Frogs: Threats, Habitat & How We Can Help”.
Our special guest speaker was Purnima Govindarajulu, PhD. Purnima currently works for the Ministry of Environment as a Small Mammal and Herptefauna Specialist and teaches at the University of Victoria. Since 1986, she has followed a career in Ecology and Conservation Biology.
The project was inspired by Sheila Malcolmson, one of our local Islands Trust representatives who contacted us enthusiastically about some community mapping projects concerned with conservation of wetlands (see Government link). Local residents were encouraged to bring information and the locations of their neighborhood ponds to the evening presentation and mark them on maps provided. Earlier in the afternoon, Purnima and some assistants went around the island setting out live minnow traps in five ponds pre-arranged by GROWLS. The next day the traps were returned to and the traps were checked. A freak April snowstorm made the day an adventuresome one.
The long-term objective of this project is, with mapping in place and long term committed volunteers, to determine what times of the year are particularly sensitive for frog habitat to development and assist the local trust in placing development permits to protect wetlands/frog.