Beaty Blog

The Odd Couple: The Agricultural Land Reserve, Biodiversity, and Species At Risk in BC.

Posted: April 9, 2014

Perhaps no one knows the link between humans and the environment better than a farmer? But we often forget the link between agricultural land and biodiversity. That is why the recent decision by the BC government to amend the Agricultural Land Commission Act jeopardizes not only the future of one of BC’s premier industries but also imperils biodiversity in general and species-at-risk in particular.

Ceska's build Beaty's reference collection of BC mushrooms

Posted: April 8, 2014

Have you ever wondered how the hundreds of black Beaty cabinets become filled with specimens? Beaty collectors include dedicated specialists from the community, who contribute dried specimens and detailed notes. Two outstanding contributors, Oluna Ceska, a mycologist, and Adolf Ceska, a plant ecologist, both from Vancouver Island, arrived at the Beaty loading dock on March 31, 2014 with 52 shoe boxes containing 3312 new specimens of dried fungi, collected from 2010 to 2013.

How Wolves Change Rivers

Posted: April 3, 2014

I have spent lots of time professionally and recreationally around rivers and I cherish every visit. So, I thought that I knew a lot about rivers, but I did not know this. In the 1990s, grey wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park (in the US) after an absence of about 70 years.

"Cold Amazon" Documentary Released

Posted: March 25, 2014

The Mackenzie River system, some 6,236 km long in total, has its headwaters in the Omineca Mountains of central British Columbia and is the longest river in Canada - and second only to the Missouri/Mississippi in North America. The entire river basin (1.8 million square kilometers) is one-fifth the size of Canada!

Big Court Decision for a Little Fish

Posted: March 17, 2014

Roman Polanski’s classic film Chinatown (1974) depicts some of the seedier consequences of the “water wars” that have accompanied much of California’s development. More recently, the thirst for water by California’s Central Valley for the agricultural industry has pitted water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta (the Delta) for industrial use against that needed to sustain the critically endangered Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), which is endemic to the Delta (i.e., it occurs nowhere else on Earth).

Get Hands-On During Spring Break

Posted: March 13, 2014

Looking for activities to do with your family and friends over Spring Break? The Beaty Biodiversity Museum has planned a suite of biodiversity programming from March 15-30, 2014. Every day during Spring Break, the Beaty Museum features a different activity open to participants of all ages at 12:30 p.m.

FestEVOLVE Cake Contest

Posted: February 20, 2014

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum hosted the 6th annual "Bake a Cake for Darwin" contest on February 12. This year, we encouraged participants to bake a cake for Wallace as well. There were 9 wonderful entries, and over 60 hungry spectators. Click through for the winners and links to photos.

BBM researcher in the field

Posted: February 20, 2014

Wayne Maddison (professor of Zoology/Botany and former BBM director) is conducting field work in Jalisco, Mexico (west central part of the country) collecting and observing all sorts of wild and wonderful insects and spiders. Click through for the link to his daily (almost) blog online!

Rare Event: Repatriation of Avian Type Specimen

Posted: February 17, 2014

The Cowan Tetrapod Collection Staff are thrilled to announce the repatriation of the type specimen of Spinus psaltria witti, a subspecies of Lesser Goldfinch collected on Maria Magdelena, Tres Marias Islands, Mexico. Dr. Peter Larkin, a former Dean of Graduate Studies at UBC, collected this specimen on March 1st 1961. Dr. Peter Grant, who is best known for his work on Galapagos Finches, described this subspecies when he was a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia.

New fossil bed found by scientists hailed as 'motherlode'

Posted: February 13, 2014

Scientists say a recently located fossil site on the Alberta-B.C. border is already yielding major new discoveries about early animal evolution. The Marble Canyon fossil beds were located in 2012 by a team of Canadian, U.S. and Swedish researchers in Kootenay National Park, about 40 kilometres from the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park — which is considered one of the most important fossil fields in the world.

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