The lack of white on the head indicates this is a juvenile heron and size says it is probably a little girl.  Photo by K Clouston

The lack of white on the head indicates this is a juvenile heron and size says it is probably a little girl. Photo by K Clouston

I said in my last post that the biodiversity in our watershed amazes me and the pond in Puntledge Park brings that home in another way.  The little heron that is trying to survive her first winter after hatching has made a home of the pond and in this picture she had just lifted her head and swallowed so she has obviously found a good place to eat.  Confirmation of that assessment is provided by the female Common Merganser that shows up fairly regularly, probably to fish in the pond.  C uriously, I have never seen a male in this pond.  If that wasn’t confirmation enough, the Kingfisher has been sitting in various trees around the pond throughout the season.

The red head shows that this Common Merganser is a female and my walks show she is a reasonably regular visitor to this pond in Puntledge Park.  Photo by K Clouston

The red head shows that this Common Merganser is a female and my walks show she is a reasonably regular visitor to this pond in Puntledge Park. Photo by K Clouston

 

What does this mean for biodiversity? We saw last month that there are at least three species of woodpecker in the watershed and they are probably dining on different insects and therefore helping different trees stay healthy by removing the pests.  We see on this page three species of very different fish eating birds which also shows some biodiversity.  We know that there are four species of salmon that use the creek and we also know that the chum run was bad all over the island but that is not devastating for the fish eaters in the creek because that is only one species and the others had healthier returns. 

This flighty little devil has been teasing me all winter by giving me glimpses of blue and white but not staying in place long enough for me to photograph it.  Photo by K Clouston

This flighty little devil has been teasing me all winter by giving me glimpses of blue and white but not staying in place long enough for me to photograph it. Photo by K Clouston

Basically, biodiversity means that if one species has some problems there are other species that can bridge the gap that the species in trouble is leaving so that the ecosystem as a whole stays healthy.  The reason it is important to maintain biodiversity is that if we are reduced to a couple of species per niche then if something devastating happens then the whole ecosystem can be lost and that is where we all lose since nature provides a lot of services for people as well as wildlife.  I like biodiversity for entertainment value as well since it is more interesting to walk around the ‘same old neighbourhood’ when there are different things to see almost every time I go out, weather dependent.

Conservation and Ecotourism Presentation