Up close and personal with voles, moles and shrews

This month, SPES completed its second round of small mammal surveys in Stanley Park.  These surveys were done to fill in gaps in knowledge identified by the State of the Park Report of the Ecological Integrity of Stanley Park (SOPEI).  In the SOPEI report it was indicated that we still don’t know enough about the small mammal species in Stanley Park, and through these studies we hoped to increase our knowledge of which species live in the Park and where they live. 

Live trapping took place within the riparian areas of Beaver Creek and North Creek as these areas were indicated as high quality habitat for the at risk  Pacific water shrew by biologists during the 2006 windstorm restoration.

Through our surveys in the spring and fall we’ve confirmed the presence of a number of small mammal species including: deer mouse, creeping vole, common shrew and shrew-mole.  While no Pacific water shrews were found, they are incredibly elusive and may very well still be present in one of the last remaining refugees in the Lower Mainland. These surveys did however add the shrew-mole to the life list of Stanley Park which up to this point had never been confirmed to be living in the Park.

Currently students from the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program are conducting their own small mammal surveys in the park and the data they collect will be added to that complied by SPES staff.