Species at Risk

Mission Creek’s ecological integrity has been severely degraded due to channelization and diking undertaken since the 1950s to prevent flooding. This has adversely affected fish and wildlife and their breeding, rearing, and overwintering habitats. Annual kokanee stocks, as one example, have since declined dramatically from about one million fish in the 1940s to about 30,000 in 1996 and 16,000 in 2010. Other species at risk include Western Screech Owls, Grasshopper Sparrows, Painted Turtles, Spotted Bats, Whitethroated Swifts, Black Cottonwood, and Great Blue Heron.

Kokanee Salmon
(Oncorhynchus nerka)

  • Average length 33cm
  • Eat tiny aquatic animals called zooplankton
  • Spawn in streams or along lake shores
  • Usually turn crimson during spawning
  • Mature at between 3 and 5 years

Photo of Kokanee Salmon
Western Screech Owl
(Megascops kennicottii)
Status – Red-listed Habits and Habitat

  • Feathered ear tufts
  • Nest in tree cavities
  • Vulnerable to habitat loss
  • Largely eats mammals and birds
  • Found in open woodlands and riparian zones

Photo of Western Screech Owl
Grasshopper Sparrow
(Ammodramus savannarium)
Status – Red-listed Habits and Habitat

  • Small songbird
  • Insect-like song
  • Open grassland habitat
  • Females lay 3- 6 eggs
  • Declining numbers due to habitat loss
Photo of Grasshopper Sparrow
Western Painted Turtle
(Chrysemys picta bellii)
Status – Blue-listed Habits and Habitat

  • Prefers the margins of shallow lakes and ponds
  • Can grow to approximately 30cm
  • Hibernates in winter
  • Females lay 6 – 18 eggs
  • Only native pond turtle left in B. C.
Photo of Painted Turtle
Black Cottonwood
(Populus balsamifera trichocarpa)
Status – Habits and habitat

  • Favour moist uplands
  • Can grow to 50M tall
  • Male and female catkins are on separate trees
  • Shiny dark green leaves with pointed tips
Photo of Black Cottonwood
Great Blue Heron
(Ardea herodias herodias)

Status – blue listed Habits and Habitat

  • Approximately 1M tall
  • Found throughout the southern interior of British Columbia
  • Long yellow bill
  • Nests in colonies
  • Wade in shallow water hunting for fish, amphibians and large insects
  • Long powerful neck

Photo of Breat Blue Heron