The April 14, 2005 edition of Pique published a provisional list of Whistlers mammalian species.
The public responded with several queries and notes on unusual sightings. Since then, Mr. Gavin Hanke of the Royal Provincial Museum has double-checked their files on authenticated reports of other species, and reviewed any taxonomic revisions of species which have taken place since the publication (1956) of their classic treatise on B.C.s mammals.
As well, regional wildlife biologists and local officers of the Conservation Service of the B.C. Ministry of Water, Lands and Air Protection (formerly Environment) have also been queried on ungulates and on trapping records of fur-bearing carnivores. Deer species, in particular, had to be sorted out because of the confusion shown in the hunting regulations.
At the end of the review, for the time being, thirteen species have been added to Whistlers list, including six of the nine possible noted in the last paragraphs of the previous article, which brings the revised total to 56 species. All are year-round inhabitants, and roughly equivalent to the number of bird species which remain year-round at Whistler.
But seasonal migrations of the latter run the total to about 235, whereas there is no equivalent of seasonal in-migration of other mammals.
Nonetheless, biologists acknowledge the rare appearance of "stray" out-of-range species in our corridor, brought about by movements along our highways due to a localized stress or to their accidental movements on wheeled vehicles, including freight trains. One intentional trans-location, however, has been elk, introduced into the Upper Squamish River watershed recently. The animals are now appearing in the Cheakamus and Green River watersheds, utilizing low passes between the three drainage systems for their movements. So, elk are one of the 56 species on our checklist. Has anyone seen them?
The new additions, as follows, are again listed in taxonomic order and notes on some are provided for explanation:
Order Insectivora Shrews and Moles
Trowbridge Shrew Sorex trowbridgii
Wandering Shrew Sorex vagrans
Order Chiroptera Bats
Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus
Long-eared Myotis Myotis evotis
Long-legged Myotis Myotis volans
Yuma Myotis Myotis yumanensis
Townsends (Western) Big-eared Bat Corynorhinus rafinesque townsendi
Order Rodentia Voles, Rats, Mice
Keens Deer Mouse Peromyscus keeni
Water Rat or Richardson Vole Microtus richardsoni
Long-tailed Vole Microtus longicaudus
Black Rat Rattus rattus rattus
Order Carnivora Flesh Eaters