Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands Regions Reading List

Booklist & Reference Sources

This list is provides books, apps, recordings and internet references about Vancouver Island plus national, provincial and state sources that include the West Coast Islands. This list will continue to evolve based on members’ recommendations, new publications and new internet sources.

Click on the Topic title to view reading lists.

Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibians and Reptiles of British Columbia by Bruce M. Matsuda, David M. Green and Patrick T. Gregory. ISBN 978-0-7726-5448-9 Royal BC Museum Handbook 2006. The authors describe all 39 species of turtles, lizards, snakes, salamanders, frogs and toads living in BC, along with details on their biology, habits, breeding and distribution (maps included)

Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia by C.C. Corkran and C. Thoms. 2006 Vancouver: Lone Pine

Reptiles of the Northwest, British Columbia to California. by A. St John. 2002. Edmonton: Lone Pine

Apps & Internet Sources

BC Nature Guide Nature viewing sites on the internet: Link 

This website has been prepared by BC Nature to help enrich your experience of traveling throughout British Columbia. It is planned to be helpful whether you are a visitor or a resident of the province.

E-Flora BC Plants on the internet: Link  

E-Flora BC is a biogeographic atlas of the vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, algae, fungi and slime molds of British Columbia. G. Singleton wrote: I use books less and less since the online resources are much more up to date with new info on DNA, name changes, etc. for instance I found out last year that Camas is no longer a member of the Lily family but is now due to DNA work in the Asparagus family!!

E-Fauna BC Mammals on the internet: Link

The E-Fauna atlas pages provide detailed information on British Columbia’s wildlife. The province is home to 137 native species of mammals (view the checklist for BC), another 13 species are exotics or aliens introduced to BC from other regions. BC still supports more mammals than any other jurisdiction Canada.

Biodiversity BC on the internet: Link

The Biodiversity of BC web site provides an introduction to biodiversity in B.C.–what it is and how it is influenced. Also a portal for two biogeographic atlases of the province: E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC.

Larkwire can be purchased through iTunes or as a web-based “app” that works on any computer (including many phones and tablets). Find more birds—and know them better. Birding by ear helps you find more birds—lots more. But it also helps you enter their world in a new way. Link 

Merlin Bird ID App for Bird Identification: Free, instant bird ID help for 5,500+ birds for North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Link

iNaturalist App for Naturalists’ Social Network: Record your observations of plants and animals, share them with friends and researchers, and learn about the natural world. Link

PlantSnap App for Plant Identification: Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device. Link 


A Field Guide to Birds of the Pacific Northwest by Tony Greenfield This handy guide features 126 common species of birds likely to be encountered in coastal areas of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. The region is a bird watcher’s dream as diverse habitats ranging from marine and shoreline environments to mountain forests are all easily accessible, and each habitat has a wide variety of bird species. Every season is exciting in the bird world of the Pacific Northwest as the mild climate attracts many wintering birds and the summers see migrant species arriving from the south to breed.

At Sea with The Marine Birds of the Raincoast by Caroline Fox 2016 Paperback combines the natural and human histories of Pacific Northwest marine birds with Caroline Fox’s personal story of her life as a conservation scientist. Accompanied by vivid images, drawings and both archival and modern photography, the narrative follows the author as she sails the coast, documenting marine bird diversity and seasonal shifts in community assemblages.

The Birder’s Guide : Vancouver Island by Keith Taylor. 2000 A companion volume to the successful The Birder’s Guide to British Columbia, this guide to bird-watching sites on Vancouver Island is essential to both beginner and expert bird-watchers. It includes comprehensive itineraries for day trips to some of the best birding areas in North America, and also offers information on habitats and seasonal bird sightings for each site. A checklist of species includes the best times for sightings and provides a quick reference guide with easy-to-follow maps that make planning trips simple.

Birds of Coastal British Columbia by Nancy Baron and John Acorn 1997 Amazon Award-winning author Nancy Baron and television’s The Nature Nut, John Acorn, have teamed up to write this insightful book. More than 200 species of common West Coast birds are grouped by their similarity of appearance and colour coded for quick identification.

Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest: A Complete Guide Second Edition. Richard Cannings, Tom Aversa et al. Amazon 458p. Authoritative account by highly competent birder-scholars. A useful supplement to field guides.I llustrated with photographs—2-4 per species. Species accounts include Range Map, Description with highlighted field marks, Similar Species, Status & Distribution, Habitat Associations, Behaviour and Feeding, Vocalizations.

Seasons with Birds.   Bruce Whittington. ISBN 1-894898-21-4.   2004 ebook Overdrive

With growing numbers of people turning to birdwatching as their favourite outdoor activity, this delightful book will be welcome. Unlike the typical guidebook, this beautifully illustrated work brings readers the birding experience—the thrill of spotting a particular bird for the first time, the wonder of witnessing the easy power of a gyrfalcon’s flight, the pleasure of watching the dramatic choreography of a flock of wheeling shorebirds.

The Birds of Vancouver Island’s West Coast. Adrian Dorst, On Point Press, 2018 ISBN:9780774890106 UBC Press The west coast region of Vancouver Island encompasses mountainous terrain, rainforest, mudflats, and ragged coastlines that bear the brunt of storms spawned by an immense ocean. Remote and inaccessible to birders until well into the twentieth century, the “wild west coast” is also one of the most spectacular bird habitats in the world. Here one can observe multitudes of oceanic birds passing offshore, or venturing ashore to breed, and witness the countless avian migrants travelling north and south each year along the great Pacific Flyway.

Bird Song Apps & Recordings

A Guide to Bird Calls of Southern Vancouver Island 6CD set Training tool for Non-song Vocalizations by Rocky Point Bird Observatory Ian Cruickshank and Ann Nightingale

Beginners Guide to BC Bird Song by John Neville and Mel Coulson 2CD We have presented the bird songs of 84 species in eight easy lessons. Our goal is to assist people of all ages to recognize the bird songs around them. There are backyard, forest, marsh and grassland birds of B.C including Vancouver Island. There is a short quiz at the end of each lesson to help in the learning process., Bateman Center and

Bird Songs of Canada  by John Neville 4CD Canada’s diverse habitats are home to an extraordinary variety of breeding birds, nearly all of which are profiled in Bird Songs of Canada – a remarkable reference work bringing together many hundreds of high-quality recordings in a single 4-CD set. This exceptional collection provides a reconnection with nature, highlights our astonishing avian diversity, and offers a valuable tool to anyone seeking to identify birds by their songs and calls. Itunes, Bateman Centre and

Bird Songs of Canada’s West Coast by 7 John Neville CD Revised 2017 An introduction, organized by habitat, to the common birds of this region, including Sooty Grouse, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Barred Owl, Swainson’s Thrush, Rufous Hummingbird and Band-tailed Pigeon. Collection of 99 bird, 1 frog and 3 marine-mammal sounds from the west coast of Canada. Itunes, Bateman Center Victoria and

Larkwire can be purchased through iTunes or as a web-based “app” that works on any computer (including many phones and tablets). Find more birds—and know them better. Birding by ear helps you find more birds—lots more. But it also helps you enter their world in a new way.

Edible Plants

A Field Guide to Edible Fruits and Berries of the Pacific Northwest by Richard J. Hebda

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers by Michelle Nelson Harbour Publishing

Pinpoints easy-to-find greens and flowers that many don’t realize are edible—such as dandelion, clover, chicory, sheep’s sorrel and lamb’s quarters—and also introduces readers to the delicious leaves of such native plants as goldenrod and fireweed. A lightweight pamphlet.

Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples by Nancy J. Turner ISBN 978-0-7726-5527-8 Royal BC Museum Handbook

Food Sovereignty Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Edited y Hannah Wittman, Nettie Wiebe and Annette Aurelie Demarais. Fernwood Publishing.   ISBN 9781552664438, September 2011

Explorers & Exploring

BRMB Vancouver Island, Victoria and the Gulf Coast Backroad Mapbook 7th Edition ISBN 978-1-926806-52-5

Chasing Clayoquot : A Wilderness Almanac. Second Edition David Pitt-Brooke 2004. This book of natural history, environmentalism, and politics explores one of the Earth’s last primeval places: Clayoquot Sound. Pitt-Brooke takes the reader on 12 journeys, one for each month of the year. Each journey covers the outstanding natural event of that season, such as whale-watching in April, shorebird migration in May, and the salmon spawn in October.

 Converging Waters: The Beauty and Challenges of the Broughton Archipelago by Gwen Curry and Daniel Hillert Sept 2020 Explores an area on the northern coast of Vancouver Island on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago: Queen Charlotte Strait, Broughton Strait, Cormorant Channel, Blackfish Sound. This part of the Namgis First Nation territory is characterized by tree-covered islands, pebble beaches, foggy mornings, rocky islets, orcas, eagles, and an ever-changing light. Boats are at least as important as trucks for the few who live here. The sea and sky dominate the land, and marine mammals and fish seem to overshadow the human residents. Daniel Hillert’s inspiring photographs focus on the wild essence that still permeates these converging waters, while Gwen Curry’s prose dives beneath the surface to appreciate not only the natural wonder of this place but its history, people, and present-day challenges

Easykayaker: A guide to Laid-back Vancouver Island Paddling ISBN 978-0-9687858-1-22002 by Paul Grey and Gary Backlund. Aimed at families and their children or beginner and intermediate kayakers. As opposed to the more adventurous and intimidating books written about the exhilarating sport of kayaking. Iintroduces kayaking as a relaxing sport as well as a thrilling one.

Explorer’s Guides Victoria and Vancouver Island A Great Destination by Eric Lucas ISBN 978-1-58157-128-8 “Consistently rated the best guides to the regions covered…Readable, tasteful, appealingly designed. Strong on dining, lodging, and history.”—National Geographic Traveler More than a million people visit Vancouver Island by air and sea each year, three quarters of them from outside Canada. Besides detailed coverage of Victoria, Eric Lucas gives wide-ranging context to the island’s culture, cuisine, and arts. There’s also a wealth of practical information to help you plan your stay in this land of natural wonders

Four Years In British Columbia abd Vancouver Island: An Account of their Forests, Rivers, Coasts, Gold Fields, And Resources for Colonization(1862) by Richard Charles Mayne Paperback 2010 This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original.

In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island; Layland, Michael, Touchwood Editions 2019 (the lengthy bibliography covers dozens of references worth pursuing) Leaving no stone unturned cartographer Layland has brought to life a cast of characters a mile long and each one a little masterpiece of story telling.

Nu-tka: Captain Cooke and the Spanish Explorers on the Coast( Sound Heritage Volume V11, No 1) by W.J. Langlois 1978 PDF from Royal BC Museum Shop or Amazon

  Secret Beaches of Southern Vancouver Island: Qualicum to the Malahat by Theo Dombrowski 2010

This is your guide to dozens of spectacular and often hidden beaches on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island between Qualicum and the Malahat. While some of them are well used by people living nearby, many are virtually impossible to find without combing through official maps and back-road guides. From tiny rocky coves to broad sandy beaches, these public-access spots are enormously diverse

Secret Beaches of Greater Victoria: View Royal to Sidney by Theo Dombrowski 2010 Secret Beaches of Greater Victoria is a comprehensive review of nearly 100 beaches on the Saanich Peninsula and in the Greater Victoria area. While some of these are well used by people living nearby, many are virtually impossible to find without combing through official maps and back-road guides. Even the seemingly well-known shoreline from Oak Bay to Beacon Hill hides its own tiny pocket beaches and obscure coves.

Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island: Exploring the recreation, nature and history of 25 lakes from Saanich to Sooke by Theo Ungstad 2012 Paperback Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island is the first, most comprehensive guide to the beautiful lakes that make southern Vancouver Island such a wonderful place to live and visit. Find the best place to soak up sunshine, where to launch your boat, and how to avoid the crowds. You’ll find plenty of practical information..

 The Northwest Dive Guide : A Scuba Handbook for BC, Washington and Oregon by Mike Hughes. Harbour Publishing, ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-476-2 Cold water diving is more gear-intensive than warm water diving, but the diversity of marine life and panoramic beauty of the world below the water line are a delight to explore. Try the shallow waters of BC’s Hornby Island for a cold water shark dive where spiny dogfish zip around like short fused rockets and you have a good chance of spotting a blunt nosed six-gill shark. Or visit Sund Rock in Washington State, a marine protected area sheltering wolf eels, sea whip beds, various shrimps and crabs and the occasional wandering giant Pacific octopus. When it comes to quality and quantity of wrecks to explore, the Northwest is a diver’s playground with warships, cargo ships, and wooden ships dating back to the 1800s….

The Wild Side Guide to Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim Long Beach, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Nitinat & Bamfield by Jacqueline Windh, Harbor Publishing ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-398-7

The Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island’s wild west coast, with its picturesque coastal villages of Tofino and Ucluelet and expansive wave-washed sands of Long Beach, has become one of Canada’s top tourist destinations.   The Wild Side Guide to the Pacific Rim provides necessary facts and information on how to get there, where to stay, what to do, where to eat, as well as the little stories and inside scoops that will enrich any visitor’s experience.

 Tod Inlet: A Healing Place by Gwen Curry2015. Paperback Tod Inlet has been a place of refuge for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but few are aware of its history. This tiny fjord, less than a half hour from downtown Victoria, is part of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park and is accessed by a forested path beside Tod Creek. For centuries it was the home of the WSÁNEć (Saanich) people, providing everything for their spiritual and material sustenance. In the early part of the twentieth century a small company town grew on its shores. When the Vancouver Portland Cement Company had exhausted the limestone quarries, Jennie Butchart began her ambitious gardening project, Butchart Gardens. Developers made plans for marinas, golf courses and hotels to be built on this quiet inlet, but local citizens, environmentalists, scientists and First Nations people fought back.

Visions of the Wild: A Voyage by Kayak Around Vancouver Island by Maria Coffey and Dag Goering 2001


Basking Sharks: The Slaughter of BC’s Gentle Giants by Scott Wallace and Brian Gisborne. 2006 Vancouver: New Star Books. Every summer BC waters used to be visited by hundreds of the world’s 2nd largest fish, the basking shark. Because they feed at the surface, filtering small organisms while swimming with their cavernous mouth wide open, they tended to get tangled up in fishing equipment, and were therefore considered pests. A government sponsored eradication program ensued, which is why we no longer get to enjoy these amazing creatures. This is a natural history story that we should all be aware of as a lesson.

Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest. Andy Lamb and Phil Edgell, Harbour Publishing, 2015

Fisherman’s Summer by Roderick Haig-Brown, David Zarbock, et al. Available Amazon Audible free with trial

Island Salmon Fisherman: Vancouver island Hotspots by Robert H. Jones and Larry E. Stefanyk 2008

Return to the River:The Classic story of the Chinook Salmon and of the Men Who Fish It By Roderick L. Haig-Brown and Jay Cassell | Nov 8 2016 Return to the River remains one of the finest books ever written about the salmon and has won its place as an angler’s and naturalist’s classic.
Drawn back again to spawn in the stream that hatched them, the deep-sea salmon, the great silver chinooks, return as inevitably as the September rains. Return to the River captures the whole sweep of the chinook migration in every significant detail: the departure seaward of the millions of small fry in the spring of the second year, the saltwater life of the free-swimming schools in the deeps beyond Puget Sound, the later return of the survivors—sixty- and eighty-pounders that leap against every obstacle, striving to complete their lives at last among upland shallows barely deep enough to contain them. Roderick Haig-Brown, observing with the trained eye of the naturalist what he records with a novelist’s skill, here sets forth the dramatic life history of one salmon from her hatching through her mating—the fulfillment of her life cycle.

Sharks, Skates, Rays and Chimeras of British Columbia by Gordon McFarlane and Jackie King ISBN 978-0-7726-7335-0 Royal BC Museum Handbook


A Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Daniel Winkler

All that the Rain Promises and More by David Arora, 1991, Ten Speed Press All That the Rain Promises, and More… is a wild mushroom identification and field guide by American mycologist David Arora and published in 1991 by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California.

Lichens of North America by I.M. Brodo, S. Duran Sharnoff &s. Sharnoff. 2001. New Haven: Yale University Press

Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest. by B. McCune and L. Geiser. Second edition 2000. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press.

Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. By S. Trudell and J. Ammirati. 2009. Portland: Timber Press.

Wild Edible Mushrooms of British Columbia Third Edition by Tom Cervenka 2019 Paperback Amazon This field guide covers the wild edible mushrooms of British Columbia that are most suitable for novice mushroom pickers. Learn how to confidently identify mushrooms based on key characteristics and how to distinguish look-alikes. This comprehensive and lightweight guide is ideal for backpackers, hikers, and other nature enthusiasts.-over 140 full color photos of edible mushrooms-64 detailed species descriptions that assume no knowledge of mycology-clear descriptions of the key features of each edible mushroom-98 look-alike mushrooms and how to tell them apart-culinary notes, including tips on preparation and preservation


A Field Guide to Fossils by W. Scott Persons IV

A Field Guide to Gemstones of the Pacific Northwest by Rick Hudson

A Field Guide to Gold, Gemstone and Mineral Sites of British Columbia Vol. 1 by 1999 by Rick Hudson. Vancouver Island is an excellent place to hunt for unusual minerals, gems, semi-precious stones, fossils and gold. With its unique geological environment it is one of the finest locations for rock hounding in Western Canada. Featuring detailed maps ranging from Victoria through the Chemainus Valley and up to Port Hardy. Covers more than 100 sites on Vancouver Island and adjacent islands.

A Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles by Eileen Van der Flier-Keller

A Field Guide to the Rocks and Minerals of Texada Island, British Columbia. By Amanda Martinson,. Self-published, 2009. ISBN 978-1-926626-54-3 Coloured illustrations and maps, descriptions of sites of interest and tips for rock hounds. Includes a special section on the metaphysical properties of mineral combinations and vortex sites pages 134-183.

Geology of Southern Vancouver Island by Chris Yorath. 2005. revised edition Madiera Park: Harbour Publishing. This book is tailor-made for the keen amateur geologist wishing to learn more about geology and apply it to a particular landscape with which he or she is familiar or can readily relate to.”Jeremy McCall, BC Naturalist

West Coast Fossils A Guide to the Ancient Life of Vancouver Island by Rolf Ludvigsen & Graham Beard Harbour Publishing ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-179-2 A decade ago, a nearly complete elasmosaur skeleton was found near Courtenay on Vancouver Island, in rocks dating from 80 million years ago, and it caused a sensation. Finds like this remind us that British Columbia is home to some of the richest marine fossil beds in the world, most of them on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands which lie along the geographically active “ring of fire” encircling the Pacific Ocean.
Written by two leading paleontologists, this concise and authoritative guide introduces fossils from the area, from delicate insect wings to razor-sharp shark teeth to coiled ammonites the size of truck tires, each of which was once a living part of an ancient ecosystem.
The book includes maps, charts and more than 200 fossil photographs, as well as information for locating, collecting, studying, photographing and preserving fossils, and notes on the ethics of fossil collecting.


Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, by Charles Kahn, Harbour Publishing, Fourth Edition

ISBN 978-1-55017-825-8 The definitive guide for hiking, walking and paddling BC’s enchanted isles plus seven marine parks. Bowen / Cortes / Denman / Gabriola / Galiano / Hornby / Lasqueti / Mayne / North and South Pender / Quadra / Salt Spring / Saturna / Texada / Thetis

British Columbia’s Gulf Islands are a paradise for hikers and paddlers alike with panoramic views, inviting beaches, friendly hospitality and eclectic character—all within a short distance of Vancouver and Victoria. This newly revised edition of Hiking the Gulf Islands includes something for everyone eager to explore this diverse archipelago with its stunning array of flora and fauna unique to the West Coast’s temperate climate. A chapter is dedicated to each island with trail locations clearly described and illustrated on helpful maps. At-a-glance information provides .a short description of each hike, its length, the time it requires, its degree of difficulty, access locations, as well as any cautions for exploring the area responsibly to ensure the protection of these ecological oases. A starred rating system for each trail will help you decide where to begin. This guide also contains up-to-date information on the islands’ marine parks, including the spectacular Gulf Islands National Park Reserve—36 square kilometers of land and marine area scattered over fifteen islands—complete with paddling suggestions and launch sites for kayakers.

Hiking Trails 11 by Richard Blier 2007 South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands More than five dozen destinations within the areas of Duncan; the Cowichan Valley; the Ladysmith/Cedar/Yellow Point area; the Nanaimo area and Gabriola Island; the Gulf Islands; and Parksville to Port Alberni and the West Coast, including Gibson/Klitsa Plateau, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park and the West Coast Trail.

Hiking Trails 111: Northern Vancouver Island by Richard Blier South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands More than five dozen destinations within the areas of Duncan; the Cowichan Valley; the Ladysmith/Cedar/Yellow Point area; the Nanaimo area and Gabriola Island; the Gulf Islands; and Parksville to Port Alberni and the West Coast, including Gibson/Klitsa Plateau, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park and the West Coast Trail.

 Hiking Guide to the Big trees of Southwestern British Columbia Second Edition by Randy Stoltman ISBN13: 978-1895123067 1991 Discover Canada’s largest, tallest and oldest trees. Follow the detailed guide to more than thirty hikes, short walks and roadside stops. Learn about Canada’s ancient rainforests.



Entomological Society of America Position Statement on Tick-Borne Diseases by Annals Entomol Society Amer 113(6) 2020 .  Link 

Microbiome Composition and Borrelia Detection in Ixodes scapularis Ticks at the Northwestern Edge of Their Range [Alberta] by Sperling et al. Tropic Med Infect Disease 5(4): 173. OTHER KEYWDS: Lyme disease 2020. Link

Within-population diversity of bacterial microbiomes in winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) by Sperling et al. Ticks, Tick-borne Diseases 11(6) 2020. Link 

First records of Dermacentor albipictus [tick] larvae collected by flagging in Yukon, Canada Chenery et al. Parasit Vectors 13: 565,  2020. Link  

Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change by Pfeiffer. Island Press 2020. Link 

Recent reports of winter tick, Dermacentor albipictus, from dogs and cats in North America by  Duncan et al. Vet Parasitology: Regional Studies and Rpts 2, 2020. Link  

Impact of prior and projected climate change on US Lyme disease incidence by Couper et al. Global Chg Biol 27(4), 2021. Link 

A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest by Dr. Robert Canning 2018

Butterflies of British Columbia. John Acorn & Ian Sheldon. Lone Pine Publishing 2006 ISBN10: 1551051133 Award-winning science writer, naturalist and entomologist John Acorn has an approach to butterflies that lets you enjoy them without harming them. His book identifies every species of butterfly ever recorded in British Columbia. Nature illustrator and acclaimed artist Ian Sheldon contributes a stunning array of colour illustrations.The book also features dazzling colour photographs and quick-reference listings of distinguishing features, flight periods, geographic ranges, behaviour and preferred food plants.

Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon by Robert A. Cannings 2002 ISBN 978-0-7226-4637-6 Birding and butterfly watching have been popular outdoor activities for decades. Now, dragonfly watching is catching on as a fascinating and enjoyable pursuit. Dragonflies are large, colourful insects with amazing and easily observed behaviour. Noted entomologist Dr. Robert Cannings introduces students, naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts to the world of dragonflies. In this compact book, he shows readers where to find dragonflies and how to watch and study them in the field. In the introduction, Dr. Cannings outlines the natural history of these insects—their structure, life cycles, habitats and behaviour. Then he describes the 88 species known in British Columbia and the Yukon, noting habitat preferences and distribution. To make identification easy, each description has one or more colour photographs and comparisons with similar species.

Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them by Laurence Packer. Toronto: Harper Collins Canada. 2010. 272 pages.

Pacific Northwest Insects by Merrill A. Peterson 2018, Seattle Audobon, UBC Press ISBN: 9780914516187 Detailed identifying information on over 3,000 species-Complete description of 1,200 species-Organized by insect group for easy identification-Up-to-date taxonomy

Vancouver Island Butterflies. Mike Yip & James Miskelley ISBN 9780973816143 Photos and descriptions of all butterflies that have been seen on Vancouver Island.

Marine Mammals

In the Company of Whales by Alexandra Morten 1993 Excerpts from the diary of a naturalist and photographer living on an island off the coast of British Columbia report on her experiences watching and listening to killer whales, and what she has discovered about their behavior

Listening to the Whales: What the Orcas have Taught Us, Alexandra Morton, Ballantine Books 2002

My most admired conservation biologist and champion of the salmon. Fond memories of fleeting collaboration at her home in the Broughton Group as we sailed north in the early nineties to establish the Great Bear campaign

Marine Mammals of British Columbia by John Ford, 2014, Royal BC Museum Handbook Dr John Ford presents the latest information on 31 species that live in or visit Canada’s west-coast waters: 25 cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and 6 carnivores (seals, sea lions and the Sea Otter). He discusses their general biology, including how they feed, communicate, reproduce and behave in the marine environment. He also describes each species and summarizes its distribution, habitat, social organization, exploitation by humans, conservation status and much more.

Orca: How We Came To Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. viii, 394 pages. This book by UVic professor Jason Colby details the history of killer whale captures and display in the Salish Sea area from the harpooning of Moby Doll. It shows how as we learned about the social life of these amazing animals, our attitudes changed from deep rooted fear to fascination and ultimately what can only be described as emotional bonds.

Return of The Sea Otter: The Story of the Animal That Evaded Extinction on the Pacific Coast by Todd McLeish. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2018. xii, 238 pages. Another book about a charismatic animal driven to the edge of extinction because of its incredible fur. The book describes the attempts at re-introduction, which thankfully have succeeded, at least in more remote places. In addition to biology, the author describes perceived negative effects on coastal communities as the otter populations rebounded.

Spirits of the Coast edited by Dr. Martha Black, Dr. Lorne Hammond and Dr Gavin Hanke with Nikki Sanchez ISBN 9780772677686 Royal BC Museum press 2020 With contributors ranging from Briony Penn to David Suzuki, Gary Geddes and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, this collection brings together diverse voices, young and old, to explore the magic, myths and ecology of orcas. A literary and visual journey through past and possibility, Spirits of the Coast illustrates how these enigmatic animals have shaped us as much as our actions have impacted them, and provokes the reader to imagine the shape of our shared future.

War of the Whales. by Joshua Horwitz, Simon and Schuster, 2014 Bob Woodward, co-author of “All the President’s Men” had this to say “a brilliant, grippingly told tale of the secret and deadly struggle between American national security and the kings of the ocean” It’s about a living legend of a Salish Sea cetologist, Ken Balcomb. The colourful, adventurous champion of the southern resident killer whales has run The Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island going on four decades and that’s where I got to know him. Generous in sharing his knowledge and his collection of slides, Ken gave me the opportunity to put on elaborate slide shows about whales in Victoria including a big one with a concert piano on stage supplying the background music at the Royal BC Museum theatre.

Terrestrial Mammals

Bats of British Columbia. by D.W. Nagorsen and R. M. Brigham. 1993. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia by Alex Van Tol, 2015 RBC Press June 2015, Paperback, 128 pages ISBN 978-0-7726-6853-0 Juvenile non fiction

Would you be surprised if you came face to face with a Red-eared Slider, Gypsy Moth or Brown Bullhead? Would you know what to do if Dalmatian Toadflax or Giant Hogweed landed in your neighbourhood?

Carnivores of British Columbia by David S, Halter, David W. Nagorsen and Alison M. Beal. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7726-5869-2 Royal BC Museum Handbook

Hoofed Mammals of British Columbia by David Shackleton revised edition ISBN 978-0-7726-6638-3 Royal BC Museum Handbook 2013 This authoritative book brings together the current knowledge on the ten species of wild hoofed mammals living in British Columbia: Elk, Moose, European Fallow Deer, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Caribou, Bison, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep and Thinhorn Sheep.

KI-Yu: A Story of Panthers and Vancouver island Panther Hunting by Roderick L. Haig-Brown. 2006 Originally published 1934. “Nothing in nature, so long as it is honestly observed and honestly described, can harm the mind of a child.”Ki-Yu roams the full length of Vancouver Island’s Wapiti Valley without fear, hunting deer, visiting females, and using his cunning and strength to evade famed cougar hunter David Milton with his shotgun and barking dogs.

Mammals of British Columbia by Tamara Eder, Don Pattie. Lone Pine Publishing 2001. ISBN-10: 1551052997 Identify and learn about 124 terrestrial and marine mammals of British Columbia with this colourful field guide. Detailed physical descriptions of the mammals accompany fascinating life-history information. Includes track illustrations and up-to-date range maps.

Opossums, Shrews and Moles of British Columbia by David W. Nagorsen ISBN 978-0-7748-0563-6 1996 Royal BC Museum Handbook. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia by David W. Nagorsen ISBN 978-0-7726-5232-4 Royal BC Museum Handbook 2005. This book covers all 52 species of lagomorphs (rabbits and pikas) and rodents in the province.

Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander. Sept 2020 Paperback An enchanting and evocative look at the unique relationship between a solitary, island-dwelling wolf and a renowned wildlife photographer. A lone wild wolf lives on a small group of uninhabited islands in British Columbia’s Salish Sea, surrounded by freighter, oil tanker and other boat traffic and in close proximity to a large urban area. His name is Takaya, which is the Coast Salish First Nations people’s word for wolf. This wolf is culturally significant for the Songhees, and some believe he embodies the spirit of Chief Robert Sam, who died close to the same time that the wolf appeared in the islands. Over half of the largest island is a marine park and is used primarily by kayakers and other small pleasure boaters.

The Cougar by Paula Wild. Douglas and McIntyre 2013. The Cougar is a skillful blend of natural history, scientific research, First Nations stories, and first-person accounts. With her in-depth research, Paula Wild explores the relationship between mountain lions and humans and provides the most up-to-date information on cougar awareness and defense tactics for those living, working, or traveling in cougar country

The Secret Lives of Bats: My adventures with the world’s most misunderstood mammals by Merlin Tuttle. 2015, 288 pages. Great read and highly educational!

Return of the Wolf Conflict and Coexistence by Paula Wild Douglas and McIntyre 2018

Wolves were once common throughout North America and Eurasia. But by the early twentieth century, bounties and organized hunts had drastically reduced their numbers. Today, the wolf is returning to its ancestral territories, and the “coywolf”—a smaller, bolder wolf-coyote hybrid—is becoming more common.

Wolves in Canada. by Erin McCloskey. Lone Pine Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55105-872-6. 2011 No one can forget the eerie howl of a wolf penetrating the silent darkness of night; it is the very embodiment of wilderness. For thousands of years in North American Native mythology, the wolf has been a protector and spirit guide and has represented loyalty, wisdom and intelligence. But the march of settlement across the continent was not kind to wolves. In the United States, they have almost completely vanished. Canada, in vivid contrast, has one of the world’s largest wolf population.

Marine Life

A Field Guide to Crabs of the Pacific Northwest by Gregory C. Jensen.,NOT YET PUBLISHED ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-909-5 Crabs can be found in abundance along the shorelines from Oregon to BC, burrowed under sand, seaweed and rocks. Keep this portable field guide handy on trips to the seashore to identify over forty species of crabs and hermit crabs in all shapes and sizes. Discover the differences between the Butterfly Crab and the Puget Sound King Crab and learn how to distinguish between male and female crabs. With full-colour photographs and descriptive text for easy identification, A Field Guide to Crabs of the Pacific Northwest is an ideal companion for curious beach goers of all ages.

A Field Guide to Marine Life of the Outer Coasts of the Salish Sea and Beyond by Rick M, Harbo, Harbour Publishing. The common marine life of the transition waters and more exposed coasts of the Salish Sea are abundant and diverse: giant green anemones, amazing sea stars and thick kelp forests. This eight-fold field guide is a useful aid to coastal exploration of the shores of the Strait of Juan       de Fuca, from Victoria, BC, to Port Angeles, WA, as well as the southern Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands and beyond. With over seventy colour photographs to help explorers identify the most common marine wildlife, this travel-friendly pocket guide is packed full of fascinating marine creatures that will capture the interest and imagination of anyone along the Outer Coast—visitor or resident, young or old.

A Field Guide to Marine Life of the Protected Waters of the Salish Sea by Rick M. Harbo

A folding guide to intertidal marine life of the Salish Sea including sea stars, shellfish, anemones, jellyfish and more. A Field Guide to Marine Life of the Protected Waters of the Salish Sea includes the most commonly observed species in the tide pools and protected waters of the Salish Sea—that intricate network of coastal waterways spanning southern BC and northwestern Washington. Covering invertebrates, fish and seaweeds, this guide includes key identification features, fun facts and habitat, as well as seventy colour photographs. Water-resistant and compact, this guide is easy to pack on any trip to the shore and perfect for curious minds of all ages.

 A Field Guide to Nudibranchs of the Pacific Northwest by Rick M. Harbo . Harbour Publishing. ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-493-9 Sometimes called the most colourful creatures on earth, nudibranchs are a type of shell-less marine snail that capture the attention of scuba divers, snorkelers and tidepool-gazers with their bizarre, ornate body forms and incandescent colouration.
There are over 3,000 species worldwide and some of the most spectacular specimens are native to the temperate waters of the Pacific Northwest. A diver of many years’ experience, Rick Harbo presents a brilliant guide to the most notable specimens found in local waters. This durable, water-resistant 8-fold pamphlet identifies more than 50 of the most common species from California to Alaska and is an ideal companion on visits to the sea as well as a beautiful addition to the home library.

 A Field Guide to Sea Stars of the Pacific Northwest by Neil McDaniel. Harbour Publishing. ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-513-4 Sea stars are amongst the most common and conspicuous invertebrates that thrive in the rich waters of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to southeast Alaska. Worldwide there are more than 2,000 different species, but no other temperate region has a greater variety and abundance of these colourful and often very large echinoderms, which are closely related to sea urchins, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and feather stars. This durable, water-resistant 8-fold field guide describes how to identify more than 30 species likely to be encountered by beach walkers and scuba enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest….

Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest Revised by J Duane Sept ISBN978-1550178371 The Pacific Northwest coast is home to one of the most diverse displays of intertidal marine life in the world, including sponges, clams, snails, crabs, sea stars, sea anemones, jellies, fishes, seaweeds and more. The New Beachcomber’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest is a portable and easy-to-use reference for searching out and identifying the hundreds of species of seashore life found on the beaches of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Southeast Alaska. Covering the Pacific Northwest’s most common shoreline-dwelling flora and fauna, the guide gives in each entry a detailed description of appearance and habitat accompanied by colour photos for easy identification of any creature you might encounter as you explore your local beach. Simple but essential information on tides and the various habitats within the intertidal zones is also provided to assist beachcombers in exploring safely with minimal ecological impact. The New Beachcomber’s Guide even contains up-to-date descriptions of the best beachcombing sites and when to visit them―you may even find your new favourite exploration grounds! Thoroughly revised and packed with handy and accessible information, this guide belongs in the beach bag or backpack of any avid naturalist, amateur beachcomber or adventurous family.

Brittle Stars, Sea Urchins and Feather Stars of BC, Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound by Philip Lambert and William C. Austin ISBN 978-07726-5618-6 Royal BC Museum Handbook 2007. In this third and final handbook on BC’s echinoderms, Philip Lambert and William Austin describe 34 species of brittle stars, sea urchins and feather stars inhabiting the coastal waters of BC, the Alaska Panhandle and Puget Sound

Cretaceous and Eocene Decapod Crustaceans from Southern Vancouver Island by Schweitzer 2003 A large collection of fossil decapod crustaceans from Cretaceous and Eocene rocks of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, has yielded a remarkably diverse fauna. The Cretaceous decapod fauna, including previously described and new taxa, contains 17 genera in 14 families, represented by as many as 22 species.

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. by A. Lamb and B.P. Hanby. 2005 Madiera park: Harbour Publishing

 Pacific Reef and Shore A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life by Rick M. Harbo ISBN978-1-55017-304-8 2003 Pacific Reef & Shore is the 21st century successor to Harbo’s 1980 bestseller Tidepool and Reef, with more species, up-to-date scientific information and many brilliant new full-colour photographs of the 300 most common plants and animals of the intertidal zone. Arranged for quick identification with colour-coded sections, this ingenious guide has written descriptions of each organism, with size, habitat and interesting facts conveniently placed next to its photo. Authoritative and accessible, Pacific Reef & Shore is the indispensable companion for divers, kayakers and beach strollers alike

Pacific Seaweeds: A Guide to the Common Sea Weeds of the West Coast Updated and Expanded Edition by Louis Druehl and Bridgette Clarkson. 2016. Harbour Publishing. This updated and expanded guide thoroughly documents every aspect of seaweed life, from species identification and seaweed biology to the essential and often surprising roles seaweed plays in the marine ecosystem and our everyday lives. Seaweeds are used in everything from cosmetics to sustainable biofuels, and some species, like kelp, contribute to the remediation of coastal ecosystems.

 Sea Cucumbersof British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound by Philip Lambert  ISBN 978-0-7748-0607-7 Royal BC Museum Handbook 1997. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Sea Stars of BC, Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound by Philip Lambert ISBN 0-7748-0825-X Royal BC Museum Handbook 2000. Vancouver: UBC Press.

 Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest: A Field Guide. by R. M. Harbo. 1997. Madiera park: Harbour Publishing

The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia. By Richard Beamish and Gordon McFarlane, Harbour Publishing, 2014

Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine life of the Pacific Northwest. By Nick Harbo, Second edition. Madiera Park: Harbour Publishing. 2011. Rick Harbo, B.Sc., is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading marine writers and photographers. Author of the bestselling Tidepool and Reef, The Edible Seashore, Guide to the Western Seashore, Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest, and Whelks to Whales, Harbo is a diver, teacher of marine life courses and a senior marine biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nanaimo, BC, where he lives with his wife and children.

Teaching of the Tides. Uses of Marine Invertebrates by the Manhousat People

David W. Ellis & Luke Swan. Theytus Books ISBN 0-919441-02-5.   1981


Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Story of Ed Ricketts, The Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck by Joseph Campbell Tamm, Eric Enno Raincoast Books 2003

Having forsaken the pursuit of marine biology in California I waded the intertidal of Clayoquot Sound in the early sixties, one of Doc Ricketts haunts. In later years I made my home away from home in a mangrove estuary on the Sea of Cortes where I could revel in the ocean world of Ed (Doc) Ricketts, John Steinbeck’s companion in the “Log From the Sea of Cortes”

In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island; Michael Layland, Touchwood Editions 2019 (the lengthy bibliography covers dozens of references worth pursuing) Leaving no stone unturned cartographer Layland has brought to life a cast of characters a mile long and each one a little masterpiece of story telling

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (many different versions)

Renaissance Man of Cannery Row: The Life and Letters of Edward F. Ricketts, edited by and with an introduction by Katharine Rodgers, followed by a collection of letters written by Ricketts himself.

The Invention of Nature. Alexander von Humboldt’s New World .by Andrea Wulf. New York: Vintage Books. 2015. 576 pages. This is a must read for any naturalist in my opinion. We owe a lot to von Humboldt, and he deserves a place in the limelight along with Darwin and Wallace.

 The Naturalist in Vancouver Island and British Columbia Vol 1 by John Keast Lord ebook Google Books

The Naturalist in Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Volume 2(1866) .by John Keast Lord Paperback 2010 This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.

To Know a River: A Haig-Brown Reader. by Valerie Haig-Brown Jan 1 2000

Above Tide: Reflections on Roderick Haig-Brown. by Anthony Robertson. 1984

In this pioneering study of one of Canada’s most original and overlooked authors, Anthony Robertson outlines the entire range of Roderick Haig-Brown’s output, describing all the notable works and assessing their place in the author’s development. But more than that, Robertson traces the evolution of Haig-Brown’s thought, revealing him as one of the most broad ranging and lucid thinkers to grapple with the problem of European man’s place in the New World.

Hamilton Mack Laing, hunter-naturalist. by Richard Mackie, Sono Nis Press 1985 Peter McAllister writes: As a long time friend and compatriot of Richard’s, commencing with his illustrious expat family rooted in Vernon’s early years I could not overlook Richard’s major contribution to British Columbia’s history. Mack Laing was for Vancouver Island what my 19th century bigger than life naturalist – hunters were to me on the East coast, men who I could relate to for I was from the last generation that inherited as a young teenager in the late forties, a love of nature confusedly mixed with that unbridled hunting instinct.

Heart of the Raincoast: A life story by Alexandra Morton and Billy Proctor 1998 Billy Proctor was born in 1934 and has spent his entire life in a remote coastal community called Echo Bay, BC on an island off northern Vancouver Island. Proctor has always done the time-honoured work of generations of upcoast men—hand-logging, fishing, clam digging, repairing boats, beachcombing.

But Billy eventually began to notice that the thriving runs of Pacific salmon, oolichans, and herring that he remembers from his early years were vanishing—some to near extinction—and he understood that it was time to take action. Heart of the Raincoastis the fascinating story of Billy Proctor’s life, and the wealth of knowledge and understanding that can only be gained from living in such close proximity to nature. The writing is funny, touching and honest—and offers an engaging insider’s view not only of the salmon, whales, eagles and independent people who populate Canada’s wild and lovely coastal rainforest, but on what we need to do to keep it as nature intended.


After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America by E.C. Pielou. The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today”. Offers a chance to travel through 20,000 years of environmental change .

British Columbia: A Natural History by R.J. and S.G. Cannings. 2004. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre

British Columbia Nature Guide. McCloskey & Kennedy. Lone Pine Publishing ISBN978-1-55105-853-5. 2010

Land Snails of British Columbia by Robert G. Forsyth ISBN 978-0-7726-5218-8 2005 Royal BC Museum Handbook Series

Measure of the Year: Reflections on Home, Family, and a Life Fully Lived by Roderick Haig-Brown and forward by Brian Brett 2011. Roderick L. Haig-Brown welcomes us onto his lush farm for a year of insights and observations. In this eloquently written account, Haig-Brown, his wife Ann and their four children tour us through each season, and teach us the ways in which the Earth governs the events in our lives. Haig-Brown observes salmon, blue grouse, blacktail deer and robins, with a soft eye and gentle appreciation for their trials. He discerns how the weather interacts with the land, and how the land interacts with our attempts at civilization.

Nature Guide to the Victoria Region. edited by Ann Nightingale and Claudia Copley ISBN 978-0-7726-6575-12012 Royal BC Museum Press and Victoria Natural History Society 2012

The Victoria region is a natural wonderland—one of the most biologically rich areas of the country, with many plants and animals found nowhere else in Canada. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned naturalist, a visitor or a resident, this book will give you the knowledge you need to get the most out of your explorations of southeastern Vancouver Island. Ten local experts have contributed their knowledge about all things natural in this region, from mushrooms and dragonflies to owls and whales. They describe the species most likely to be seen here, and direct you to the best places to see them.

Nature Viewing Sites in the Comox Valley and Environs by Comox Valley Naturalist Society 1997

Texada Tapestry: A History by Heather Harbord. Harbour Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-1-55017-537-0 Chapter 1: Natural History and First Nations, includes sections on Geology, Climate, Stickleback Pairs, Endangered Turtles, Birds, Mammals, Parks, First Nations. Other chapters cover the prospecting and mining of iron, gold, copper, marble and lime.

Where to See Wildlife on Vancouver Island by Kim Goldberg 1997


Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia by Alex Van Tol, Royal BC Museum Handbook ISBN 978-0-7726-6853-0 2015 Juvenile non fiction

Would you be surprised if you came face to face with a Red-eared Slider, Gypsy Moth or Brown Bullhead? Would you know what to do if Dalmatian Toadflax or Giant Hogweed landed in your neighbourhood?

Bromus L. of North America by Leon E. PavlickThis taxonomic work is the first comprehensive treatment of North American brome grasses since 1900. Leon E. Pavlick presents his extensive research of the genus Bromus occurring in Canada and the United States in a comprehensive and accessible format. This book contains keys to species, species descriptions with habitat information and distribution maps, synonyms, glossary, references and index. Of the 51 species described, 30 are newly illustrated. Anyone concerned with grasslands in North America – or grasses in general – will find this book useful and informative.

Coastal Beauty: Wildflowers and Flowering Shrubs of Coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island by Neil L. Jennings. Beauty(Rocky Mountain Books) 2008

 Lewis Clark’s Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Field and Slope in the Pacific Northwest by Lewis J. Clark 1974 .Lewis Clark was a professor at University of Victoria, for 45 years and carried out extensive botanical studies of the Pacific Northwest region. He was also a skilled photographer. His first book, Wild Flowers of British Columbia, published in 1973, was so successful it led to the series.

Plants of Coastal British Columbia: Including Washington, Oregon and Alaska. by Dr. Jim Pojar & Andy Mackinnon. Paperback 2016. This easy-to-use field guide features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens. Covers the entire length of the British Columbia coast, from shoreline to alpine. Includes: * 1100 color photographs * More than 1000 line drawings and silhouettes * Clear species descriptions and keys to groups * Descriptions of each plant’s habitat and range * 794 new color range maps. * Rich and engaging notes on each species describe aboriginal and other local uses of plants for food, medicine and implements, along with unique characteristics of the plants and the origins of their names. For both amateurs and professionals, this is the best, most accessible, most up-to-date guide of its kind.

 Plants of the Gulf & San Juan Islands and Southern Vancouver Island by Collin Varner 2003 Plants of the Gulf and San Juan Islands and Southern Vancouver Island is part of the series of handy, beautifully illustrated pocket-sized plant guides from Raincoast Books. The book includes one to four photographs of species found in this particular region, plus black and white illustrations of leaf shapes and tree silhouettes. Each plant also has a fact sheet, with a short description and information on habitat, native use and the best places in the region to find the species. A fold-out map presents the region and shows the major hikes where the plants can be found.

 Popular Wildflowers of Coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island by Neil Jennings

A full-colour field guide for the curious amateur naturalist, traveller, or hiker who wishes to learn to identify flowering plants that may be encountered while in the outdoors of Coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island during the usual blooming season.

 Wild Berries of BC by Fiona Hamersly Chambers, Lone Pine, 2011 ISBN 10 1551058650 Juicy, sweet, tart and sometimes sour, wild berries burst with flavour and goodness. They are a delicious treat any time–especially while you are hiking through the forest–and they could save you from starvation if you get lost. Berries have been used for food and medicine for millennia, and early peoples and settlers preserved them for winter use in everything from pemmican to jams and jellies. In this guide to the wild berries of British Columbia, author Fiona Hamersley Chambers provides: * Detailed descriptions of 111 berries and berry-like fruits * Ethnobotanical uses and early Native management of wild berry resources * Range and seasons * Edibility of each berry, from highly edible to not palatable to poisonous * Descriptions of poisonous wild fruits and berries, so you know which ones to avoid * 18 tasty berry recipes including muffins, squares, popsicles and drinks * Full-colour photos and beautiful illustrations to help identify the species.

 Wildflowers by Emiily Carr, illustrated by Emily Henrietta Woods 2006. Wild Flowers is a collection of Emily Carr’s delightfully evocative impressions of native flowers and shrubs. She wrote these short pieces later in life and they rekindled in her strong childhood memories and associations. She delights in the brightness of buttercups that “let Spring’s secret out”, muses over the hardiness of stonecrop and declares that “botanical science has un-skunked the skunk cabbage”. Carr’s playful words often bring a smile to readers. About catnip, she writes: “I did think it was kind of God to make a special flower for cats.” In a brief Foreword and Afterword, archivist and historian Kathryn Bridge gives context to Wild Flowers within the body of Carr’s previously published writings. Wild Flowers is illustrated with beautiful watercolours of wild plants by Emily Henrietta Woods, one of Carr’s childhood drawing teachers in Victoria. The originals of Carr’s manuscript and Woods’ botanical illustrations reside in collections of the BC Archives; neither have been published until now. “Woods’ paintings fit so well with Carr’s text. It’s serendipity that Woods taught Carr and that we have her art and Carr’s manuscript in the Archives’ collection, and that neither have been published before now.” – Kathryn Bridge

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. by Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson. 2006. Portland: Timber Press.

A Field Guide to Alpine Flowers of the Pacific Northwest by Phillipa Hudson

A Field Guide to Coastal Flowers of the Pacific Northwest by Phillipa Hudson

Trees, Shrubs & Flowers to Know in British Columbia & Washington. By C. P. Lyons and B. Merilees. 1995. Edmonton: Lone Pine.

Pondweeds and Bur-reeds, and their Relatives of British Columbia by T. Christopher Brayshaw ISBN 978-0-7718-9574-6 Royal BC Museum Press 2000 Monocotyledons are a major group of flowering plants that have embryos with only one seed leaf. This group comprises four orders and 14 families of plants in freshwater and marine environments. The most populous families are pondweeds and bur-reeds, but others are water-plantains, arrow-grasses, sea-grasses, arums (including Skunk Cabbage), duckweeds, water-meals and cat-tails.

 Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSANEC People.           Nancy J. Turner, Richard Hebda, ISBN 978-0-7726-6577-5 Royal BC Museum Press 2012 Presents the results of many years of working with botanical experts from the Saanich Nation on southern Vancouver Island. Elders Violet Williams, Elsie Claxton, Christopher Paul and Dave Elliott

The Sunflower Family (Asteraceae) of British Columbia: Volume I – by George W. Senecioneae 1982

 Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples….by Nancy J. Turner. 2014. Volume 1: The History and Practice of Indigenous Plant Knowledge Volume 2: The Place and Meaning of Plants in Indigenous Cultures and Worldviews Nancy Turner has studied Indigenous peoples’ knowledge of plants and environments in northwestern North America.


Beginner’s Guide to common Vancouver Island Birds (Vol. 4) by Mike Yip. ISBN 9780973816150. Photos and descriptions for over 230 common Vancouver Island birds. NEW

Birds of British Columbia: A Photographic Journey by Glenn Bartley 2013 9781927051696 hardcover

More species of birds breed in British Columbia annually than anywhere else in Canada. Additionally, hundreds of migratory birds spend a portion of the year here, making BC a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Denman and Hornby Nature by Mike Yip. ISBN 9780973836 – Photos and articles about the environment, birds, butterflies, flowers, and underwater nature of Denman and Hornby Island

 ICE (In the Comox Valley Book 8) by S.E. McKenzie ebook Amazon Kindle .The Comox Valley, situated on Vancouver Island, British Columbia has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and appears to be constantly changing during various weather conditions.

  Pacific Reef and Shore A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life by Rick M. Harbo ISBN978-1-55017-304-8 2003 Pacific Reef & Shore is the 21st century successor to Harbo’s 1980 bestseller Tidepool and Reef, with more species, up-to-date scientific information and many brilliant new full-colour photographs of the 300 most common plants and animals of the intertidal zone. Arranged for quick identification with colour-coded sections, this ingenious guide has written descriptions of each organism, with size, habitat and interesting facts conveniently placed next to its photo. Authoritative and accessible, Pacific Reef & Shore is the indispensable companion for divers, kayakers and beach strollers alike

Step into Wilderness: A Pictoral History of Outdoor Exploration in and Around the Comox Valley by Deborah Griffiths, Christine Dickinson et al. 2020. The spectacular landscapes in and surrounding the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island have long shaped the lives of the valley’s diverse inhabitants. From expansive shorelines to snowy mountain peaks, the region contains a wide variety of attractions to lure people over their thresholds for sustenance, recreation and survival, including such landmarks as Forbidden Plateau, Paradise Meadows, Comox Glacier, Mt. Washington and Miracle Beach.

The Comox Valley: Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and Area by Paula Wild and Rick James Harbour Publishing 2006 The Photography will delight and entertain long-time residents, newcomers and visitors to the area, as well as armchair travellers. From snowcapped mountains and delicate sub-alpine meadows to sandy beaches and secluded bays, The Comox Valley offers a fascinating look at one of the most popular regions on Vancouver Island–the area that stretches along the east coast of Vancouver Island from Fanny Bay to Black Creek, including the communities of Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland and Merville, as well as Denman and Hornby islands.

Vancouver Island Birds (Vol. 3) by Mike Yip. ISBN 9780973816129-Photos and articles about Vancouver Island birds including the mysterious White Ravens.

Vancouver Island Butterflies. Mike Yip & James Miskelley ISBN 9780973816143 Photos and descriptions of all butterflies that have been seen on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Imagine by Peter Grant and Boomer Jerritt 2014


Big Lonely Doug: The story of one of Canada’s Last Great Trees by Harley Rustad On a cool morning in the winter of 2011, a logger named Dennis Cronin was walking through a stand of old-growth forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. His job was to survey the land and flag the boundaries for clear-cutting. As he made his way through the forest, Cronin came across a massive Douglas fir the height of a twenty-storey building

Ecology of the Western Forests.   John C. Kricher/Gordon Morrison. Peterson Field Guides. ISBN 0-395-46725 X     Houghton Mifflin Company. 1993

Field Guide to Trees of the Pacific Northwest by Phillipa Hudson. This laminated guide features twenty-six native trees commonly found from Alaska to Oregon, providing common and Latin names accompanied by colour photographs of identifying features such as bark, leaves or needles, flowers, cones, seeds and fruit. Information on identification, range and an illustration of each tree’s silhouette make it a snap to distinguish a shore pine from a western white pine or a trembling aspen from a paper birch. Also included are traditional uses and other interesting tree facts and lore. For example, did you know that yellow cedar can live up to 5,000 years? Or that the bigleaf maple flowers are edible? Next time you go for a hike, pay attention to the forest and the trees with one of these laminated guides slipped into your back pocket or backpack.

Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast by Maleea Acker (New Star Books)

Accustomed to the dark, dripping stands of Douglas-fir, spruce and hemlock that blanketed the Hudson’s Bay Company outposts on the remote western coast of the “new World,” the first Europeans were surely startled to see the wide-open landscapes of the Garry oak meadows they encountered on Southern Vancouver Island — landscapes that might have reminded any explorers who had ventured into the African savannahs of what they had seen there.Though slow in comprehending what they had stumbled upon, the Europeans immediately recognized the deep, rich deposits of black soil that extended many feet below the surface, and James Douglas chose the site as the ideal location for the HBC’s new fort, and settlement. What the newcomers failed to appreciate is that these meadows were not the work of nature alone, but of the Coast Salish peoples who had been living in these parts for millennia. With the construction of the fort of Victoria began an encroachment on these Garry oak meadows, built up over centuries if not millennia, a process that continues today…

Trees and Shrubs of British Columbia by T. Christopher Brayshaw ISBN 978-0-7726-5608-7 Royal BC Museum Handbook 1996

The World of Northern Evergreens. E.C. Pielou. ISBN-10 0801477409.   Comstock Publishing 2 Edition 2011.

Wildlife & Trees in British Columbia: Mike Fenger, Todd Manning, John Cooper, Steart Guy, Peter Bradford. Lone Pine Publishing, 2006.

Ḵ̓a̱ḵ̓ot̕łatła̱no’x̱w x̱a ḵ̓waḵ̓wax̱’mas: Documenting and reclaiming plant names and words in Kwak̓wala on Canada’s west coast” by Lyall et al. Language Development and Conserv 13, 2019. Link  

The environmental politics and policy of western [US] public lands by  Walters and Steel. Oregon State U. 2019. Link

Anticipating the impacts of the COVID‐19 pandemic on wildlife. 2020. Gaynor et al. Frontiers Ecol Environ 18(10). Link 

Understanding community trust in wildfire management agencies by  Rasch and McCaffery. US-FS Rocky Mtn Research Stn, Sci Spotlights Bulletin: Aug 10-20,  2020. Link 

Living with wildfire in the Squilchuck Drainage – Chelan County, Washington by Brenkert-Smith et al. US-GS, Data Rpt RMRS-RN-87, 2020. Link 

Writing Science: Leveraging a Few Techniques from Creative Writing Toward Writing More Effectively by Merkle. Bulletin Ecol Society Amer 101(2), 2020. Link

Sub-Daily Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Ambulance Dispatches during Wildfire Seasons: A Case-Crossover Study in BC, Canada by Yao et al. Environ Health Perspectives 128(6), 2020. Link  

Affective reactions to losses and gains in biodiversity: Testing a prospect theory approach by White et al. J Environ Psych 72, . 2020. Link 

Leave No Trace Communication: Effectiveness Based on Assessments of Resource Conditions by Settina et al.  J Interp Research, 2020. Link  

Exploring Perspectives on Public Land Management in Rural Montana and Idaho by Rasch J App Social Sci, 2020. Link

Examining health promotion in parks: A cross-national inquiry of Healthy Parks Healthy People programs by Rice et al. Rec, Parks and Tourism in Public Health 4, 2020. Link 

Winter Tourism: Trends and Challenges by Probstl-Haideret al. (editors). CABI Publishing. OTHER KEYWDS: protected areas, First Nations, resorts, 2020. Link 

Sustaining wildlife with recreation on public lands: a synthesis of research findings, management practices, and research needs by Miller et al. US-FS, PNW Research Stn, PNW-GTR-993, 2020. Link

A research strategy for enhancing sustainable recreation and tourism on public lands by Cerveny et al. US-FS, PNW Research Stn, Gen. PNW-GTR-991, 2020. Link