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The Slocan River Streamkeepers have a number of active research projects. We are continually collecting data on the biodiversity of the Slocan Valley, particularly species and ecosystems at risk.  The BC Conservation Data Centre tracks species and ecosystems and assigns status ranks designated red, blue and yellow.  Red-listed species and ecosystems are those that are endangered or at risk of being extirpated (lost from an area or the province).  Blue-listed species and ecosystems are those that are of special concern due to trends that show declining numbers or that occur in a limited geographical area. The yellow list pertains to species and ecosystems that are not currently at risk

Streamkeepers, through the SWAMP Project, recently completed a report of species-at-risk discovered in the Slocan Watershed in 2017.  The list continues to grow as biologists spend more time in the field, and as concerned residents and landowners send us information. Through this project, which was largely a desktop exercise, we have confirmed 47 species-at-risk in the Slocan Watershed in 154 locations, and have identified an additional 11 species that have a high potential to occur. The species include vertebrates, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, vascular plants and non-vascular plants. This represents a considerable increase in the number of species-at-risk known to exist in the watershed, although several species on the list are well documented, but are not tracked, or do not show up on, CDC data.

Red-listed Mountain Moonwort (Botrychium montanum), a recent addition to the at-risk species known to occur in the Slocan Watershed. 

The results of this project make it apparent that there is still much to be discovered regarding the species-at-risk that inhabit the Slocan Watershed. With every additional field check more species are found, and the range of existing species is expanded. We hope to secure funding to move beyond this desktop exercise and complete additional inventories. We recommend that a series of specific surveys be carried out in the watershed to complement previous studies. These studies would be completed by experts in their field and focus on under-inventoried areas, namely vascular and non-vascular plants, amphibians and invertebrates.

Read the full report here..

The full list of species-at-risk that are now known to occur in the Slocan Watershed as presented in the table below. Species marked with an * indicate those that are not currently tracked by the Conservation Data Centre as occurring in the watershed.

Common Name Scientific Name Status (BC/Federal)
Vertebrate Animal (fish)
Bull trout* Salvelinus confluentus Blue
Burbot (Lower Kootenay Population)* Lota lota pop. 1 Red
Columbia Sculpin* Cottus hubbsi Blue/Special Concern
Shorthead Sculpin Cottus confusus Blue/Special Concern
Umatilla Dace Rhinichthys umatilla Red/Threatened
Westslope Cutthroat trout* Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi Blue
White Sturgeon (Columbia River Population) Acipenser transmontanus pop. 2 Red
Vertebrate Animal (mammal)
Woodland Caribou (Southern Mountain Population) Rangifer tarandus pop. 1 Red/Endangered
Grizzly Bear* Ursus arctos Blue/Special Concern
Mountain Goat* Oreamnos americanus  Blue
Wolverine* Gulo gulo Special Concern
Vertebrate Animal (bird, bat)
Fringed Myotis* Myotis thysanodes Blue/Data Deficient
Lewis’ Woodpecker* Melanerpes lewis Red/Threatened
California Gull* Larus californicus  Blue
Great Blue Heron, herodias subspecies Ardea herodias herodias Blue
Tundra Swan* Cygnus columbianus  Blue
Olive-sided Flycatcher* Contopus cooperi Blue/Threatened
Barn Swallow* Hirundo rustica Blue/Threatened
Black Swift* Cypseloides niger Blue/Endangered
Western Screech Owl (Mcfarlanei subspecies) Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei Red/Threatened
Bobolink* Dolichonyx oryzivorus  Blue/Threatened
Common Nighthawk* Chordeiles minor Yellow/Threatened
Bank Swallow* Riparia riparia  Yellow/Threatened
White-throated Swift* Aeronautes saxatalis Blue
Reptiles & Amphibians
Western Painted Turtle (intermountain – Rocky Mountain population)*  Chrysemys picta pop. 2 Blue
Northern Rubber Boa* Charina bottae Yellow/ Special Concern
Western Skink Plestiodon skiltonianus Blue/Special Concern
Western Toad* Anaxyrus boreas Blue/Special Concern
Invertebrate Animal
Banded Tigersnail Anguispira kochi Blue /Under Assessment
Coeur D’Alene Oregonian* Cryptomastix mullani Blue
Pale Jumping Slug* Hemphillia camelus Blue
Pygmy Slug Kootenaia burkei Blue /Under Assessment
Vivid Dancer Argia vivida Blue/Special Concern
Vascular Plants
Beaked Spike-rush* Eleocharis rostellata Blue
Crested Wood Fern Dryopteris cristata Blue
Cup Clover*× Trifolium cyathiferum Red
Harkness’ Linanthus*× Linanthus harknessii Red
Heterocodon*× Heterocodon rariflorum Blue
Mountain Moonwort* Botrychium montanum Red
Small-headed Tarweed*× Hemizonella minima (syn Madia minima) Red
Sutherland’s Larkspur* Delphinium sutherlandii Blue
Two-edged Water-starwort * Callitriche heterophylla ssp heterophylla Blue
Whitebark Pine* Pinus albicaulis Blue/Special Concern
Non-Vascular Plants
Flaming Specklebelly* Pseudocyphellaria crocata Blue
Unnamed* Gyalectaria diluta Not Ranked (S1 Montana) – Newly described
Unnamed* Loxosporopsis corallifera Not Ranked (G3)
Unnamed* Pycnora xanthococca Not Ranked

Slocan Valley Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory


Slocan Valley Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory prepared by Ryan Durand for Slocan River Streamkeepers 2013 (full report)

Preliminary Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI) mapping of the Slocan Valley was completed during the summer of 2012. The project was initiated by the Slocan River Streamkeepers in order to map and describe the ecosystem of the Slocan Valley and to serve as a baseline layer for future stewardship and restoration projects. Funding was provided by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
SEI mapping was created in 1993 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the BC Conservation Data Centre. It was created in ‘response to a need for inventory of at risk and ecologically fragile ecosystems, and critical wildlife habitat areas on the east side of Vancouver Island.’ Since then, numerous projects have been completed on the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island, and throughout the Okanagan, and portions of the Fraser Valley. The main purpose of SEI mapping is to describe the ecological diversity of a given area, and determine the type and extent of vulnerable and rare elements.
This preliminary report describes the type and extent of ecosystems occurring in the Slocan Valley. The mapping was used to develop regionally specific sensitive ecosystem classes and subclasses which will be refined in consultation with the BC Conservation Data Centre.
A total of 3,019 polygons were mapped for the project, encompassing 10,963 hectares. Polygon size ranged from <0.1 (37m 2) to 1,222 hectares. The most commonly mapped ecosystem types were not sensitive (24.8%, 2,716.9 ha), young conifer forests (15.8%, 1,728.8 ha), and mature conifer forests (15.3%, 1,678.9 ha), while 14 ecosystem types accounted for less than 1% of the study area. Overall, the Not Sensitive classes accounted for 56.9% (6,212.7 ha) of the study area, while Sensitive Ecosystems encompassed 22.9% (2,495.8 ha) and Other Important Ecosystems was 20.6% (2,254.5 ha).

Preliminary Map of Slocan Riparian Sensitive Species:


We are actively pursuing funding to support further research.