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Report: Mount Maxwell Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) and Ecological Assessment (EA) (2003 Original with 2018 Updates)

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The original Mount Maxwell TEM and EA was completed in 2003 by Madrone. This project mapped the terrestrial ecosystems, and classified them according to both TEM standards, and to the Garry Oak Ecosystem Classification. Updates to the original ecosystem attributes and formatting of the Mount Maxwell TEM Project (2003) as per the Terrestrial Ecosystem Information System (TEIS) Digital Standards for incorporation in the TEIS Data systems was completed by EDI in 2018.

Author:  Madrone Environmental Services Ltd.; Radcliffe, G.; Williams, H.; Butt, G.; Willmott, S. and EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc.

Old Reference Number:  6522

Old Reference System:  BAPID

Date Published:  Apr 2003

Report ID:  17752

Audience:  Government and Public

The Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve (ER) and adjacent Nature Trust (NT) Lands, comprising some 345 ha, together support some of the last remaining significant stands of endangered Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems (GOEs), such as mature Douglas-fir, in British Columbia. This project mapped the terrestrial ecosystems of the study area at 1:2,000, classifying them according to both Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) standards, and to the developing Garry Oak Ecosystem Classification. A brief assessment of ecological values and some preliminary wildlife habitat interpretations were also completed. Garry oak ecosystems and maturing Douglas-fir forests exist in the ER and adjacent Nature Trust Lands, and include red-listed ecosystem associations. Only about five percent of the Garry Oak Ecosystems that previously occurred on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands now remain in any semblance of their natural state. Many of the associated ecosystems are also endangered from development and other anthropogenic impacts, including forestry and clearing for agriculture. However, although the ecosystems in the study area have previously been logged, and continue to be grazed by feral sheep, they are in reasonably good condition overall due to their protected locations. The representation of relatively rare Coastal Douglas-fir zone forests, and of Garry oak and associated ecosystems on Mount Maxwell is substantial, and highly significant at a provincial and even national scale. The Garry oak stands in the study area are exceptional. These are perhaps the largest Garry Oak stands remaining in BC. Perhaps even more importantly, they are surrounded - and thus buffered - by Douglas-fir forests, unlike many other examples of Garry Oak ecosystems which are often directly adjacent to urban developments. The protective shoreline on the west side, and the steep topography and cliffs of Baynes Peak above, make these areas unusually well protected. Because of this, they probably afford some of our best hopes for future, long-term protection and representation of Garry Oak complexes, including many associated Species-at-Risk, in the province. Their protection from disturbance, including recreational disturbance, should be a top management priority. The Conservation Data Centre has records of five rare plant species for the area, - four of them on the red list and one on the blue list. However there are undoubtedly more rare plant species that occur in the study area. Several rare or threatened wildlife species are also found in the general area, and likely occur within the study area, but there has been little or no direct inventory. Preliminary habitat interpretations for two red-listed vertebrate species, the Northern Goshawk and Sharp-tailed Snake, are presented in the report. A future direct inventory for these species, as well as for butterflies, owls, and other wildlife groups, is strongly recommended.

Report Type
  Terrestrial Information
  Birds - Lewis' Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis
  Birds - Marbled Murrelet: Brachyramphus marmoratus
  Birds - Northern Goshawk: Accipiter gentilis
  Birds - Peregrine Falcon: Falco peregrinus
  Birds - Turkey Vulture: Cathartes aura
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - CDF Coastal Douglas-fir Zone
  Mammals - Keen's Long-eared Myotis: Myotis keenii
  Region - Vancouver Island
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM)

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