West Southlands Residents Association
Musqueam Park Biodiversity
MUSQUEAM CREEK FLOWS THROUGH THE FOREST
Musqueam Creek, one of the last salmon-spawning creeks in Vancouver, passes through Musqueam Park on its way to the Fraser River. The Musqueam Indian band and the David Suzuki Foundation have worked together on rehabilitating the wild salmon stream.
A pond in the marsh, where frogs and even a muskrat have been seen, is dedicated in tribute to the late June Binkert for her work in creating wildlife habitat and preserving the character of the area. The pond serves as a drainage tank adjacent ﬁelds.
BIRDS + OTHER WILDLIFE IN THE WOODS
Bird-watchers have seen more than 30 species of birds in West Southlands, including:
large birds such as red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, bald eagles, great-horned and barred owls, crows, woodpeckers, Stellar's Jays, and red-shafted Flickers
small birds such as dark-eyed juncos, bushtits, swallows, Pacific wrens, white-crowned sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, black-capped chickadees, American robins, marbled murrelets, and Anna's hummingbirds
water birds such as great blue herons, glaucous-winged gulls, grebes, cormorants, ducks, mergansers, and widgeons
spring and summer birds including warblers, evening grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, hermit and Swainson's thrushes, and pine siskins
Musqueam Park and the Musqueam Marsh Nature Park provide a wildlife corridor that runs from Pacific Spirit Regional Park to the Fraser River dyke trail. Coyotes, raccoons, skunks, rats, moles, and squirrels are in the woods and occasionally in backyards. Otters, beavers, and seals can be seen in the river. Frogs, salamanders, water skimmers and dragonflies are in the woodland ponds.
The spring is when coyotes have pups, which means coyotes have more mouths to feed and may be bold. Here is guidance on how to get along with coyotes.
PLANTS IN MUSQUEAM FOREST & MARSHLANDS
A wonderful interactive website about the native and invasive plants of Musqueam Park was created in the spring of 2022 and includes stories, photos, and videos.
Several different kinds of berries grow wild in the bush including blackberries, blueberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries, salal, black raspberries, and huckleberries.
The forest is home to many wildflowers, including fringe cup, foam flower, false lily of the valley, hemlock, fireweed, bunchberry, skunk cabbage, herb Robert, and Nootka rose.
Medicinal plants in the marsh and forested area, identified by the Musqueam Healing Centre, include the natural antibiotic Oregon grape root, stinging nettles for asthma and arthritis, huckleberry and salmonberry for chest and lung-related problems and devil's club for diabetes, arthritis and infection.