Publications

Biodiversity and Natural History

 

British Columbia:A Natural History

Richard and Sydney Cannings. 2004. Greystone Books, Vancouver.

This splendid overview of the Province's natural diversity is organized in chapters on major ecosystems. While species at risk are not treated as a unit, many of them appear in the various chapters. The book's real strength is its emphasis on habitats and ecological relationships.

 

Biodiversity in British Columbia: Our Changing Environment

L.E. Harding and E. McCullum (eds.) 1994. Environment Canada, UBC Press, Vancouver

This overview of provincial biodiversity consists of summary chapters covering the major taxonomic groups, including the only ones you are likely to find on rare and endangered, lichens seaweed and fungi. It also contains articles on introduced species, the provincial listing system, urban biodiversity and threats to major ecosystems.

 

At Risk: Proceedings of a Conference on the Biology and Management of Species and Habitats At Risk

L.M. Darling (ed.) 2000. BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and University College of the Cariboo

This two-volume tome runs to almost 1000 pages. In roughly 200 articles, it summarizes knowledge of British Columbia’s species at risk as of 1999. Most of the articles are available online through the Conservation Data Centre. Find articles by searching the CDC's Species and Ecosystems Explorer by species or ecosystem name from their web site or link directly from our species pages..

 

Mammals

 

Rare Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals of British Columbia

S. Cannings, L.R. Ramsay, D.F. Fraser and M.A. Fraker. 1999. BC Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks.

This book summarizes available information for mammals on  the Province's Red and Blue lists. Individual summaries are available online from the BC Conservation Data Centre. To find them, enter the species name into their Species and Ecosystems Explorer search engine.

 

Mammals of British Columbia

D. Pattie and T. Eder. 2003. Lone Pine Publishing.

This book includes range maps, colour photographs and drawings of tracks along with succinct species summaries. If you want to cover the gamut of British Columbia's mammals in one small field guide, this is probably your best bet.

 

Bats of British Columbia

D.W. Nagorsen and R.M. Brigham 1993. UBC Press.

This is the most authoritative guide to the Province's bats. It includes detailed maps of known occurrences and detailed identification keys suitable for professional use in addition to comprehensive species descrotptions and an excellent introductory chapter on general bat biology.

 

Opossums, Shrews and Moles of British Columbia

D.W. Nagorsen.1996. UBC Press.

This detailed guide to some of the lesser known mammals in the Province includes detailed maps of known occurrences, a fine identification key and comprehensive species descriptions. An excellent introductory chapter covers the biology and relation to humans of the groups.

 

Hoofed Mammals of British Columbia

D. Shackleton. 1999. UBC Press.

British Columbia is home to nine native species of hoofed mammals (ungulates) : moose, elk, caribou, bison, mountain goat, two species of deer and two of sheep. There are also several introduced species. This book presents a comprehensive summary of current information on these ungulates. The well-illustrated introduction discusses their evolution and biology, survival adaptations, and social organization. Conservation issues, tracking, and taxonomy are also covered. The natural history: habitat, diet, behaviour, reproduction, life expectancy, and mortality factors, and predators of each species is discussed. Distribution maps, recent population estimates, excellent illustrations and identification keys are also included. 

 

Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia

D.W. Nagorsen. 2005. UBC Press.

This book covers all 52 species of rodents (from mouse to beaver) and lagomorphs (rabbits and pikas) in the province. It discusses their general biology, including ecology, diet, anatomy, conservation and relations with humans. For each species, behaviour, identifying characteristics, taxonomy and conservation status are described. Illustrations and a distribution map accompany each account.

 

Carnivores of British Columbia

D.F. Hatler, D.W. Nagorsen, and A.M. Beal. 2008. Royal BC Museum

This book covers 21 species of carnivore found in the province, excluding only the seals. Coverage is comprehensive and includes detailed identification keys and an extensive introductory chapeter. Species accounts include discussions of general ecology, descriptions, behaviour, taxonomy, diet, and distributions. Illustrations and a distribution map accompany each account.

 

Birds

 

The Birds of British Columbia: Volumes 1- 4

W. Campbell, N.K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G.W. Kaiser, M.C.E. McNall, G.E. J. Smith (vol. 3) and A. Stewart (vol. 4). 1990-2001

This massive, four-volume set is the most comprehensive reference available for birds in the Province. It contains photographs of species and habitats, detailed range maps and informative summaries covering life history, population dynamics, breeding locations, nesting success and many other topics. 

 

Field Guide to the Birds of North America

J.L. Dunn and J. Alderfer (eds.). 2006. National Geographic Society.

There are a number of field guides that cover the birds of British Columbia, but this is our favourite. It's superb organization, detailed range maps, and multiple drawings showing different sexes, life history stages and subspecies of each species set it apart.

 

Reptiles and Amphibians

 

Amphibians and Reptiles of British Columbia

B.M. Matsuda, D.M. Green and P.T. Gregory. 2006. Royal BC Museum

This excellent, non-technical field guide provides a great introduction to general amphibian and reptile biology. Its exceptionally detailed range maps are the best available in a field guide covering the Province. The species accounts are well written and basic identification keys are provided.

 

Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia

C.C. Corkran and C. Thoms. 1996. Lone Pine Publishing

This slim volume is the best available for field identification of the Province's amphibians. It contains excellent colour photos of all life stages - from egg masses to adults. The close-up photos of key features and the direct comparisons between easily confused species are particularly helpful. 

 

Rare Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals of British Columbia

S. Cannings, L.R. Ramsay, D.F. Fraser and M.A. Fraker. 1999. BC Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks.

This book summarizes available information for amphibians on the Provincial Red and Blue lists. Individual summaries are available online from the BC Conservation Data Centre. To find them, enter the species name into their Species and Ecosystems Explorer search engine.

 

 

Freshwater Fish

 

The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia

J.D. McPhail. 2007. University of Alberta Press

This long-awaited book by the Province's leading expert on freshwater fish biodiversity became the standard reference on the topic upon its publication. Detailed drawings and identification keys complement comprehensive species accounts and fascinating introductory chapters explaining the origins and biogeography of the province's fish fauna.

 

Rare Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia

S. Cannings and J. Ptolemy. 1998. BC Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks

This book summarizes the scant information available for fishes on the Provincial Red and Blue lists. Individual summaries are available online from the BC Conservation Data Centre. To find them, enter the species name into their Species and Ecosystems Explorer search engine.

 

Pacific Salmon Life Histories

C. Groot and L. Margolis. 1991. UBC Press, Vancouver

This book is academic in tone, but very readable. It provides comprehensive chapters on the complete life cycle of the five species of Pacific Salmon found in British Columbia in addition to two Asian ones.

 

Invertebrates

The Butterflies of British Columbia

C.S. Guppy and J.H. Shepard. 2001. UBC Press.

This beautiful, large-format, full colour book covers the 187 species and 264 subspecies of butterflies known from the Province. Introductory chapters discuss the origins, biology, and conservation of butterflies. The species accounts are well written and contain multiple photographs and very detailed occurrence maps.

 

Land Snails of British Columbia

Robert G. Forsyth. 2004. Royal BC Museum Handbook.

Who knew there are 92 species of land snails and slugs in British Columbia? This book catalogues them all, summarizing the little that is known about each one and providing drawings and photographs of most of them.

 

 

Vascular Plants, Mosses and Lichens

 

Rare Native Vascular Plants of British Columbia 2nd ed.

G.W. Douglas, D.V. Meidinger and J.L. Penny. 2002 BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.

This book summarizes available information on the Province's Red and Blue listed plants. Individual species accounts are available online from the Conservation Data Centre. Type the species name into their Species and Ecosystem Explorer for access.

 

Plants of Coastal British Columbia

J. Pojar and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Lone Pine Publishing

This book covers almost 800 species, ranging from trees to lichens, and is the most popular guide to coastal flora among naturalists. It is easy to use and well illustrated with both photographs and line drawings. Keys, range maps, ecological notes and succinct, interesting descriptions round it out..

 

Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia

R. Parish, R. Coupe, and D. Lloyd. 1996. Lone Pine Publishing

This field guide covers nearly 700 species of plants that occur between the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains. It is well illustrated and includes photographs, line drawings, keys, range maps, ecological notes  and succinct, interesting descriptions.

 

Plants of Northern British Columbia

A. Mackinnon, J. Pojar, and R. Coupe. 1999. Lone Pine Publishing

This  field guide covers more than 500 species, from trees to lichens.  It is well illustrated and includes photographs, line drawings, keys, range maps, ecological notes  and succinct, interesting descriptions.

 

Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest

B. McCune and L. Geiser. 1997. UBC Press, Vancouver.

This book contains colour photographs, and detailed descriptions for over 200 of the 458 species covered in it keys. Introductory chapters provide information on the biology, ecology, collection and vulnerabilities of lichens.