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BC Sessional Papers


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Printed by Charles F. Baxfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1936.  To His Honour J. W. Fordham Johnson,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
The undersigned respectfully submits herewith the Annual Report of the Provincial
Museum of Natural History for the year 1935.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
Victoria, B.C. Provincial Museum of Natural History,
Victoria, B.C., December 31st, 1935.
The Honourable Dr. G. M. Weir,
Provincial Secretary, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour, as Director of the Provincial Museum of Natural History, to lay
before you the Report for the year ended December 31st, 1935, covering the activities of the
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
The Honourable Dr. G. M. Weir, Minister.
P. de Noe Walker, Deputy Minister.
Francis Kermode, Director.
I. McTaggart-Cowan, Ph.D., Assistant Biologist. Nancy Stark, Recorder and Botanist.
Maud P. Hartree, Stenographer. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Activities     7
Library  10
Accessions  12
Anthropology and Archaeology  12
Botany  12
Mammals ».  13
Birds  13
Fish :  14
Insects and Arachnids  14
Marine Invertebrates .  14
Fossils :  14
Mammals of the Alta Lake Region of South-western British Columbia  15
Insect and Plant Associations in the Chilcotin  30
Notes on Vancouver Island Cerambycida?—-.  34 REPORT of the
By Francis Kermode, Director.
(a.)  To secure and preserve specimens illustrating the natural history of the Province.
(6.)  To collect anthropological material relating to the aboriginal races of the Province.
(c.)  To obtain information respecting the natural sciences, relating particularly to the
natural history of the Province, and diffuse knowledge regarding the same.
The Provincial Museum is open to the public, free, week-days, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;   May 1st
to October 31st, Sunday afternoons, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Museum is closed on all statutory holidays, except on notification through the press.
The following figures show the difference between those who registered and those who
were checked by the staff.    While only 23,814 registered, the total of the check was 49,499.
July         5,663
October         1,130
Totals  23,814 49,499
Considerable advancement has been shown during the year 1935, as money was voted in
the estimates for an Assistant Biologist and Stenographer on the regular staff. The position
of temporary attendant was made permanent, which afforded the opportunity to have the
Museum open on Saturday afternoons throughout the year, as had been the custom for many
years in the past.
Due to having extra help a great amount of work has been accomplished in the office and
a start made towards bringing the study collections up to date. This work had been neglected
for several years owing to the staff being reduced to a minimum, and it was impossible to keep
up with the steady influx of work.
Although the position of Assistant Biologist was reinstated in April, it was not until July
that I. McTaggart-Cowan, Ph.D., was appointed by the Honourable Provincial Secretary,
Minister of the Department, to fill this position. The Director then instructed the Assistant
Biologist to collect a series of ornithological specimens in the vicinity of Victoria. Arrangements were made to carry out this work through the able assistance of the Provincial Game Department and Provincial Police, allowing the Assistant Biologist to accompany them into
the surrounding districts.
The Director made arrangements for Dr. McTaggart-Cowan to undertake a short trip to
the Lower Fraser Valley District, where considerable collecting was done. Later a trip to
the Alta Lake region was carried out, an account of which is given in the article on " Mammals
of the Alta Lake Region," by Kenneth Racey and I. McTaggart-Cowan.
Having extra assistance, it is the intention of the Department to make a biological
investigation of the public park areas in British Columbia, with a view to recording the flora
and fauna peculiar to the regions, and to publishing the results in the annual reports, so as to
be available to tourists and others visiting the parks.
An article on " Insect and Plant Associations in the Chilcotin," by R. S. Sherman and
Fred Perry, is also included in this report, and a brief account on " Notes on Vancouver Island
Cerambycidaa," by G. A. Hardy.
Mr. T. W. S. Parsons, Assistant Commissioner of the British Columbia Police, has maintained his interest in the Museum and with the assistance of his staff has donated many
specimens, particularly anthropological. Had it not been for this co-operation these would
otherwise have been lost to us entirely.
Comparing this year's record of visitors, there is a noticeable increase from that of the
previous year. Among those visiting the Museum during the year were a number of scientists
from other institutions.
Considerable study material has been borrowed from other institutions and we in turn
have loaned our material for a similar purpose. We wish to thank all who have favoured us
with their co-operation and also those who identified specimens for us.
The Botanical collection has been added to and with the extra assistance it has been made
possible to mount several hundred specimens which have been in storage for a number of years.
An added attraction to the Museum is the painting of the backgrounds of two large seal-
cases on the main floor. This splendid piece of work has been done by Mrs. L. J. C. Sweeney.
The background for the fur-seal case represents a scene from Pribilof Island, while a scene
from Triangle Island was chosen for the hair-seal case.
For many years there has been a very interesting Ethnological collection on display at the
University of British Columbia, which was presented by the late Dr. Frank Burnett.
At the request of the Board of Governors through Dr. L. S. Klinck, President, the Director
of the Provincial Museum was called upon to place a value on this collection to use as a basis
for negotiating fire insurance. A trip was made by the Director to inspect the collection with
Dean Klinck, Mr. A. MacLucas, Bursar, and Mr. Bell, and it was agreed by the insurance
company of Mitchell & Bell to accept whatever value the Director placed on it.
Before placing a value on the collection the Director suggested that it be recatalogued
with the numbers running consecutively. This excellent piece of work was carried out by
a special catalogue assistant and Mr. W. Tansley, the permanent curator.
During the month of July the Director and Recorder spent several days at the University
going over the collection and placing a price on each specimen. When this was completed
a final report was submitted on August 8th, 1935, to the Board of Governors through Dr. Klinck,
which proved satisfactory to all concerned.
A second series of natural-history talks made possible by a grant from the Carnegie
Corporation were started early in January, 1936, which still prove to be popular with the
In order to accommodate the large number of children who were so interested in these
nature talks, two separate sessions each Saturday morning had to be arranged, the first from
9.15 a.m. to 10.15 a.m. and the second from 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., differently coloured tickets
being used for each session.
Museum specimens and lantern-slides were used to illustrate the lectures, and also, during
the last fifteen minutes of each session, motion pictures, further illustrating the subject, were
The Director wishes to thank the National Museum of Canada at Ottawa and the Dominion
Parks Commission for the use of several of their motion-picture films. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935.
H 9
The lectures were as follows :-
March   7
Animals of the Forest	
Birds, Resident and Migrant..
Life Along Our Seashores	
Indian Handicrafts —	
Moths and Butterflies.	
Our Forests 	
Hawks, Owls, and Eagles...
Our Coast Fishes	
Beetles and Other Insects..
Horns and Hoofs	
The Way of the Frog and Snake-
Old Indian Village Sites	
Some of Our Native Wild Flowers..
Dr. I. McTaggart-Cowan..
Mr. F. Kermode.—	
Mr. G. A. Hardy	
Mr. F. Kermode	
Mr. W. Downes 	
Mr. Mulholland	
Dr. I. McTaggart-Cowan..
Mr. F. Kermode.	
Mr. G. A. Hardy	
Dr. I. McTaggart-Cowan..
Mr. G. A. Hardy	
Dr. I. McTaggart-Cowan .
Mrs. Phyllis B. Munday....
Note.—Owing to the death of King George V., the lecture on January 25th was postponed until February 1st,
and the lecture for that date was cancelled.
A tremendous amount of extra work was created when the offices on the second floor were
moved to the north end of the building. This necessitated a new arrangement for the
exhibition-cases, but when completed proved very satisfactory, as it enabled us to have the
Ornithological and Oological collections in the same section. The Ichthyological specimens
and lower forms of marine life are now in close contact. The Pateontological, Entomological,
and Reptilian specimens are also housed on this floor.
With the removal to the new offices additional space was given to the reference library.
A great number of books hitherto unavailable for reference-work have been catalogued and
placed on the shelves.
For some time the Director has appealed to the Public Works Department to have the well
between the first and second floors filled in. This would give us much-needed exhibition-space.
It has also been suggested that access be made to the attic and that it be floored to make a
suitable room for storage purposes. This is greatly needed so that all specimens be housed
in a fire-proof building.
Under the general supervision of the Director, Mr. Francis Kermode, the following work
has been carried out and accessions made during 1935:—
I. McT. Cowan, Assistant Biologist;   report to the Director:—
It is generally recognized that the foundation of all systematic work in zoology and botany
lies in adequate collections made in the field. Without such specimens for detailed examination
no progress can be made in the study of our fauna and flora.
Though from year to year considerable valuable and interesting material has been accessioned at the Museum, owing to press of other work and shortness of staff, much of the office-
work necessary to carefully study, determine, and catalogue such material has had to be
postponed. In the past six months, however, I have attempted to catch up some of the arrears
in this work. The entire mammal collection, which, exclusive of mounted exhibition material,
now numbers 1,560 specimens, has been worked over and identified in accordance with current
nomenclatorial usage. A complete card reference catalogue for the collection has been
prepared. The similar task for the bird-collection, which now numbers 5,247 specimens, is in
progress and should reach completion in the next few months.
Several special studies have been begun. One on the Bats of British Columbia has led
already to the discovery in the Province of a form hitherto not known to extend its range into
the Dominion. A study of the distribution and variation of the Williamson Sapsucker (Sphy-
rapicus thryoideus) is in manuscript form.
Specimens of Townsend's Vole, Muskrat, and Mink have been mounted for exhibition to
replace badly faded specimens now on display.
Of work carried out at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology of the University of Californ:a
prior to my appointment to the Provincial Museum, a distributional study of the White-footed
Mice of the Peromyscus sitkensis group has been recently published in the University of
California Publications in Zoology series.    Galley proof of a paper on the Nesting Habits of the Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) has just been read. Some time was spent in
revising my manuscript, " Distribution and Variation in Deer (genus Odocoileus) of the Pacific
Coast Region of North America." This manuscript is now being edited at the University of
In the Department of Entomology, the arrangement for display purposes of a large case
of insects representing the orders Dermaptera, Orthoptera, Odonata, Neuroptera, Hemiptera,
and Diptera brought our exhibition of representative insects of the Province to a fairly satisfactory condition. In this arrangement I was assisted by Miss N. Stark. In this regard
thanks are extended to Mr. Andison and Mr. W. Downes, of the Dominion Entomological
Branch, for certain identifications.
Thanks to the co-operation of the Provincial Game Commission through Game Wardens
B. Cash, of Victoria, and J. W. Jones, of Saanich, it has been possible to make a fairly comprehensive survey of the avifauna of the southern portion of Vancouver Island.
Stomachs of all birds taken were preserved and later examined and the contents tabulated.
Some clinical examinations of game birds were performed for the Game Commission.
Two short field-trips were made, one to the Lower Fraser Valley in November, at which
time the ornithology of the region was studied intensively and several species new to the
Provincial Museum collections secured.
The other field-trip was to the Alta Lake region adjoining the northern portion of Garibaldi
Park. Collecting and observation on this trip served to supplement several years' sporadic
work in the region, the results of which are published in this report. Though the present
report deals largely with the mammals of the region, it is planned that a similar study on the
birds will follow. The desirability of continuing and extending these biological investigations
of our Provincial Parks is to be emphasized. As these areas are opened to tourist invasion
the fauna and flora will inevitably become modified. It is therefore highly desirable that we
should have accurate knowledge of the primeval conditions of these areas, which, when in
later years compared with conditions obtaining after man's intervention, will form the basis
for interesting and valuable conclusions concerning the effect upon the fauna of the modification of the environment. Then, too, if these faunistic studies could be made available to the
general public, they would greatly enhance the interest of the regions to the tourist.
With the removal to the new offices it became possible to reorganize the collections of books
and pamphlets comprised in the working library of the Museum, with a view to facilitating
their use. Miss M. P. Hartree has spent considerable time at this task and the reorganization
should be completed during the coming year. The following publications were received during
the year:—
Publications received during the year (total)   355
By exchange—
American Committee for International Wild Life Protection        1
Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver, B.C.      4
Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia       1
Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, T.H.        2
Biological Board of Canada, Ottawa     11
Biological Society of Washington       2
Boston Society of Natural History, Boston        5
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol, England        1
Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y.        7
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Buffalo, N.Y.        2
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco     12
Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, England       1
Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania        1
Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina        1
Chicago Academy of Sciences, Chicago, 111.        6
Colorado Museum of Natural History, Denver, Colo.        5
Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.     45 REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 11
Department of the Interior, Ottawa  4
Division of Fish and Game of California   2
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, 111.   10
Geological Survey, Dept. of Mines, Ottawa  11
Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana, 111.  2
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana   6
Insular Experiment Station, Rio Piedras, P.R.  1
Kansas Academy of Science, Manhattan, Kansas   1
Leicester Museum, Leicester, England  5
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.   1
Manchester Museum, Manchester, England   1
Musee D'Ethnographie du Trocadero, Paris  1
National Museum of Canada, Dept. of Mines, Ottawa  2
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin ..  2
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff  1
National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa .  2
New York Zoological Society, New York  9
Nova Scotian Institute of Science, Halifax, N.S.      2
Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Wooster, Ohio       1
Oxford University Press, Oxford, England        8
Pacific Northwest Bird and Mammal Society, Seattle, Wash.       4
Peabody Museum, Yale University       3
Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences        1
Provincial Museum of Natural History, Regina, Sask.        1
Queen Victoria Memorial, Salisbury, Rhodesia  _._       1
Rochester Academy of Science, Rochester, N.Y.       2
Royal Geographical Society of Australia, Adelaide       1
Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology, Toronto, Canada       5
Royal Society for Protection of Birds, London       2
San Diego Society of Natural History, California   12
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California       2
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California       3
Smithsonian Institution, U.S. National Museum, Washington        8
Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences        7
University of California, Berkeley, California  12
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado        2
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska        3
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, P.R.       4
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario       1
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington _.__ 20
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.        6
Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia, Pa.       4
Zoological Society of Philadelphia  ;       1
Zoological Society of San Diego, California        2
By subscription and purchase—
American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C.   23
American Ornithologists' Union, Lancaster, Pa.        4
American Society of Ichthologists & Herpetologists, Ann Arbor        8
British Museums Association, South Kensington, England   15
Cooper Ornithological Club, Berkeley, California        8
Cruises of the Steamer Corwin:   Year of 1885       1
Mammals and Birds, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Toronto       1
Moss Flora of North America, A. J. Grout, Vermont       1
National Museum of Canada, Birds of Canada, P. A. Taverner       6
We  are indebted  to  the following for  scientific  separates  received  during  the  year:
Mr. E. A. Goldman, Dr. T. H. Scheffer, Mr. Harlan I. Smith, Dr. Harold St. John, and Mr. L. M.
Anthropological and Ethnological Collections.
By gift      15
Salishan (Island).
H. Smethurst, Sidney, V.I., B.C.    Stone sinker.
H. H. Smith, Victoria, B.C.    Flint arrow-head.
Const. Helmsing, B.C. Prov. Police, Victoria, B.C.    Skull and incomplete skeleton.
H. K. Harrison, Parksville, V.I., B.C.    Slate knife.
J. N. Evans, Duncan, V.I., B.C.    Stone chisel.
E. C. Dawes, Victoria, B.C.    Arrow-point.
Mrs. C. Fidler, Victoria, B.C.    Hat.
Dr. Walker, Victoria, B.C.    Fur-seal spear.
J. H. Clarke, Refuge Cove, V.I., B.C.    Whalebone mallet.
T. W. S. Parsons, Asst. Commissioner, B.C. Provincial Police, Victoria, B.C.    One
gambling-bone;   1 obsidian knife.
Sergt. G. H. Greenwood, B.C. Prov. Police, Fort St. John, B.C.    Bone scraper.
J. Beatty, Hudson Hope, B.C., per Asst. Commissioner T. W. S. Parsons.    One lump
of jade;  1 large piece of very old pemmican.
T. W. S. Parsons, Asst. Commissioner, B.C. Prov. Police, Victoria, B.C.    Piece of
obsidian from Telegraph Creek District.
By purchase       2
Two 16-inch carved black-slate totem-poles purchased from E. G. Maynard, Victoria,
B.C.    These are particularly fine specimens and remarkable in that they are
almost identical to one another.
Botanical Collections.
Miss N. Stark reports: Besides maintaining the seasonal exhibition of living wild flowers,
the work in this department during the past year has been largely devoted to the replacement
of faded exhibition material and to the office-work incidental to mounting and identifying the
extensive collections already assembled. In addition, several collections have been identified
for botanists in the Province and assistance given to many local students. Accessions in the
department now total 9,647 sheets, an increase of 61 sheets during the year. Of particular
interest among the accessions is the collection by F. Perry from the Chilcotin, a district
hitherto unrepresented in the Herbarium.
By gift—
E. A. Cooke, Victoria, B.C.    Juniperus scopulorum;   Heuchera cylindrica;   Silene
Scouleri; Anchusa officinalis.
C. French, Victoria.    Bromus carinatus.
Mrs. E. Cooke, Victoria, B.C.    Gnaphalium purpureum; Apocynum androssemifolium.
F. Saverman, Langford, B.C.    Setaria viridis.
Mr. Haynes, Victoria, B.C.    Spergidaria rubra.
C. D. Orchard, Victoria, B.C.    Fatsia horrida.
E. Lohbrunner, Victoria, B.C.    Campanula lasiocarpa;   Polystichum Andersoni.
(From Alice Arm, B.C.)
F. Perry, Vancouver, B.C.   Pedicularis scopulorum; P. Langsdorfii;  Sedum integri-
folium; Habenaria obtusata; Orchis rotundifolia; Lappula diffusa; Campanula
uniflora;   Lupinus Lyallii;   Astragalus alpinus;   Senecio Howellii;   Astragalus
? Mortoni.
Miss M. Lacy, Victoria, B.C.    Hypopites Hypopites. By gift—Continued.
W. B. Anderson, Victoria, B.C.    Polystichum Andersoni;   Polypodium sp.
H. Warren, Victoria, B.C.    Solanum rostratum.
By the staff-
Miss N. Stark      10
I. McT. Cowan       4
Zoological Collections.
Mammals received and catalogued      71
Birds received and catalogued   143
Amphibians and reptiles received and catalogued        3
Fish received and catalogued      5
Insects and Arachnids received and catalogued     26
Other invertebrates received and catalogued        1
By gift      38
C. R. Weatherell, Saltspring Island, B.C.    One muskrat;  1 weasel (Mustela cicognani
W. J. Bradford, Bridge Lake, B.C.    Two Columbian Ground Squirrels.
Dan Leavens, Vedder  Crossing,  B.C.    One  Long-tailed  Meadow  Mouse   (Microtus
mordax macrurus) ; 9 Creeping Voles (Microtus oregoni serpens) ;  3 Townsend's
Voles   (Microtus t. townsend.i) ;    1  Pack Rat   (Neotoma cinerea, occidentalis) ;
1 White-footed Mouse  (Peromyscus maniculatus oreas) ;   5 White-footed Mice
(Peromyscus m. austerus) ;    3  Jumping Mice   (Zapus  trinotatus  trinotatus) ;
1 Townsend's Chipmunk (Eutamia.s townsendi) ;   1 Wandering Shrew (Sorex v.
vagrans) ;    6   Bendire's   Shrews   (Sorex   b.   bendirei) ;    1   Gibb's   Shrew   Mole
(Neurotrichus g. gibbsii) ;  1 Mole (Scaponus orarius schefferi) ;   all in the flesh.
K. Racey, Vancouver, B.C.    One Long-tailed Meadow Mouse in flesh.
By the staff—
I. McT. Cowan     33
By gift      37
G. Richardson, Victoria, B.C.    One Northwest Coast Heron (Ardea herodea fannini)
Miss M. Holmes, Victoria, B.C.    One Belted Kingfisher.
E. Cooke, Victoria, B.C.    One Lutescent Warbler in the flesh.
Miss J. Cowan, Vancouver, B.C.     One Tolmie Warbler  (Oporornis tolmiei).
Dan Leavens, Vedder Crossing, B.C.    Three Goshawks;   2  Sharp-shinned Hawks;
1 Cooper's Hawk;   I Western Red-tailed  Hawk;   3  Pigmy Owls   (Glaucidium
gnoma grinnelli) ;   1 Horned Owl  (Bubo virginianus lagophonus).
W. McMillan, Victoria, B.C.    One Albino Sooty Grouse in flesh.
Game Warden J. W. Jones, Victoria, B.C.    One Cooper's Hawk;  1 Western Red-tailed
Hawk;   1 Northern Shrike;   1 Greater Yellowlegs;   1 Horned Owl (B. v. satura-
tus) ;   3 California Quail.
E. G. Kermode, Victoria, B.C.    One Fork-tailed Petrel in the flesh.
C. O. Mellor, Vancouver, B.C., per B.C. Game Commission.    One Horned Owl  (B. v.
lagonhonus) in the flesh.
K. F. Duncan, Duncan, B.C.    One Melanistic Pheasant in the flesh.
Miss G. Maynard, Victoria, B.C.    One Virginia Rail in the flesh.
K. Racey, Vancouver, B.C.    One Raven.
T. T. and E. B. McCabe, Berkeley, California.    One Old  Squaw Duck;   1  Purple
Mrs. R. Ivy, Ladysmith, B.C.    One Long-eared Owl in the flesh.
Newcomb, Esquimalt, B.C.    One Horned Owl  (B. v. saturatus) in the flesh.
Dr. Price, Victoria, B.C.    Nests of Gairdner Woodpecker and Yellow Warbler.
By the staff—
I. McT. Cowan  106 H 14 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Amphibians and Reptiles.
By gift
J. W. Mawle, Victoria, B.C.    One shed snake-skin.
A. Monks, Alberni, V.I., B.C.    One turtle.
By the staff—
I. McT. Cowan	
By gift-
Constable Carmichael, B.C.  Prov.  Police, Victoria, B.C.    One Willoughby Ragfish
(Acrotus willoughbyi).
H. N. Olsen, Victoria, B.C.    One Richardson's Cottus (Rhamphocottus richardsoni).
Sooke Harbour Fishing and Packing Co., Victoria, B.C.    One Sunfish (Mola mola).
T. Spouse, Victoria, B.C.    One Scaly Ragfish (Icichthys lockingtoni).
Don Hughes, Victoria, B.C.    One Red Rock Trout (Hexagrammus superciliosus).
Insects and Arachnids.
By gift    19
By the staff—
K. Kermode, 2; Miss M. P. Hartree, 2; I. McT. Cowan, 3      7
H. Shallard, E. Burkmar, E. Attree, W. M. Hughes, H. I. Salmon, Mrs. Barbour.
L. F. S. Norris-Elye, East Sooke, B.C.
E. Cooke, Victoria, B.C.
E. Cooke, Victoria, B.C.
Mr. Haynes, E. Cooke, Mrs. S. Chater, F. Risser, G. Fraser, D. Leavens, F. Kermode.
Mrs. Geo. Phillips, Victoria, B.C.
Marine Invertebrates.
G. E. Forster, Saanich, B.C.    Rock Clam (Pholadidea).
By gift—
D. Clarke, Shirley, B.C.    One Rock Clam (Pholadidea).
G. Richardson, Saanich, B.C.    One Pecten.
Robt. Kirk, Saanich, B.C.    One Mollusc.
A. Vowles, Sooke, B.C.    One Mollusc. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 15
By Kenneth Racey and Ian McTaggart Cowan.
Fifteen years collecting and observation by the senior author, seven years by the junior
author, together with the observations of many friends in the neighbourhood and a few
published notes, form the basis for this report upon the mammals of the Alta Lake region of
south coastal British Columbia.
The area under consideration in this report comprises approximately 225 square miles
of mountainous and heavily timbered country on the west slope of the Cascade Mountains
chiefly north of the 50th parallel and west of the 123rd meridian. It includes the summit of
the divide separating the Lillooet River watershed from that of the Squamish-Cheakamus
River system; that part of Garibaldi Park lying north of Garibaldi Lake, and the first line
of mountains on the west side of the Cheakamus Valley.
The Cheakamus-Green River Valleys run in a general north-east, south-west direction and
have their mutual summit (altitude 2,100 feet) at Alta Lake, a shallow, rather rocky lake
with low shores—approximately 1 Yz miles long by Yz mile wide at the widest point. This lake
drains south-west by a short turbulent stream into Nita Lake—a typical glacial tarn made
milky for the summer months by the glacial silt from Mount London Glacier on the east.
Nita Lake in turn drains west into Alpha Lake, a shallow, island-studded lake presenting
considerable variety in littoral habitat. The waters from this lake find their way via Miller
Creek into the glacial Cheakamus River some 10 miles from its source in the lake of the same
name. This lake lies in the hollow overlooked on the north by Mount Whistler (London
Mountain) and on the south by the spectacular Mount Corrie, with the fast-receding ice of
Cheakamus Glacier clinging to its lower slopes. The Cheakamus River then proceeds south,
receiving many tributaries from both sides, and joins up with the Squamish.
Alta Lake drains to the east by narrow, slow-flowing Alpha Creek, which, after uniting
with the turbulent Twentyone Mile Creek, flows into Green Lake. This lake is fed by Fitz-
simmons Creek from the east. The latter river arises in the glacier of the same name on the
northern slope of Mount Overlord.
The main valley is narrow, presenting little arable land and only small areas of natural
marsh. On either side the peaks rise abruptly to heights of from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. On many
of the highest peaks snow persists in patches throughout the summer. In some of the hanging
valleys small glaciers still exist. Timber-line is reached at approximately 5.500 feet and on
some of the mountains, noticeably Garibaldi and London, the succeeding 2,000 feet present
large areas of alpine meadow, in July and August clothed in a growth of flowers not equalled
in North American ranges other than the Cascades.
The weather in the immediate vicinity of Alta Lake is in the nature of a compromise
between dry-belt and coastal conditions. Winter temperatures as low as —20° F. have been
recorded, and summer temperatures occasionally exceed 90° F. The rainfall for 1934 (Climate
of B.C., B.C. Dept. Agr. Rept. for 1934, p. 18) was 64.17 inches. The accompanying hyther-
graphs present graphic comparison of weather conditions at Lillooet, a dry-belt station on
the east side of the Cascades; Britannia Beach, a coastal wet-belt station; and Pemberton
Meadows, a station just on the north-east edge of the area being considered.
Three of the transcontinental life-zones are represented, the Canadian, Hudsonian, and
Alpine Arctic, ranging from the valley-floor upward, each supplying a number of vertebrate
habitats with their characteristic fauna and flora.
Canadian Zone.—The Canadian Zone comprises the valley-floor and the well-timbered
slopes above. It reaches from sea-level up to approximately 3,500 to 4,000 feet, depending
on the exposure, steepness, and soil-cover.
In the well-watered valleys the timber of this zone is characterized by a predominance
of Douglas fir, western hemlock, giant cedar, red alder, black poplar, and willow. The
shrubbery at lake-level is composed of salmon-berry, salal, high-bush cranberry, several
varieties of vaccinium, wild raspberry, bramble, and false box.    The heavily timbered parts —I-
H 16
of this zone are characterized principally by western hemlock and Douglas fir, with cedar in
the more moist areas. Shrubby growth is almost absent, but where present is largely
vaccinium and western teaberry.
The Canadian Zone provides a variety of vertebrate habitats, the most important of which
are the following:—
Lake.—The lakes of the district are of two main types. Alta, Green, and Alpha Lakes
represent the type with low shores, set well back from the lake, allowing the maximum of
sunshine to reach the waters and shores.    While in most places the timber reaches to the
Fig. 1. Hythergraphs for A Lillooet, B Pemberton, and C Britannia
Beach, based on average data of at least twenty years. Temperature is
represented in degrees Fahrenheit, rainfall in inches. Numbers beside
points on graphs represent months of the year.
water's edge, these lakes each have some low marginal ground supporting considerable
deciduous growth. In nearly every case logging and human occupation have provided
interrupted meadow in what was once heavily forested shore-line. Characteristic mammal
inhabitants of the meadow-land are the jumping mouse, long-tailed meadow-mouse, and dusky
shrew. Nita and Cheakamus Lakes represent the second, or glacial tarn, type of lake. The steep
banks come down to the water's edge; in many places the tumbled slopes of talus plunge
directly into the water, eliminating even the usual narrow border of deciduous growth. These
lakes in themselves provide very poor habitats and support only small numbers of vertebrates.
All the lakes are stocked with rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri ssp.) and Dolly Varden (Salve-
linus malma) ; consequently they form suitable feeding-places for scattered pairs of loons,
golden-eye ducks, kingfishers, and fish-hawks, as well as roving mink.
Natural Meadow.—Between Alta Lake and Green Lake there are several tracts of wild-
hay land a number of acres in extent. The vegetation is mostly sedges and the food potential
low. However, the surrounding margin of dense green alder (Alnus sitchensis) thickets
provides suitable cover for several varieties of birds that use the meadows for feeding-grounds.
Running Water.—In consequence of their abundance, the streams in this, as in other parts
of coastal British Columbia, are each of relatively little importance as primary habitats.
To a certain degree, however, and this is particularly true in their lower reaches, they are
the cause of seasonal concentration of many types of vertebrates that, directly or indirectly,
look to the salmon-run for their subsistence. The dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) and the water-
shrew (Sorex p. navigator) are the only vertebrates strictly confined to the stream habitat.
Coniferous Forest.—The greater part of the terrain in the section from the valley-floor to
an altitude of 4,000 to 4,500 feet is covered by a dense coniferous forest, of which, at lower
elevations, the Douglas fir, giant cedar, and western hemlock comprise the bulk, with mountain-
hemlock, balsam-fir, and yellow cedar forming a progressively larger proportion toward the
higher levels. Except in infrequent scattered openings, generally on the borders of marshy
ponds, there is practically no deciduous growth—or, indeed, underbrush of any sort. Marshy
bottoms present tangled jungles of devil's-club  (Fatsia horrida).
The thick mossy carpet provides adequate cover for large numbers of red-backed mice,
white-footed mice, and shrews, which, together with the Cascade squirrel, flying squirrel,
weasel, and wildcat, make up the mammalian population of this habitat type. The avian
inhabitants of the coniferous forest are largely dependent on the trees for subsistence. One
group such as the crossbill, evening grosbeak, and pine siskin are directly dependent upon the
seeds. Another well-marked group of birds, less closely dependent on the trees themselves,
are those species whose food is the insects of the tree-tops. Of these the kinglets, chickadees,
nuthatches, and creepers are resident, while the flycatchers and warblers move out of the
district in the winter months.
Hudsonian Zone.—At 4,000 feet the timber begins to thin out in places; at 5,000 feet we
enter the true Hudsonian Zone. In this life-zone we find open meadowlets, small heather-
patches, blueberry (Vaccinium macrophyllum) thickets, tangles of Rhododendron albiflorum,
streams and ponds interspersed with clumps of dwarfed trees with spreading decumbent bases.
These trees are firs (Abies amabilis and occasionally A. lasiocarpa), mountain-hemlock (Tsuga
mertensiana), juniper (Juniper c. montanus), and'yellow cedar (Chamsecyparis nootkatensis).
From the very diversity of cover type one would expect the zone to support a large vertebrate
population. The scattered tree-c'umps form ideal nesting-sites for golden-crowned and fox
sparrows, varied thrushes, hermit thrushes, mountain bluebirds, and Clarke's nutcrackers,
while all summer long the blueberry-patches are the favourite feeding-ground of hundreds of
young sooty grouse. The mammalian population is not so confined, there are no species
limited to the zone, but mammals of both the Alpine Arctic and Canadian Zones intermingle
over almost the entire subalpine forest region.
Alpine Arctic Zone.—From where the last stunted fir is found the broad rolling meadows
stretch upward to the jagged rocky outcroppings and tumbled boulder masses that form the
peaks of the Cascade; here and there some mountain stream cuts its way through the forests
and along these the alpine meadows find access to the lower altitudes. Of the three zones here
considered, this is by far the best represented as regards indigenous bird and mammal life.
Meadow-pipit, leucosticte, horned lark, and ptarmigan breed here exclusively, while alpine
marmot, grizzly bear, synaptomys, phenacomys, and Richardson's vole are almost exclusively
confined to the limits of its meadows. Several other types have their metropolis here.
Wherever rodents are common, there also will the predator be most abundant; consequently,
the golden eagle and sparrow-hawk by day and the horned owl by night, the coyote and the
weasel abound. H 18 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The Mammals.
The Cascade Mountains in southern British Columbia from a faunistic standpoint provide
a barrier of considerable magnitude.    As a result of their climatic influence they separate the
coastal wet belt from the interior dry belt, each of which has its own peculiar faunas.
In consequence of a geographic position almost on the Cascade Divide, the fauna of Alta
Lake region contains several kinds of mammals that reflect in their external and cranial
characters a transition from conditions usually associated with coastal races to conditions that
characterize the dry-belt races of the same mammals. With the material available for the
present study, it was possible to detect this state in six species of mammals; further material
will doubtless add to this number.
Besides these, the fauna of the Alta Lake region includes five forms derived from the
interior Transition Zone of British Columbia, seven forms ranging apparently unchanged from
the coastal wet-belt forests, seven alpine forms peculiar to the Cascade Range to the south,
one alpine form from the mountains to the north, and fourteen types of mammals with a
much wider range.
Check List of the Mammals.
Sorex cinereus cinereus. Marmota caligata cascadensis.
Sorex obscurus setosus. Eutamias amoenus felix.
Sorex palustris navigator. Sciurus cascadensis cascadensis.
Myotis lucifugus alascensis. Glaucomys sabrinus fuliginosus.
Lasionycteris noctivagans. Castor canadensis pacificus.
Nycteris cinerea. Peromyscus maniculatus oreas.
Ursus (Euarctos) americanus alti- Neotoma cinerea occidentalis.
frontalis. ■   Synaptomys borealis wrangeli.
Ursus kwakiutl. Phenacomys intermedius olympicus.
Procyon lotor pacifica. Clethrionomys gapperi caurinus.
Martes caurina caurina. Microtus pennsylvanicus drummondi.
Mustela frenata ssp. Microtus mordax macrurus.
Mustela cicognani richardsoni. Microtus richardsoni arvicoloides.
Mustela vison energumenos. Ondatra zibethica osoyoosensis.
Gulo luscus luscus. Zapus trinotatus trinotatus.
Lutra canadensis pacifica. Erethizon epixanthum nigrescens.
Spilogale phenax olympica. Ochotona princeps brunnescens.
Canis lycaon gigas. Lepus americanus cascadensis.
Canis latrans incolatus. Odocoileus columbianus columbianus.
Felis concolor oregonensis. Oreamnos americanus americanus.
Lynx canadensis canadensis. Alces americana americana.
Lynx rufus fasciatus.
Account of the Mammals.
Cinereus Shrew, Sorex cinereus cinereus Kerr.
An abundant resident north of the Cheakamus, but not recorded to the south and east of
that river. This shrew is most abundant in the marshy spots on lake-shores at valley-floor
elevation (2,100 feet), but is fairly common in the heavy timber, where it frequents the rocky
outcroppings. Abundant in 1924, scarce at Alta Lake from 1925-1932, since then it has
increased in numbers until in 1935-36 it is once again numerous.
Eleven specimens, all from the vicinity of Alta Lake.
Olympic Dusky Shrew, Sorex obscurus setosus Elliot.
This typical representative of the south coastal fauna reaches its most easterly point of
extension in the Alta Lake District. By far the commonest shrew at all collecting-stations.
In the winter of 1935-36 twice as many dusky shrews as cinereus shrews were taken. While
occasionally taken in the marshy spots, the species, however, has its metropolis in the dense
forests. On June 26th, 1924, a single individual was taken on Mount Overlord at an altitude
of 6,200 feet. The specimen of wandering shrew (Sorex v. vagrans) recorded by Hardy (Ann.
Rept. B.C. Prov. Mus. for 1926, p. 26) from Parnassus Creek, on the Garibaldi meadows,
proves on re-examination to be a rather small specimen of dusky shrew.    Specimens to the PLATE I.
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Nita Lnke, altit-ide 2,100 feet—Canadian Zone
coniferous forest.
Timber-line in Avalanche (Singing) Pass, looking
north ; Blackcomb Peak in background across Fitz-
simmons Valley.
Cheakamus Lake and Glacier.  PLATE III.
Cheakamus Canyon—Canadian Zone
forest, western cedar and western hemlock predominating.
Devil's-club in Sitka spruce bottom-land—Canadian Zone.  Alta Creek and brushy meadow-land at north end of Alta Lake—brush is willow and red alder.
Alta Lake from the west, Wedge Mountain at extreme right.  REPORT OP PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935.
H 19
number of forty-five have been examined, of which eighteen males and sixteen females in the
K. Racey collection measure as follows:—Males: Total length, 118.9 (108.5-126); tail, 54.9
(49-61); hind foot, 13.4 (12-14.5). Females: Total length, 117.8 (113-126); tail, 54.6
(47-60); hind foot, 13.7 (13-14.5). These measurements are consistently smaller than those
topotypical specimens and probably demonstrate a trend toward the neighbouring S. o.
Specimens: Alta Lake, 42; Tenquille Lake, 1;  Mount Overlord, 1;  Garibaldi Meadows, 1.
Water-shrew, Sorex palustris navigator (Baird).
Rare but generally distributed at low altitudes. The only record above the floor of the
valley is of a single specimen taken July 21st, 1930, at Tenquille Lake, Pemberton, B.C., at an
altitude of 5,400 feet. There are specimens in the K. Racey collection from Mons Creek, Millar
Creek, and Twentyone Mile Creek, and in the B.C. Provincial Museum collection from the east
side of Alta Lake.
As regards the habitat preference, this shrew is strictly confined to the vicinity of running
water, never being found on the parts of lake-shores removed far from stream-mouths. The
following notes on this rare animal are taken from Mr. Racey's note-book, dated September
3rd, 1923, at Twentyone Mile Creek:—
". . . We noticed a movement in the water at the base of a tree the roots of which
extended into the water. In a moment along came a water-shrew. It ran under a log on
which we were seated and swam about a small pond behind us. It made a buzzing sound as it
travelled rapidly over the water and then it would seize hold of partly submerged branches
and run along these to the bottom of the pond. ... In the centre of this pond was a tiny
mossy island about 8 or 10 inches in diameter; on this sat a frog. With the approach of the
shrew it showed every evidence of fright and crouched close to the moss on the opposite side
to which the shrew approached. The shrew apparently did not see the frog and after hunting
about for some minutes ran under some logs and into another small pond where I watched it
catch a beetle, climb out on a log, and proceed to devour the insect. It did not touch the food
with its feet but held its head high while eating."
If we may judge from measurements given by Jackson (N. Am. Fauna No. 51, p. 185),
S. p. navigator averages larger in the Cascade region of British Columbia than in the Rocky
Mountain region. A series of ten females and six males from Chezacut Lake, Chilcotin, B.C.,
in the K. Racey collection are particularly illustrative in this regard and average somewhat
larger even than Alta Lake specimens (see Table 1).
Table 1.-
-External Measurements of
Sorex p. navigator.
No. and Sex.
Total Length.
Hind Foot.
6 m.
4 m.
4 m.
10 f.
2 f.
Alta Lake, B.C                            .. ..
Alta Lake, B.C	
Alaskan Little Brown Bat, Myotis lucifugus alascensis Miller.
This is the only small bat we have taken in the Alta Lake region. Nine specimens have
been examined, all from Alta Lake; one of these, a female shot July 18th, 1934, contained
a single full-term foetus. This would seem to be late in the year for the birth of young bats
and is perhaps an unusually late record. While feeding, this bat skirts the shore-line of the
lakes and does not hunt in the timber to any extent. It is an early flier, appearing soon after
Silver-haired Bat, Lasionycteris noctivagans (Le Conte).
Known from a single specimen taken August, 1927, near Rainbow Lodge by Morris M.
Hoary Bat, Nycteris cinerea (Beauvais).
Only one specimen secured. This was taken in a hollow cedar-tree on the lower slopes of
Sproat Mountain between Rainbow and Alta Lake Station by a logger, Jimmy Reil, on August 31st, 1927. No other individuals have been seen in the many years collecting. This bat,
however, is a late flier, and tends to hunt high about the tree-tops and therefore might easily
escape detection.
Black Bear, Ursus (Euarctos) americanus altifrontalis Elliot.
The systematic status of the black bears of western North America is very imperfectly
known and reference of the Alta Lake material to the race altifrontalis is only provisional.
Black bears and their various brown colour phases are common at low elevations. During
the summer months they frequent the berry-patches about the lake-shores and also at timber-
line. Here they feed until they hibernate. This usually occurs early in November, but in mild
winters occasional individuals remain active until later. On December 16th, 1935, the tracks
of a small individual were seen on the hillside east of Alta Lake. There was some snow at the
time, but the winter was unusually open.
The situation as regards colour phases of the black bear in British Columbia is an interesting one. On Vancouver Island and in the vicinity of salt water on the adjoining mainland
all the bears are black; in well over one hundred bears seen along the coast there has been
not one brown specimen. However, at the heads of some of the deep inlets and in the Cascades
generally there are occasional very dark brownish-black individuals, as one from Pemberton,
in the K. Racey collection. Of even rarer occurrence in the Cascades are somewhat lighter
brown bears.    One such was seen July 23rd, 1932, near Rainbow Creek.
In the Rocky Mountain region, on the other hand, the dark-brown phase is practically
unknown. Of approximately fifty bears encountered in the Jasper region in 1930, there was
not a single dark-brown one; all were either black or the very pale brown known as cinnamon,
in the proportion of approximately ten black to one cinnamon.
Grizzly Bear, Ursus kwakiutl Merriam.
The grizzly occurs regularly in the district in the alpine meadows and adjacent timber.
On June 26th, 1924, signs of grizzlies were seen in Avalanche Pass, between Mount Overlord and London Mountain, altitude 5,500 feet. One of these animals was a female with a cub.
In July, 1927, tracks were seen on two occasions in the same region, and in August, 1930, Mrs.
Racey and a party of mountain-climbers saw a female with two cubs just above the cabin in
Avalanche (Singing) Pass. In the same year John Bailiff shot a female near there that
weighed about 400 lb. On December 5th, 1932, Bailiff saw tracks of a large grizzly crossing
the hills above Alta Lake.    This was the latest he had known grizzly to be out.
No specimens have been examined. The reference to kivakiutl is purely on a basis of
geographic probability.
Pacific Racoon, Procyon lotor pacifica Merriam.
Does not occur regularly in the district. On two occasions only, tracks of racoons passing
through the valley have been seen.
Pacific Marten, caurina caurina (Merriam).
A typical inhabitant of the heavily timbered mountain-slopes, the marten has its
metropolis in the upper Canadian and lower Hudsonian Zone forests. The marten annually
furnishes the bulk of the fur-crop from the Alta Lake District. Their numbers vary somewhat
from year to year, but do not exhibit the spectacular fluctuations of the more northerly races.
This is perhaps explained by the relative stability of the food-supply, as here the number of
rabbits only fluctuates to a limited extent, and no outstanding increases or decreases in numbers
of squirrels have been observed.
The Pacific marten does not exhibit the very dark-colour phase that occurs in the British
Columbia marten (M. a. abietinoides). All specimens examined show large patches of yellow
on throat and breast and a general orange suffusion in the under-fur.
Specimens:   Pemberton, 2;   Alta Lake region, 10.
Long-tailed Weasel, Mustela frenata ssp.
J. Bailiff and C. Chandler, who have trapped in the district for many years, report that,
very occasionally, at high altitudes they take a specimen of " a giant weasel with a longer tail."
These specimens may be large M. cicognani, but are probably long-tailed weasels. We have
been unable to obtain either skins or skulls. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 21
Short-tailed Weasel, Mustela cicognani richardsoni Bonaparte.
Common and widely distributed from valley-floor to alpine meadows. In this general
distribution it has two seeming centres of abundance. Fair numbers occur at lake-level about
Alta, Nita, Alpha, and Green Lakes. They are rather scarce in the lower timbered areas, but
become abundant at and about timber-line, where they frequent the rock-slides and adjacent
This distribution closely parallels that of the abundance of mice and the relation is doubtless a causative one.
Weasels in the Alta Lake region all assume a white winter pelage, occasionally marred
by a few dark hairs on the shoulders, head, back, or tail.
Specimens: Alta Lake, 4; Nita Lake, 2; Sproat Mountain, 3; London Mountain, 1;
Pemberton, 1.
Pacific Mink, Mustela vison energumenos (Bangs).
Fairly abundant at the lower altitudes, but does not range up to the alpine lakes. In the
winter months the mink largely desert the lakes for the open water of the larger rivers. In
December, 1933, J. Bailiff took one on the North Fork of the Cheakamus and another at Nita
Lake. In July, 1934, a female with four young was repeatedly seen on the east side of Alta
Lake. The young were about half-grown and swam well, following their mother both above
and below the surface. When hunting together on land the female kept a few feet ahead of
the young. These maintained a continual chirping noise plainly audible for a distance of
30 or 40 feet.    Another female with five young was seen in 1935 by E. Droll in the same place.
The mink of this region are darker in colour and have softer fur than those which frequent
the salt water. In 1931, P. Lineham, of Green Lake, liberated a number of Quebec mink from
his mink-farm, and though he is of the opinion that none survived, the introduction should be
considered in any discussion of the systematics of Alta Lake mink.
Specimens:  3, all from Alta Lake.
Wolverine, Gulo luscus luscus (Linn).
Three of these animals were taken by J. Bailiff on the North Fork of the Cheakamus River
in 1911.    There are no other records.
On geographic grounds the wolverine of south coastal British Columbia might be referred
to G. I. niediecki Matschie, but the available specimens exhibit a range of individual variation
more than covering the supposed racial differences. Pending a revision of the genus, then, we
are referring the western animals to G. I. luscus.
Pacific Otter, Lutra canadensis pacifica Rhoads.
The bulk of the otter population in coastal British Columbia breeds in the salt water and
only rarely, and generally in the winter, do individuals ascend the rivers. In the winter of
1932-33 one came up the Cheakamus almost as far as the lake and went down-river again about
a week later.    Other sporadic occurrences have been noted by the trappers.
Spotted Skunk, Spilogale phenax olympica Elliot.
One taken at Mile 36, P.G.E. Railway, in 1930, by Jean Jordan and two others in December,
1933, by J. Bailiff. The two latter were both males. One was taken at Mile 32, the other at
Mile 34. To our knowledge these animals constitute the northernmost records for the genus in
western Canada.
Wolf, Canis lycaon ? gigas (Townsend).
Every winter for the last few years the tracks of a lone wolf have been seen repeatedly
in the vicinity of Alta Lake.    On two or three occasions the animal itself has been seen.
Henry Horstman states that about twelve or fifteen years ago a female wolf raised a
family on the lower slopes of London Mountain and was repeatedly seen at his ranch (now
Jordan's Ranch) between Alpha and Nita Lakes.
Perhaps a dozen wolves are known to range the mountain-slopes around Pemberton Valley
and the Alta Lake individual may be a straggler from there.
Coyote, Canis latrans incolatus Hall.
Abundant throughout the district. On August 2nd, 1928, between Mount London and
Mount Overlord at an altitude of 6,200 feet, we found a coyote-den in a rocky coulee.    Three
coyotes that were loitering about the entrance ran off as we approached. Their course along
the mountain could be followed long after they were out of sight, as marked by the alarm-notes
of the whistlers. Remains of a marmot, apparently a coyote victim, were picked up in the
same region on August 25th, 1932, and in Avalanche Pass on August 26th, 1932, Mr. Racey
found the remains of a half-grown fawn. The place showed the signs of a prolonged struggle,
the snow being covered with blood.    Coyote-tracks were evidence of the killer's identity.
In the winter the coyotes descend to the lower levels where their tracks can be seen daily.
In the winter at least they seem to feed largely on rabbits, though they do run deer. In the
winter of 1932 F. Woods reported seeing two close on the trail of a deer in the Cheakamus
A specimen from Pemberton, B.C., agrees in every respect with topotypical incolatus.
Mountain-lion, Felis oregonensis oregonensis Rafinesque.
Tracks of cougar are seen nearly every winter about Alta Lake. In July, 1932, Bob
Williamson saw one cross the railway at Mile 34; on December 28th, 1935, fresh tracks were
seen crossing the railway from Sproat Mountain towards Jordan's Ranch at Nita Lake and
returning the same way.
Canada Lynx, Lynx canadensis canadensis Kerr.
In the winter of 1916, J. Bailiff trapped eight in the valley of Alta and Green Lakes and on
the North Fork of the Cheakamus. Another was taken by C. Chandler in 1917 on his Wedge
Creek line. No more were taken until the winter of 1930-31, when Wm. Marsh trapped one
on Wedge Creek. The year 1914 was a peak year for rabbits in western North America.
During 1915-16 they died off and the following winter saw a remarkable southward movement
of lynx (Hewitt, Conservation of Wild Life in Canada, 1921, p. 219). The plague that wiped
out the rabbits of the Chilcotin in 1915-16 was probably responsible for the appearance of lynx
on the west side of the Cascades.
Barred Bobcat, Lynx rufus fasciatus Rafinesque.
A characteristic inhabitant of the heavily forested parts of the district. The extensive
home range of these cats restricts the numbers that can be supported by a district, so that
numerically they are never abundant. If the small number of records we have can be given
credence the sex ratio in adult bobcats is approximately four females to one male. In 1933,
J. Bailiff took a female at Mile 34 on December 16th and a female on the North Fork on
December 10th. In the same year C. Chandler took two at the south-west corner of Green
Lake. Other specimens as follows: Two females, No. 978, Kenneth Racey collection, January
9th, 1932, at Mile 32, and No. 1442, K. R., December 31st, 1935, Sproat Mountain, measured:
Total length, 738-760; tail, 150-140; hind foot, 164-170. Weight of No. 1442, K. R., 12% lb.
A large male from Alta Lake measured: Total length, 870; tail, 145; hind foot, 190; and
weighed 23 lb. Stomach analyses of these three individuals showed exclusively rabbit-fur.
One female had a porcupine quill embedded in its nose.
Cascade Hoary Marmot, Marmota caligata cascadensis Howell.
The hoary marmot, or whistler, is an abundant resident of the higher altitudes and sometimes even descends into the valley, where on July 27th, 1921, three were seen at 2,000 feet
elevation along the railroad between Miles 31 and 32. A female was collected. In August,
1920, on a trip up Sproat Mountain, no marmots were seen, although old signs indicated that
they had been present. Twelve years later, on July 21st, 1932, the animals were abundant in
the same locality. Two taken on that date were still in prime winter pelage. The young were
very small, but already were venturing forth short distances from the burrow. On London
Mountain and Mount Overlord marmots were fairly abundant in 1927, but had increased
markedly in 1928 and remain in numbers despite the increase of coyotes.
In the absence of any specimens that can be taken as typical examples of cascadensis it is
not possible definitely to determine the status of the Alta Lake marmots. However, in comparing specimens from Avalanche Pass, Garibaldi, and Sproat Mountains with specimens from
Cranbrook and Lillooet (okanagana), a number of differences are apparent. Our Alta Lake
District material is in all pelage stages and presents a wide variety of coloration; however,
on the average it differs from Cranbrook material in the more dusky coloration of the under-
parts, the darker tail, and the preponderantly blacker head.    Cranially, specimens from the REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 23
two regions are inseparable as regards condylobasal length, palatal length, length of nasals,
and length of tooth-row. However, the Alta Lake specimens have the skulls actually and
relatively wider, as evinced by the zygomatic width and least postorbital width, ratio of
zygomatic width to condylobasal length averaging 65.9 per cent, as against 63.3 per cent., and
that of the least postorbital width to the postpalatal length averaging 95.7 per cent, rather than
90.4 per cent., as in the Cranbrook specimens. A further difference, and one in which there is
no overlap in the present series, is the length of the postglenoid foramen. In Alta Lake specimens this averages 4.8 mm. (5.5-4.0) as opposed to 2.2 (3.3-1.7) in okanagana.
These characters seem to approach those assigned to cascadensis (Howell, N. Am. Fauna
No. 37, 1915, p. 67, and Anderson, Canad. Nat. Mus. Ann. Rep. for 1931, pp. 112-119) more
closely than they do those of okanagana, and we are accordingly making provisional reference
of our specimens to that race.
Measurements:—Two adult females: Total length, 719-670; tail, 213-172; hind foot,
92-86.    Two adult males:   Total length, 702-628;  tail, 230-207;  hind foot, 95-91.
Specimens taken: London Mountain, 3; Mount Overlord, 5; Sproat Mountain, 2; Tenquille Lake, Pemberton, 1;  Black Tusk Meadows, Mount Garibaldi, 1;   Mile 32, 1.
Mount Baker Chipmunk, Eutamias amosnus felix (Rhoads).
These attractive little animals are abundant in all suitable localities throughout the district. At Alta Lake they favour the rocky bluffs where wild raspberries, black-caps, brambles,
snowberries, and bearberry, augmented by the seeds of many grasses and herbs, provide an
abundant summer food-supply. On the mountain-peaks above timber-line they are less
numerous, but we have taken them up as high as 6,600 feet on Mount London.
The chipmunks of the Alta Lake and Garibaldi region vary greatly in colour. Some specimens are typical felix, displaying the saturate pigmentation of that race; others seem at first
glance to be identical with ludibundus; indeed, Howell (N. Am. Fauna, No. 52, 1929, p. 75)
lists under that name specimens from Mons (now Alta Lake) and Nita Lake, and subsequently
identified Garibaldi specimens as the same race.
However, in comparing series from Moose Lake, B.C., near the type locality of ludibundus,
Indianpoint Lake, B.C., Lillooet, B.C., Okanagan and Lytton, B.C. (typical affinis), Alta Lake
region, North Vancouver, and some other points on Burrard Inlet, it is immediately apparent
that the series from Moose Lake and Indianpoint Lake differ from all others in the extreme
greyness of the rump and lower back (a greyness approached only by certain specimens of
affinis). August-taken specimens from Moose and Indianpoint Lakes have the rumps from
neutral grey to light neutral grey (Ridgway, 1912, Color Standards and Color Nomenclature),
while the series from the Cascades and Coast Ranges have the rumps nearer drab, approaching
light drab in some instances. Though paler in affinis and darkest in coastal specimens typical
of felix, in all cases the coloration is drab rather than grey. Other colour differences are
apparent in the examination of series. The Alta Lake specimens as compared with topotypical
ludibundus have the heads darker, face-markings more obscure through the darkening of the
light stripes, the dark stripes of the back broader and darker, and the light stripes more
brownish. As regards colour characters then, the populations at Lillooet and in the Alta Lake
region are intergrading populations between affinis and felix; two specimens from Lillooet
seem best referred to affinis, though not typical of that race; others are almost exactly intermediate between affinis and felix. Alta Lake and Garibaldi series are on the average closer
to felix.
The cranial characters differentiating felix, affinis, and ludibundus are so slight as to be of
little significance. However, the skulls of felix, affinis, and the intergrades between the two,
differ from those of ludibundus in that when resting on the dorsal surface ludibundus has the
occipital region noticeably more elevated.
Specimens: Alta Lake, 17; Alpha Lake, 1; Lost Lake, 1; London Mountain, 3; Black
Tusk Meadows, Garibaldi Plateau, 4.
Cascade Squirrel, Sciurus douglasi cascadensis Allen.
Always common, periodically extremely abundant. Found from timber-line to valley-floor
almost indiscriminately. Food consists largely of cones of hemlock, spruce, Douglas fir, and
balsam-fir. H 24 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Alta Lake specimens agree with North Vancouver specimens and differ from animals from
south of the Fraser River and on certain of the coastal islands in several respects. Though
there is considerable colour variation, they are paler dorsally and ventrally in both summer and
winter pelages. In summer the yellow of the under-parts has a suggestion of white powdering
to it when compared with the pinkish-orange of specimens from south of the Fraser. In winter
the difference is not quite so striking, but the under-parts of Alta Lake specimens have no trace
of the orange wash characteristic of the other specimens referred to. No cranial differences
can be detected.
Specimens:   Mons, 3;  Alta Lake, 5;   Alpha Lake, 1.
Cascade Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus fuliginosus (Rhoads).
The nocturnal habits of this interesting squirrel enable it to escape detection. Although
tolerably common, it is seldom seen except by the trappers. To them the flying squirrel is a
nuisance as it continually gets into marten and weasel traps. During the early part of the
winter of 1927-28, J. Bailiff caught twenty-eight flying squirrels in his trap-line on the North
Fork and on the Cheakamus River toward the lake. These he froze and stored in his woodshed. Subsequently all were taken by a marten and hidden in a near-by rock-slide. In July,
1928, Mr. Racey found a female dead on the barbed-wire fence near Mile 39. They are seen
every year around the cabin at Alta Lake. On July 27th, 1933, a nesting-site was investigated
at lake-level. A hollow hemlock-tree had been filled with shredded cedar bark, each succeeding
nest being built on the previous one. No less than fourteen nests could be discerned, of which
only the top one was occupied. Another winter nest was found in a hollow cedar, December
22nd, 1935.    This, too, was of shredded cedar bark.    It was occupied by a single male.
The flying squirrel of the Alta Lake region is readily differentiated from the much smaller
redder orgonensis that inhabits the coastal forests of the Lower Fraser Valley. Specimens
from North Vancouver, while closer to the Fraser Valley specimens, nevertheless approach the
Alta Lake specimens in slightly larger size, paler dorsal, and more dusky ventral surface.
Specimens:   Sproat Mountain, 3;   Alta Lake, 15;   Cheakamus Lake, 2.
Pacific Beaver, Castor canadensis pacificus Rhoads.
The beaver has been completely trapped out in the district for over twenty years. Signs
of their former presence are, however, still in evidence. A small creek flowing into Twentyone
Mile Creek at Mile 39 has two fine old dams across it, and considerable old beaver meadow
above these.    Several other beaver meadows lie between Alta Lake and Green Lake.
Washington White-footed Mouse, Peromyscus manicidatus oreas Bangs.
Fluctuates markedly in numbers. Some years, as in 1924, the species was very abundant
in common with all the other kinds of mice about Alta Lake. In 1925 they were virtually
absent; in 1927 and 1928 still scarce. By 1932 they had become fairly numerous again; since
that time they have declined in numbers, but not to the low ebb of 1925-26. These mice are
found everywhere from the lake up to timber-line.
Specimens: Alta Lake, 10; Mount Overlord, 6; Black Tusk Meadows, 2; Alpha Lake, 1;
Tenquille Lake, 1.
Western Bushy-tailed Wood-rat, Neotoma cinerea occidentalis Baird.
Almost every rock-slide from lake-level to above timber-line has its population of wood-rats
or, as they are popularly referred to, pack-rats. Here under some large rock a heap of sticks,
branches, roots, leaves, moss, and miscellaneous objects, around which hangs a musky odour,
is the pack-rat's nest. Often only one family to a nest, but sometimes several as evinced by five
adult males trapped in the same nest on August 11th and 12th, 1928. Only one female was
taken with the males, but there were other rats present that did not enter the traps. Most
of the abandoned buildings in the region at one time or another are occupied, but seldom do
they become permanent homes—more often just winter shelters. One large nest in a rock-slide
east of Alta Lake has to our knowledge been occupied for the past eight years, and eight years
ago it was large and gave evidence of antiquity. We have never here encountered nests of the
beaver-lodge variety, built around the bases of trees, such as these rats build in the Chilcotin.
Specimens:  Alta Lake, 6;   Nita Lake, 1. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 25
Wrangell Lemming Mouse, Synaptomys borealis wrangeli Merriam.
In 1924 Mr. Racey found this scarce and elusive mouse abundant in Avalanche Pass at
altitudes of 5,500 to 6,500 feet, and a number of specimens were taken. By 1927 lemming
mice were extremely scarce and since that time they have not materially increased. In 1924,
1927, 1928, and 1932 these animals were encountered and studied by us. (Racey, Murrelet, 9,
No. 3, p. 54.) The animals live in small colonies in patches of sedge bordering on small mountain streams. In these places the surface of the ground is netted with their tiny runways, and
below the surface a maze of tunnels provide nesting-sites and shelter. Frequently the burrows
traverse small streams.
Nests of two types were found—surface nests of fine grasses, built and used under the
snow, and summer nests in underground chambers. Food consisted mainly of sedge, but small
quantities of Hieracium alpinum (hawkweed), Kalmia polifolia (swamp-laurel), and Potentilla
flabellifolia (cinquefoil) were found among the cuttings.
From July 31st to August 3rd, 1928, sixteen lemming mice were taken. Of these, five were
adult males, five adult females, three half-grown females, and three half-grown males. From
these figures it would seem that the sexes were evenly balanced in numbers. All the adult
females taken were pregnant. Two had eight foetuses, one had seven, and two had six. The
young were all of approximately the same age and the foetuses all at about the same stage of
development. It would seem, then, that the lemming mice have rather more pronounced breeding seasons than is usual in the Microtina?.
Specimens:  18, ail from Avalanche Pass. -i
Olympic Phenacomys, Phenacomys intermedins olympicus Elliot.
The phenacomys is the rarest mouse found in the Alta Lake region. It is known to us
from two specimens—a sub-adult male, No. 678, I. McT. C, taken August 3rd, 1928, in Avalanche Pass, altitude 5,500 feet, and an adult male, No. 1064, K. R., taken at the same locality,
July 21st, 1932. Both were taken in Synaptomys runways. We have found little as to the
life-habits of this mouse. Here and there over the alpine meadows we have found among
the heather indistinct runways and large middens. These differ somewhat from those of
Synaptomys and it is our opinion they are the work of Phenacomys. If such is the case the
preference is for white heather and sedge. We have not encountered any such workings in the
red heather. A nest and midden on Sproat Mountain thought to belong to this mouse are
illustrated here.     (See Plate V.)
In comparison with series from Chezacut and Okanagan (typical intermeduis), our specimens are found to differ in darker colour and larger heavier skull. In these characters they
approach olympicus and we are accordingly referring the Alta Lake specimens to the latter
Red-backed Mouse, Clethrionomys gapperi caurinus (Bailey).
A characteristic inhabitant of the forests, this species is found from timber-line to lake-
level under fallen logs, moss-grown rocks, and in the timber-encircled rock-slides of the lower
mountain-slopes. In common with the other mice, the red-backed mice were extremely abundant in 1923 and 1924; then suffered a cataclysmic decrease, since which they have been slowly
increasing. In the winter of 1935-36 they were fairly common, but in nowhere near 1923
numbers. In a single night's trapping with sixteen traps, Mr. Racey on July 29th, 1923,
caught thirty-nine mice, eighteen of which were Clethrionomys, the rest Peromyscus.
Three forms of red-backed mice have been described from southern British Columbia, none
of them adequately characterized. Of these, C. gapperi saturatus, with Nelson, B.C., as type
locality, appears to inhabit the dry interior of southern British Columbia as far west as the
Chilcotin, north at least to Barkerville and Moose Lake, and east to the Rocky Mountains.
Adequate material representing C. g. occidentalis (Merriam) and C. g. caurinus (Bailey) is
not available. However, in comparing Alta Lake specimens with a small series from Bella
Coola 'and Kutze Inlet and with a series of some thirty specimens from the Okanagan, it is
immediately apparent that in the duller, less chestnut and more pinkish cast of the back, the
restriction of the dorsal red band, slightly greyer face and head, and in smaller size, the Alta
Lake specimens resemble the Bella Coola specimens and differ from those from the Okanagan. Cranially, Alta Lake material differs from specimens from east of the Cascades in smaller
skull, with flatter brain-case, shorter nasals, and less inflated auditory bulla?. Unfortunately
the skulls of Bella Coola specimens are too badly damaged to be used comparatively. With
these comparisons in mind we are provisionally referring Alta Lake specimens to caurinus.
We are not convinced that occidentalis and caurinus both merit systematic recognition; should
they prove to be indistinguishable, as the little available material indicates, occidentalis will
take precedence on grounds of priority. It is our opinion that further study of the distribution of the genus in British Columbia will lead to the recognition of occidentalis as the form
inhabiting coast-line and saturatus the interior of British Columbia.
Measurements:—Average, maximum and minimum of twenty-four adults from Alta Lake
and vicinity: Total length, 134 mm. (160-115); tail, 35 (42-30); hind foot, 18.2 (20-17).
The same for a series of nine adults from Chezacut in the Chilcotin District: Total length,
138 (152-121);  tail, 39.2 (47-34);  hind foot, 19.1 (20-18).
Specimens: Sproat Mountain, 10; Black Tusk Meadows, 3; Tenquille Lake 1; Alta
Lake, 24.
Olympic Meadow-mouse, Microtus mordax macrurus Merriam.
This species penetrates the mountains along the watercourses at low elevations. In the
Alta Lake region we have taken it for the most part in the Canadian Zone meadow areas
between Alpha and Nita Lakes and at the north end of Alta Lake. It does not occur in the
forests. In 1922 it was taken in small numbers; in 1924 it had reached abundance; since then
there has been a return to approximately the former status.
The recognition by Swarth (Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 1933, p. 207) of Microtus mordax
littoralis from south-eastern Alaska removed the grounds upon which macrurus had come to
be recognized as a race of M. mordax. Since then, in view of the uncertain systematic position
of this mouse and the absence of evidence of intergradation between macrurus of the coastal
regions and mordax of the country east of the Cascades, macrurus has been regarded as an
independent species.
Now, however, comparison of ten specimens from Okanagan, B.C., three from Lillooet,
B.C., twelve from Alta Lake, B.C., and three from North Vancouver and the Fraser Valley with
the description and measurements given by Merriam (Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1898, p. 353)
for topotypical macrurus demonstrates beyond possibility of doubt a grading series from east
to west (Table 2). Not only is the gradation evident in comparison of external dimensions,
but colour and cranial characters also show gradual change along the route through the
Table 2.—External Measurements of Microtus mordax.
Total Length.
Hind Foot.
161.4 mm.
159.0 mm.
180.0 mm.
185.0 mm.
204.0 mm.
19 3
20 0
22 0
23 3
Inhabiting the Transition Zone at Okanagan we find a population of long-tailed voles
known systematically as Microtus mordax. The individuals of this population are characterized by their size (see Table 2), their generally pale and brownish coloration, well-haired
tail, and short hind feet.    The Lillooet specimens are indistinguishable from these except in PLATE V.
..'-•.     v> v;; '
Winter nest of Phenacomys olympicus.
Alpine meadow habitat of Phenacomys, Synaptomys, and Microtus richardsoni.  REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 27
the very slightly longer foot. The other extreme, known as Microtus macrurus, inhabits the
low-lying coastal country in the Canadian Zone. It is characterized by its much larger size,
with larger hind foot, sparsely furred tail, heavier skull with relatively broader rostrum, and
the much greyer dorsal surface with pronounced black peppering. The population at Alta
Lake, while more closely resembling the coastal form in colour, are in size and proportions
strictly intermediate between the two and we think readily justify the conclusion that
M. mordax mordax and M. macrurus are geographic races of the same species. The Alta Lake
material, though intermediate, we are for convenience referring to Microtus mordax macrurus
which it more closely approaches.
Drummond Vole, Microtus pennsylvaniens drummondi (Aud. & Bach.).
This vole is, in British Columbia, a typical member of the northern and eastern faunas
and barely enters the district here dealt with. Two specimens taken by Mr. Racey, July 20th,
1930, at Pemberton Meadows, B.C., constitute the only records.
Cascade Meadow-mouse, Microtus richardsoni arvicoloides (Rhoads).
One of the most astonishing features of that banner mouse year 1924 was the discovery by
Mr. Racey of a vast colony of these giant meadow-mice in Avalanche Pass at 5,200 to 6,000 feet
altitude. To quote from Mr. Racey's diary: "June 24, 1924, snow beginning to disappear
rapidly. . . . Thousands of burrows of these rodents can be seen. Runways and burrows
everywhere. Animals could be seen running about in broad daylight. No suitable traps.
Killed one with my hands, shot another, and a third was stunned by a mouse-trap." Wm.
MacDermot visited the region in 1925 and reported an entire absence of these voles. In 1927,
1928, and 1932 they were present only in small numbers and in isolated colonies. In 1928 the
broad (6 to 8 inches wide) beaten paths, relics of the departed hordes, could often be traced
for several hundred yards, and for 500 feet above the valley-floor the partially filled burrows
could be used as steps up the side-hill.
Favoured food-plants were purple lupine (Lupinus ?polyphyllus), golden ragwort (Senecio
Balsamitx), wood betony (Pedicularis bractiosa), and alpine arnica (Arnica alpinus).
A female taken August 18th, 1927, contained eight foetuses; another taken August 25th,
1932, contained seven foetuses about half-term; a third, taken August 1st, 1928, contained
six foetuses.
Specimens:   Avalanche Pass, 7.
Rocky Mountain Muskrat, Ondatra zibethica osoyoosensis (Lord).
As lately as 1932 small numbers of muskrats inhabited Alta, Alpha, and Green Lakes.
Since that time we have not seen any sign of them in Alta and Alpha Lakes and only a few
are still to be found in Green Lake. These lakes do not provide suitable habitat for muskrats.
Those parts of the lakes that support stands of sedges and other aquatic plants are usually
so shallow that they freeze solid in hard winters. Consequently the rats are in the winter
confined to Twentyone Mile Creek and such parts of Green Lake as are kept open by the
current of that stream.
Specimens:   Twentyone Mile Creek, 1;   Pemberton, 1.
Northwest Jumping Mouse, Zapus trinotatus trinotatus Rhoads.
Jumping mice have been found to frequent the meadows between Alpha and Nita Lakes,
at the north end of Alta Lake, and at Green Lake, often in considerable numbers. However,
that they are not restricted to the valley-floor is evidenced by a specimen from Black Tusk
Meadows (altitude approximately 5,000 feet) taken August 4th, 1926, and a sight record by
Mr. Racey on July 29th, 1923, at 5,200 feet altitude on Sproat Mountain. It is strange that
the many trap nights on Mount London and in Avalanche Pass failed to produce any specimens.
The jumping mice of Alta Lake region do not differ in a single salient feature from virtual
topotypes of trinotatus. They in common with these latter specimens are readily distinguished
from Lillooet and Barkerville specimens, by their more brilliantly coloured sides and sharper
contrast with the dark dorsal area, the presence usually of a buff patch on the chest between
the bases of the forelegs, and the absence of white ear margins. Cranially, trinotatus differs
from the Z. p. princeps and Z. p. kootenayensis in the extremely small size of the posterior
palatine foramina, the shorter incisive foramina, much broader  interparietal,  and  in  the H 28 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
presence on the antero-medial margin of the zygomatic arch (when viewed from below) of
a pronounced shelf-like extension into the orbital vacuity. It should be noticed that these
differences are such as usually distinguish races rather than species in the genus Zapus. In
coloration, in external dimensions, and in cranial characters Zapus trinotatus is patently
a member of the Zapus princeps group. Furthermore, trinotatus appears to be the geographic
complement of princeps on the Pacific Coast.
Additional collecting between Alta Lake and Lillooet and perhaps also up the main valley
of the Fraser River will in all probability demonstrate gradual integradation between Zapus
princeps kootenayensis and Zapus trinotatus. The condition as regards Zapus hudsonius
tenellus of the north-western Transition Zone in British Columbia is entirely different; it has
the pronounced specific characters of the species Z. hudsonius, and, furthermore, throughout
its range it exists coextensively with Z. princeps.
Specimens:   Alta Lake, 7;   Nita Lake, 5;   Black Tusk Meadows, 1.
Dusky Porcupine, Erethizon epiza.nthum nigrescens Allen.
The porcupine is a scarce resident in the district. An adult female, No. 175A, K. R.
collection, taken August 20th, 1927, just below timber-line on the trail to Avalanche Pass, is
our only specimen record. In August, 1935, Stewart Racey saw another full-grown specimen
on the shore of Alta Lake.
Rock Rabbit, Ochotona princeps brunnescens Howell.
Rock rabbits, or pikas as they are often called, are among the common small mammals
of the Alta Lake region. They are found in nearly all suitable rock-slides from 2,000 up to
6,000 feet. In the past sixteen years they have fluctuated somewhat in numbers, but our data
are not sufficiently complete to reveal the presence or absence of any cyclic rhythm to these
fluctuations. In 1920 they were abundant, as they were also in 1927-28 and again in 1932;
in the intervening years they were somewhat scarcer.
Their hay-piles include a wide variety of local plants. At an altitude of 5,200 feet on
Sproat Mountain, August 19th, 1920, they were cutting false hellebore (Veratrum viride).
At 2,100 feet on August 25th, 1920, a fresh hay-pile consisted largely of raspberry-shoots,
another of bracken and fireweed. A hay-pile examined in Avalanche Pass, August 1st, 1928,
contained largely red heather. On January 2nd and 3rd, 1936, at Alta Lake we found that
rock rabbits were tunnelling through the snow and cutting false box (Pachystima, myrsinites)
and bearberry  (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).
Our specimens from the Alta Lake region are in no way distinguishable from a small
series from Mount Rainier and Scenic, Washington, kindly loaned us by Dr. Arthur Svihla,
Chas. R. Connor Museum, State College of Washington, Pullman, Washington.
From Lillooet specimens they differ markedly. The most obvious difference is in colour
of upper-parts, which in Alta Lake specimens are brown heavily sprinkled with black, rather
than light greyish-brown as in the Lillooet specimens. Alta Lake specimens differ further
in larger size, skull averaging larger, with narrower interorbital constriction.
Specimens:   Alta Lake, 14;   Sproat Mountain, 1;   London Mountain, 2;   Alpha Lake, 1.
Cascade Varying Hare, Lepus americanus cascadensis Nelson.
Numerous everywhere prior to 1933; since then the increasing numbers of coyotes and
bobcats have thinned out the rabbits to such an extent that they are now barely holding their
own. In 1922 they were abundant in the swamp between Alta and Green Lakes, where on
September 2nd we found large areas of ground tramped down and covered with rabbit
droppings. In the winter months they are most abundant in the second-growth hemlock
We have not noticed any such spectacular fluctuations in the rabbit population on the
west slope of the Cascades as are characteristic in the dry belt of the interior of British
The systematic status of the varying hares of southern British Columbia is imperfectly
understood. L. washingtoni, L. bairdi cascadensis, L. americanus columbiensis, and L. b. bairdi
have all been assigned places in the fauna without much attempt at definition of ranges or
convincing differentiation of the races concerned. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 29
In comparing series of specimens from points east of the Cascades in the Chilcotin and
Barkerville Districts with specimens from Alta Lake, Green Lake, and Black Mountain, North
Vancouver, the following differences are noted: The specimens from west of the Cascade
summit are more brownish than those to the east and have the head rich reddish-brown, more
sharply set off from the body colour than is the case in the Chilcotin specimens. In both areas
some specimens have the feet brown, others white. Cranially, Alta Lake and North Vancouver
specimens differ from Chilcotin specimens in that the former have the incisive foramina long
and narrow, not constricted 4 to 5 mm. from the posterior end, as against relatively broad and
constricted 4 to 5 mm. from the posterior end; the anterior supraorbital bar is absent in all
but one specimen from west of the Cascade summit, and present without exception in Chilcotin
and Barkerville specimens. No significant differences in external form or proportions can
be discovered.
It would seem, then, that the specimens from the coastal slope are clearly referable to
cascadensis; while the Chilcotin material is indistinguishable from Barkerville and Rocky
Mountain material, and referable to columbiensis. However, with the assignment of cascadensis to the species bairdi we cannot agree. The nature of the differences existing between
cascadensis and columbiensis, their apparent geographic complementarity, and, lastly, a series
of twenty-one specimens from Okanagan Landing and Okanagan, B.C., that are plainly
intergrades between the two, all point to the status of cascadensis and columbiensis as races
of the same species. Accordingly we have here referred cascadensis to the species Lepus
americanus. Further mpterial is needed from Pemberton, Lillooet, and Merritt regions to
complete our picture of the ranges and intergradation of cascadensis and columbiensis in
south-western British Columbia and from the Lower Fraser Valley to determine the systematic
relationship between L. a. cascadensis and L. washingtoni.
Measurements, average and extreme, of ten adults from Alta Lake region: Total length,
437.3 mm. (468-418) ; tail, 41.3 (44-35) ; hind foot, 133.6 (142-128) ; ear from crown, 89
Specimens:   Between Alta and Green Lakes, 4;   Alta Lake, 9;   Sproat Mountain, 1.
Coast Dees, Odocoileus columbianus columbianus (Richardson).
A few deer remain about Alta Lake all winter, but the bulk of the population moves either
north to the Green River or south to the Cheakamus River, the greater proportion wintering
in the latter region. In the summer the centre of abundance is about timber-line where food
is abundant and the cool breezes keep the flies off.
On August 25th, 1932, at 6,500 feet on Mount London, a large four-point buck was seen
sunning himself on a sheltered ledge about 100 feet below where we were standing. After
watching us for about ten minutes it rose and trotted out of sight over the mountain-side.
In late July of 1928 we frequently noticed deer-tracks around the barren peaks 2,000 feet
above timber-line. On August 25th, 1932, in Avalanche Pass we found the remains of a fawn
that had been killed and eaten by coyotes.
In the southern part of the district the deer are typical columbianus. However, towards
Pemberton and particularly on the east side of the Pemberton Valley occasional mule-deer
(O. hemionus hemionus) occur and interbreed with the coast deer. Two specimens from
Pemberton both show evidences of such intergradation; one specimen superficially resembles
hemionus, the other columbianus.
Moose, Alces americana americana (Clinton).
The moose is a new arrival in the district and is not as yet firmly established. It first
appeared in Pemberton in the winter of 1931-32, when three individuals were seen. Late the
following year a moose was reported near Squamish, within a few miles of salt water. The
appearance of moose in this region is further evidence of the phenomenal increase and spread
of this huge game mammal in British Columbia during the past twenty years.
Mountain-goat, Oreamnos americanus americanus  (Blainville).
A few goats remain on most of the less frequented peaks of the region. They are reported
from Mount Garibaldi; a band variously estimated at from fifteen to thirty individuals rang?s
about Cheakamus Lake and the adjoining peaks, including Mount London and Mount Overlord.
On the more remote ranges between Lillooet Lake, Pitt Lake, and the P.G.E. Railway they
are reported to be numerous. H 30 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
By R. S. Sherman and Fred Perry.
We left Vancouver for Williams Lake and points farther west, Monday, July 8th, 1935,
taking the U.S.S. " Capilano " as far as Squamish, and the P.G.E. to the intersection of the
Chilcotin Road with the historic Cariboo Trail. We spent the first night in refreshing sleep,
lulled by the roar of rushing streams, and came to life just beyond Marne at the edge of the
Dry Belt. Here the Yellow Pine, the Mountain Maple, and the Sumach have already come
into the picture, along with the Sage-brush and the Cactus. A delay caused by a rock-slide
gave us an opportunity to walk along the shore of Seton Lake, while we browsed and botanized.
We noticed a Phacelia, a Pentstemon, a Gilia, the Prickly Lettuce, and the Edible Thistle.
By 9.15 we were at Lillooet, where bright sunlight prevailed and the vegetation was quite
green and free from dust. From this point to Kelly Lake the scenery was equal to that of the
Grand Canyon of Colorado, though the colouring was not quite so vivid. The depth and width
of the Fraser Trench from the P.G.E. track speak of the enormous amount of material that
has been eroded from the Interior Plateau and easily explains the formation of the flood-plains
of the Lower Fraser Valley and the presence of the delta from New Westminster to the Gulf
of Georgia.
The flora from Shalalth to Kelly Lake was that of the dry interior, characterized by the
presence of Yellow Pine, Sage, and Cactus. Near Pavilion and Kelly Lake fine clumps of the
Golden Corydalis (Corydalis aurea Willd.) grew on the railway cutting. From Kelly Lake
on through the great Interior Plateau to Williams Lake, Pinus contorta var. Murryana was
the dominant tree, while the prevailing flowers seem to be Yarrow, the Northern Bedstraw,
and the Paint-brush. Cottonwood (Populus tremuloides Mich.) or the Aspen, as it is more
properly called, appeared either in regular stands or as a secondary tree among the evergreens.
The Douglas Fir holds its own intermittently throughout the whole of our route. Engelmann
Spruce lines the lake-shores. Where fires have occurred within recent times, the Lodgenole
Pine seems to have replaced the Douglas Fir. Soopolallie, the Rose, and the Red-osier Dogwood are common shrubs, and Spirssa lucida raises its flat creamy corymbs beside the Yarrow.
There is a decided dearth of the Ericaceae, and the lack of Salal as an under-shrub is noticeable
to one accustomed to the Coast woods. Alkali lakes appear at intervals along the railway-line
to Williams Lake.
At this busy town we spent the night, and next day left on the mail stage for Tatla Lake,
154 miles westward, practically along the 52nd parallel of latitude. This is said to be the
longest motor mail route in Canada. Crossing the creek that drains Williams Lake, we
ascended a low ridge, heavily timbered with Douglas Fir, and descended to the Fraser River
by many a twist and turn, passing on our way bright patches of the Bergamot Mint (Monarda
mollis) and the Mariposa Lily (Calochortus macrocarpus).
After crossing the river on a suspension bridge we began the long tortuous climb to the
Chilcotin Plateau. Along the roadside we noticed the common Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
with its pale-blue flowers, no doubt introduced by the early settlers. The road that winds up
to the rim of the plateau is very picturesque, with dense vegetation in the various depressions.
Douglas Fir is the prevailing tree; the Yellow Pine from this point on yields her throne to
the Lodgepole. Practically all of the Chilcotin country is in the arid Transition Zone, with
a few intrusions from the Sonoran flora, such as Opuntia polyacantha and Ceanothus velutinus.
The former occurred on the very driest slopes, while the latter could be found on the banks of
On reaching the rim of the plateau we were confronted with a landscape that seemed
dropped from another world. A vast plain spread westward as far as the eye could see, swept
by a cold wind from the south-west. Gone was the luxuriant vegetation, and every blade of
grass seemed to cower to the earth in search of protection from invisible foes. Gaunt rocks,
from giants weighing several tons to pigmies the size of pebbles, squatted on the plain, telling
a tale of dead geologic forces. To relieve the monotony of empty plain there were groves of
Aspen and Lodgepole Pine sheltered in the depressions. Alkali marshes and lakes dotted the
landscape all the way to Riske Creek, a distance of 30 miles, and all the pasture-land within
this range bore evidence of being badly overgrazed. PLATE VI.
Chilcotin Plateau—range-land near Riske Creek.
Cactus—Opuntia polyacantha.  REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 31
The flora of a salt marsh at Riske Creek was very characteristic of salt marshes all over
the world, whether they exist in Siberia, the Chilcotin, or on Burrard Inlet. Potentilla anserina,
the Silver-weed; Ranunculus cymbalaria, the Sea-side Crowfoot; and Grindelia macrophylla,
one of the gumweeds, were dominant forms. Here, too, in the shelter of the shallow valley
the first insects appeared. Two butterflies were fairly common—the Great Parnassian, a form
of Pamassius smintheus, and one of the various forms of Ascia napi. Ten days later, when
we returned this way, the air was filled with grasshoppers.
We stopped at Hanceville for over an hour while the stage made a side-trip to the Chilco
Ranch. This gave us a chance to botanize a section of woodland watered by a fair-sized
stream. In the dense shade afforded by some willows, Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera),
Choke-cherry (Prunus demissa), Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), and the Douglas
Thorn (Cratxgus brevispina.), we collected or observed the Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium
parviflorum), the Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), the Wintergreen (Pyrola asarifolia), and
the Baneberry (Actiea arguta). On dry banks along the roadside grew the Cactus (Opuntia
polyacantha), the Woolly Knees (Eriogonum heracleoides), the Northern Yarrow (Achillea
borealis)—one of the commonest forms throughout the Cariboo and the Chilcotin—and the
Russian Thistle (Salsola kali var. tenuifolia), which is eaten by the cattle when it is young,
but is spurned even by the goats when it is mature.
We arrived at Alexis Creek at 7 p.m., a time that permitted us daylight to explore the
near-by fields and copses. The most interesting plant recorded was the Strawberry-blite
(Chenopodium capita turn), which graced with its presence the edges of the irrigation-ditches.
It seems to hate close association with other plants, and its strawberry-coloured fruiting-
clusters stood out in welcome contrast to the clay-coloured soil.
The following morning at 9 a.m. we arrived at Redstone, so named after a prominent
outcropping of red rock in the vicinity. This is claimed to be the coldest place in Canada,
72 degrees below zero being recorded at the store last winter. From this point on to Tatla
Lake is a rolling country, with scrubby Lodgepole Pine on the ridges and Aspen in the hollows.
At places belts of Willow and Red-osier Dogwood relieved the bareness of the flats, with dark
trails intersecting them, the work of cattle and moose. In a small bog we met with the Blue-
eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) and the Sea-side Crowfoot (Ranunculus cymbalaria).
Here, too, the Peat-bog Birch (Betula glandulosa) was among the common shrubs. Before
emerging on a steep dry slope that shields the Graham ranch-house, barns, corrals, post-office,
and store, we crossed a long stretch of wet hay lands infested with mosquitoes. The house
itself is situated close to a small lake, where we found the Water Knotweed (Polygonum
amphibium), whose bright-red flowers were used by the Indians for fish-bait, growing in
profusion, along with the Bur-reed (Sparganium simplex) and the Mud-disk (Cotula coronopi-
That fish of some sort lived in the lake seemed evident from the presence of a Common
Loon or Great Northern Diver (Gu/via immer) and a White Pelican (Pelicanus erythrorhyn-
chos). The loon appeared to have a mate or companion, but the pelican was quite alone.
The lake was fringed with willows, dogwoods, and aspens, except where man had wielded an
axe. Ten to 20 feet from the shore there were no trees and the " salt grass " grew so short
and sparse as to scarcely afford food and shelter for the grasshoppers, the only insects in
evidence except the ubiquitous mosquitoes; while in clear view from the lake, on a side-hill,
grew clusters of cactus in full bloom.
At the Graham ranch we had to decide whether to carry out our original plan and push
through to Bella Coola or to make a side-trip to the southward and return by Williams Lake.
Earlier reports as to the impassable condition of the streams to the westward were amply
confirmed—bridges were down and the rivers flooded. After scanning the horizon for possible
Alpine fields and canvassing the local authorities, we decided to go southward to Mr. L. Butler's
place near Bluff Lake. Here we arrived after a harrowing trip in a closed car, having covered
the 15 miles in four hours. It was a rolling country, with pine-woods on the ridges and willows
in the hollows, where lurked treacherous sloughs filled with black muck and mosquitoes. We
passed several lakes, each of which harboured a flock of ducks, though the water was said to
be alkaline. Snipe and Kildeer Plover bowed and peeped to us as we floundered along. Of
plants, the most notable were the Wind-flower (Anemone multifida) and the Plumed Avens
(Geum triflorum), both in fruit.    Dragon-flies hawked along the air-lanes.    The Tiger Swal- H 32 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
lowtail (Papilio glaucus), the Clouded Parnassian (Pamassius smintheus) in one of its forms,
two species of Silver-spots, the Western Sulphur (Eurymus emilia), the Wood-nymph
(Cercyonis cetus), and a Checker-spot (Euphydras anicia), all came to gladden our eyes as
we bumped and swayed and swung along the rocky road to Mr. L. Butler's.
We arrived at Mr. L. Butler's about 2 o'clock, which gave us time to pitch our tent and
stroll down to Bluff Lake before supper. Both here and at our camp we obtained entrancing
views of the surrounding mountains. To the east and the west were pine-clad slopes reaching
to patches of rapidly melting snow; but to the south were two peaks of unequalled grandeur—
the Black Horn and Saddle Mountain, with 3,000 feet of snowfields trailing from their summits,
reaching 9,000 and 10,000 feet respectively above sea-level.
The flora around our camp was quite typical of the Chilcotin country, consisting largely
of the Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale), the Northern Yarrow (Achillea borealis), the
Timber Milk-vetch (Astragalus campestris), Rosa nutkana—a form that seemed very variable
—and a species of Aster. These plants were ever present in this country, were closely
associated, and in the dry clay soil of the Interior Plateau flourished abundantly.
While the botanist of the party made a two-day trip into the mountains in search of alpines,
the entomologist contented himself with wielding his net in an abandoned garden, whither
he was led by a boy of 4, the heir-apparent to the house of Butler. This area had two
advr-ntages—it was irrigated, and it was surrounded on three sides by the native forest.
The best collecting was in the morning, before the wind and the sun became too strong. In the
afternoon the entomologist lay on his blankets and collected Tabanids from the tent-wall.
Tabanus sonomensis was the commonest visitor, though Hxmatopota americana seemed fairly
common. The Deer-flies, Chrysops noctifer and Chrysops excitans, preferred to attack you
in the open. The best way to capture them is to swing a net violently about one's head.
Another visitor to the tent was the Cottontail Bot, Cuterebra fontinella.
In the abandoned garden were profuse masses of Red Clover and the common garden
parsnip in full bloom. The latter attracted many species of Diptera, particularly Syrphus
flies, and Cerambycids. To the former came the Bumble-bees and Clearwing Moths of the
genera Hemaris and Proserpinus. The bumble-bees and the clearwings hunted together and
it was hard to distinguish them until they were in the net. A large Eristalis (Eristalis flavipes
Walk.) closely resembled a small bumble-bee that frequented the same flowers. Other Syrphidce
taken on Yarrow, Aster, or Parsnip were: Chrysotoxum derivatum, Walk.; Heliophilus similis
Macn.; Criorhina armillata O. S.; Arctophila flagrans O. S.; Parhelophilus sp.; Chilosia
hoodio.nsis Bigot; Melanostoma stegnum Say; Syrphus ribesn Linne; Syrphus ovinator O. S.;
Syrphus umbellatarum Schiner; Syrphus americanus Wied; Syrphus arcuatus Fallen; Syrphus
protritus O. S.; Syritta pipiens Linne: Sphmrophoria cylindrica Say; Paragus tibialis Fallen;
Eristalis tenax Linne;   and several other species of Eristalis undetermined.
Though most Bombyliidm or Bee-flies come to flowers, they are more frequently t<iken
when resting or ovipositing on the ground. The beautiful fly Exoprosopa dorcadion O. S. or
capucina Fabr. revelled in the bright sunlight and lit on the hottest parts of the trail. Three
species of Anthrax were also common; and in a country so plagued by grasshoppers it was
not surprising to find the golden-haired Systaichus candidulus, which preys on their, eggs.
Robber-flies or Assassin-flies (as they are now called) were not so numerous as one mieht
exnect. Asilus astutus, Bombomima astur. and Diogmites so. were captured. Two Conooids
a Phusocenhala and a Zodion, and several Tachinids, including Gonia capitata De Geer, complete the list of Diptera taken.
The following beetles were captured from umbels of the Parsnip or corymbs of the Yarrow:
Pachyta armata, Leptura chrysocoma, Judalia insta.bilis, Leptacmseops longicornis, Acmseops
pratensis, Asemum atrum, Xylotrechus annosus (?), Phymatodes dimidiatus, Dichelonyx backii,
Trichodes ornatus, and Hippodamia 5-signata. On or under logs were taken Eleodes cordata,
Upis, Saprinus lugens. Buprcstis maculaventris var. rusticorum, and Anthaxia
peneogaster. Near the shores of Bluff Lake were found an Ephemerid, a Caddis-fly, and a
Snake-fly or Rhaphidian.
Throughout the Chilcotin we found that bark-beetles had attacked the Pine to an alarming
extent. The hillsides were covered with vast red patches of the dying trees. Though porcupines were seen, their work was not so evident to the eye as were the depredations of the
Indians, who strip the inner bark in the spring. PLATE VII.
Chilcotin District—Bluff Lake and
Saddle Mountain.
The Cascades as seen from an altitude of 7,500 feet,
west of Bluff Lake.  REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 33
On July 13th Mr. Fred Perry left with Mr. L. Butler and two horses for a mountain due
west of our camp. For 4 miles they passed through pine-woods; then skirted Sapi Lake,
where they found the Mountain Balm or Snow-brush (Ceonothus velutinus Dougl.) and the
Silverberry (Elseagnus argentea Pursh.). There followed some swampy country, much
infested with mosquitoes, where they found a Rein Orchid (Habenaria obtusata Richards)
and two leguminous plants, the Alpine Milk-vetch (Astragalus alpinus L.) and Astragalus
mortoni Nutt. (?)
For four hours they struggled up a very steep mountain trail, with no water, but with
the tantalizing sound of a rushing torrent far below them. After a stretch of dry flats they
dipped into a hollow where both men and horses refreshed themselves at a pleasant stream.
There soon succeeded a line of mosquito-infested swamps, where grew the Crowberry
(Empetrum nigrum L.) and the Mountain Bilberry (Vaccinium membranaceum Dougl.).
On the floor of a long valley having low dry ridges on either side, where the Lodgepole
Pine was the all-pervading tree, grew the following plants: The Stonecrop (Sedum integri-
folium (Raf.) Nels.) ; the Globe Flower (Trollius. albiflorus Rydb.) ; the Mountain Marsh
Marigold (Caltha leptosepala D. C.) ; the Swamp Laurel (Kalmia polifolia Wang.) ; the
Northern Anemone (Anemone parviflora D. C.) ; the Mountain Buttercup (Ranunculus
Eschscholtzii Schlect) ; the Peat-bog Birch (Betula glandulosa Michx.) ; the Alpine Butter-
burr (Petasites frigida (L.) Fries) ; the three-fingered Cinquefoil (Potentilla flabellifolia
Hook) ; and the Burnet (Sanquisorba sitchensis Meyer). On the dry hummocks in this valley
are found the Alpine Avens (Dryas octopetala L.), the Greek Valerian (Polemonium humile
R. & S.), and the Beardtongue (Pentstemon procerus Dougl.). Skirting the edges of the
swamps, the party came to halt at a trapper's cabin near the end of the valley. After viewing
the interior of the building they decided it would be better to camp outside. The horses were
relieved of their packs and tethered, after which the botanist and his companion pressed on
toward the mountain-top, the apex of a huge area several square miles in extent. The last
timber was passed at about 6,250 feet and its border was very abrupt, probably due to the fact
that the party had emerged from a protected valley to an exposed wind-swept slope. The
trees seemed to have been cut off sharp, and immediately the Arctic flora began. There was
no Elphin scrub, and the area from timber-line to the peak was very extensive. A few patches
of snow lingered in the hollows, and on the wet banks of the little streams that drained from
this snow the following plants were in bloom: Lloydia serotina Reich.; Phacelia sericea Gray;
the Moss Campion (Silene acaulis L.) : the Bluebell (Campanula uniflora L.) ; the Alpine
Avens (Dryas octopetala L.) ; Sedum integrifolium. (Raf.) Nels.; the Crowberry (Empetrum
nigrum L.) ; the Cinquefoil (Potentilla villosa Pall.) ; the Fleabane (Erigeron uniflorus L.) ;
two Louseworts (Pedicularis scopulorum Gray) and P. Langsdorfii (?) ; and the Alpine
Forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris Schmidt).
After much wandering over these flowery slopes they came to what appeared to be the
summit, at an elevation of about 7,500 feet. Here they obtained an unobstructed view of the
Ions:, serrated Coast Range and intervening valleys of stupendous proportions. On their way
back to camp they occasionally passed one of the Loco-weeds, Oxytropis monticola Gray.
After a sleepless night, spent in fighting mosquitoes, they set out on their homeward
journey at an early hour. Though in no mood for observation, they saw several moose in the
valley-bottom. These animals, which are browsers and not grazers, feed almost entirely on
Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera Michx.), known to the settlers as Red Willow.
A striking feature of the flora on this mountain trip was the almost complete absence of
many trees and shrubs that are common on the Coast Range. They saw one miserable specimen of our White Rhododendron (Rhododendron a'.biflorum Hook.) ; only one species of blueberry; very rarely an occasional Cassiope or Phyllodoce; no Cladothamnus or Menziesia
glabella; no Cedar or Chamsecyparis; and in the swamps only an occasional Mountain Alder,
mingled with the Birch and Red-osier Dogwood. The flora seems to approach that of Alaska,
for nearly all of the species mentioned here as occurring in the mountains are recorded from
Our next excursion was a walk to the southern end of Bluff Lake, along the eastern shore.
The dominant plant in the swampy margin of the lake at its northern end was the Black Twin-
berry (Lonicera involucrata Banks). The trail, the only traffic outlet for a group of settlers,
follows the water's edge closely, except where it zigzags up the face of some steep bluffs, which H 34 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
give to the lake its name. On these dry bluffs we found Saxifraga bronchialis L. var. cher-
leriodes Don.; the Alum Root, Heuchera parvifolia Nutt.; and the nest of a Junco, built in
the angle formed by two rock-faces, from which the young took flight at our approach. In the
bog below the bluffs we saw the False Solomon's Seal, Smilacina racemosa L. and Habenaria
borealis Cham. In the sunny intervales we noted the Tiger Swallowtail (Pailio glaucus L.),
the Sylvan Wood-nymph (Cercyonis oetus Edw.), and the Banded Purple (Basilarchia arthemis
Dru.). In sandy parts of the trail Bee-flies were settling to sun themselves or hovering while
they dished out little conical holes.
We saw a solitary wasp trying to carry off a caterpillar twice as long as herself. She did
not succeed in lifting it, but dragged it along the ground, her legs astride of her prey. For
some time we observed red-banded solitary wasps digging like dogs in the earth, throwing out
the soil very rapidly from between their hind legs. When the pile got too large behind a wasp,
she would clear it away and then resume her labours.
Nearly all the asters in the neighbourhood of Bluff Lake were attacked by a grub, of which
we took specimens. These grubs, about four in number to each head, are fat rotund creatures
that feed on the disk flowers of the aster, leaving an ugly greyish-green patch. One of these
grubs or its parasite pupated and came to maturity as a minute hymenopterous fly, whose
identity has not been determined.
In side-trips or on our return journey we took the Single Delight, Moneses uniflora (L.)
Gray, at Sapi Lake, and the Poison Camas, Zygadenus chloranthus Rich., near Tatla Lake.
The Marsh-grass of Parnassus, Parnassia palustris L., was found growing near the Chilanko,
a tributary of the Chilcotin River.
The poison-plants of the immense range-land of the Chilcotin deserve a note as a result
of our observations. Astragalus campestris appears to be eaten with impunity after it has
been attacked by the frost. Everybody that we spoke to on the subject agreed that the number
of poison-plants has increased to a very great extent in the last twenty-five years, and that
every year the losses of horses and cattle are increasing. We believe that the recent increase
of the poison-plants is not accidental, but can be directly traced to the steady decrease and
impoverishment of fodder-plants. Overgrazing has removed the chief competitors of the
poison-plants, which, like the grasshoppers, had been there long before the coming of cattle into
the Chilcotin. Vigorous growth of pasturage had kept the poison-plants in their place. The
very avoidance of these poisonous forms by the cattle would ensure their increase. Vast areas
of range, especially around Riske Creek, have been depleted of practically all fodder-plants.
Fencing of large tracts has intensified the overgrazing of the open range. At certain seasons
of the year cattle get so hungry that they finally succumb to their appetites by surrendering
their sense of discrimination, and eat the poison-plants with disastrous results.
In conclusion, we wish to express our thanks to Mr. Robt. Wilson, the Executive Assistant
of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway; to Mr. Harold Brown, the General Manager of the
Union Steamship Company; and to Dr. A. R. Thompson, who made our trip into the Chilcotin
possible; and we are also indebted to Mr. F. Kermode, Miss N. Stark, and Mr. G. H. Larnder
for their kind co-operation in identifying doubtful specimens.
By G. A. Hardy.
During the year 1935 entomological field-work on Mount Arrowsmith, V.I., and in the
vicinity of Saanich, V.I., B.C., led to the discovery of several species of Cerambycida? (long-
horned beetles) previously not known to occur on Vancouver Island. I wish here to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. R. Hopping, of Vernon, B.C., for his kindness in verifying the
identity of the following species:—
Pachyta armata Lee. Taken August, 1934, on Mount Arrowsmith, V.I., B.C., by J. Loh-
brunner, where it was found on blooms of Cow-parsnip (Hieracleum lanatum). This fine
alpine species, of purely western distribution, has a wide range on the Pacific slope of North
America, where it extends from British Columbia to California. Though well known at altitudes of 4,000 to 5,000 feet on the Mainland Coast, it has not been previously recorded from
Vancouver Island. Represented in the Provinical Museum collections by a fine series of specimens from Garibaldi, B.C. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL MUSEUM, 1935. H 35
Gonocallus collaris (Kby.). At 5 p.m. on June 17th, 1934, the author found this species
at rest on Douglas-fir slash in Saanich, Vancouver Island. This is a small elongated ceram-
bycid with blue elytra and red thorax, closely resembling certain Telephoridae (Soldiers and
Sailors). While a species of continent-wide distribution through the northern coniferous
forests, it is, however, of seeming rarity on Vancouver Island, a rarity which is possibly
explained in part by the nocturnal habits imputed to it by Kirk and Knull. These authors
record the species as " taken at light " in Pennsylvania. Represented in the Museum collections by a specimen from Copper Mountain, British Columbia.
Monochamus obtusus Csy. This distinctive species of the genus was taken by the author
on the trunk of a newly felled Grand fir (Abies grandis) in Saanich, Vancouver Island, July
29th, 1934. A western representative of a widely distributed genus, this species seems to be
of infrequent occurrence on the Pacific slope of North America. It has been recorded from
California, but the only other authentic British Columbia record is that of a specimen taken
at Creston, B.C.
victoria, B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Baxfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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