Lately, it seems there have been plenty of news stories about the decline of insect populations worldwide. One of the key obstacles to determining the impacts of climate change or other anthropogenic disturbances on insect populations is, in many cases, a lack of baseline knowledge of the species present in an area. Unique and fragile ecosystems abound in BC, but the Central Interior Plateau area has often been overlooked in biodiversity surveys. Three recent and current projects at the University of Northern BC are attempting to document a small portion of the insect diversity in this understudied area. Our studies have emphasized the new Chun T’Oh Whudujut Provincial Park, the Aleza Lake Research Forest, and urban Prince George, and have included various habitat types and land uses within those study areas. The integration of DNA barcoding in these surveys has led to the recognition of extensive biodiversity in the region, and some hyperdiverse taxa that warrant further investigation.
The Natural Resources & Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) at UNBC hosts a weekly lecture series at the Prince George campus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Go to http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts to view the presentation remotely.
Past NRESi colloquium presentations and special lectures can be viewed on our video archive, available here.
Al Wiensczyk, RPF
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute