Who Lives in the Fraser?

Knowing more about the plants and animals that call the Fraser Watershed home is an important step to becoming a Watershed Defender.

Over 100 different species can be found in the Fraser estuary alone! Over 100 different species can be found in the Fraser estuary alone! Explore the image below and to see if you can find 11 species living within this habitat. When you’re done exploring, click the Protect button in the menu to the right to return to the map.

Bigleaf maple

Acer macrophyllum

You know me by my huge maple leaves and ‘helicopter seeds’ – that’s right, I’m a bigleaf maple tree! Not only am I the biggest maple tree in Canada, but I’m also a very important part of estuary habitats. I provide food and shelter for many other plants and animals, such as bats, birds, and mosses

Brown-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

I am a wildflower called brown-eyed Susan. Look at how bright and cheerful my colours are! I prefer drier soil, so you can find me growing in areas around the Fraser River when water levels are low. I provide food and shelter for birds, bees, and other pollinators.

Bumble bee

Bombus

Bzz, bzz. I am a bumble bee! I love to visit places with lots of different flowers, so I can drink a variety of nectar. Brown-eyed Susan happens to be one of my favourites! Nectar gives me the energy to do a very important job: helping plants grow by pollinating them.

Freshwater mollusks

Mollusca

We are a group of animals that include clams, mussels, and snails. Even though we are small, we are a very important part of estuary habitats. We provide food for other animals and help to keep the water clean from rotting things

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

I am a great blue heron. My long legs, curved neck, and dagger-like bill help me stalk fish, and catch them with lightning speed! Even though I look really big, I only weigh as much as a 2L bottle of pop. Why? Because my bones are hollow!

Little brown bat

Myotis lucifugus

I am a little brown bat. Some people fear me, but I think it’s because they haven’t had a chance to get to know me! Like my name suggests, I am very small and only weigh as much as two quarters. At night, I work hard to keep bug populations in check by eating them. In the daytime, I roost in trees, caves, or buildings.

Pacific chorus frog

Pseudacris regilla

Ribbit, ribbit. I am a Pacific chorus frog, also known as a Pacific treefrog. I may be small, but you can hear me day and night, and I’m especially loud around sunset. I can even change the colour of my skin, depending on how hot and bright my environment is!

Rainbow Trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Check out my beautiful colours! I am a rainbow trout. You can recognize me from the red stripes on my sides, and the speckles that cover my entire body. Most of the time I like to live in freshwater, but sometimes, I can migrate into saltwater! Can you think of another fish that does this?

River otter

Lontra canadensis

I am a river otter. I am very playful and an excellent swimmer! Sometimes, I can be found sliding in the mud or snow, or playing in the water. Beware: even though I am very cute, I have razor sharp teeth and claws to help me catch slippery prey, like fish.

sturgeon

Acipenser transmontanus

I am a white sturgeon. Even though I kind of look like a shark, and I can grow up to 3m long and weigh over 180kg, I’m not as scary as I seem. In fact, I have no teeth! Instead, I use my whisker-like feelers (barbels) to find food and my toothless mouth to slurp it up.

Western Sandpiper

Calidris mauri

Jeet, jeet! I am a western sandpiper. You’ve probably seen me foraging for shrimp and insects on the mudflats at low tide. My long, thin bill has a slightly curved tip that helps me to slurp up these tasty treats

Did You Know

An estuary is where fresh water from a river meets salt water from the ocean. This special place provides important habitats for many different plants and animals.

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Big Leaf Maple Little Brown Bat Rainbow Trout Great Blue Heron Sturgeon Pacific Chorus Frog River Otter Bumble Bee Western Sandpiper Brown Eyed Susan Freshwater Mollusks

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide – Salmon Fry (best suited for elementary school students)

Teacher’s Guide – Salmon (best suited for high school students & older)

Feedback

Please use this form to let us know what you think of this resource. Are there improvements you’d like to see? Good and bad, we’d like to hear from you!

 

Resources

Additional Resources – Salmon Fry (best suited for elementary school students)

Additional Resources – Salmon (best suited for high school students and older)

Keep learning about Watershed CPR with this resource from the Fraser River Discovery Centre: My River, My Home

About

The Watershed CPR Education Program is a self-guided, virtual learning experience all about the Fraser River, created by the Rivershed Society of BC.

In this virtual experience, users are introduced to the three pillars of Watershed CPR—Connect, Protect, and Restore—through a series of engaging activities and interactives about the Fraser Watershed. Users will learn about the flora and fauna that inhabit the Fraser; the First Nations who have lived in this area since time immemorial; some of the conservation issues affecting the watershed; and how to “perform Watershed CPR” and become a Watershed Defender.

To learn more about Watershed CPR and the Rivershed Society of BC, visit rivershed.com.

 

Thank you to our partners in development: Cicada Creative and Canadian Geographic, and immense gratitude to the Kwantlen First Nation for their time and contributions to the program. Consultation from Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Funding provided by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, via the Environmental Damages Fund.

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This Golden Paw Print means that this is information that can help make your migration journey successful in the Watershed Defender section.