Mountain beaver talk on Tuesday night

Mountain Beaver in the spotlight April 15 with talk by biologist Pontus Lindgren at Vedder Middle school at 7:30 p.m.

Chilliwack Field Naturalists present biologist Pontus Lindgren

Chilliwack Field Naturalists present biologist Pontus Lindgren

This burrowing creature is more of a rodent than a beaver, despite its name.

The mountain beaver will be in the spotlight at a lecture April 15 by biologist Pontus Lindgren at Vedder Middle school at 7:30 p.m.

The talk will cover the natural history of the species and factors that have led to its federal listing as a species of special concern and a provincial listing as a “blue-listed” species be highlighted.

Some of its nicknames include “ground bear” or “giant mole.”

Lindgren will also share his own experiences gained from several years working with this unique animal.  Stories will include photos from live-trapping sessions and, if his computer cooperates, some video clips of this rarely seen, rabbit-sized, living fossil that lives beneath the ground in many of our backyards.

The biologist is now environmental manager with Westpark Electric, a Chilliwack-based company building run-of-river hydro projects in B.C. Lindgren has worked on several species of conservation concern and began working on mountain beavers began in the 1990s.  In 2003 he was involved with a live-trapping program designed to improve understanding of the distribution and phylogeny, or natural evolution of this species. More recently, he has worked with industry to develop management plans designed to minimize negative impacts, and even enhance conservation strategies for this species.

Lindgren is a professional biologist who has been conducting ecological research, such as the effects of innovative forest practices on small mammals, ungulates, vegetation, habitat structure, and biodiversity conservation.  He recently completed a PhD at UBC. Since the 1990s he’s been a guest lecturer at both UBC and BCIT.

Chilliwack Field Naturalists present Pontus Lindgren, lecturing on the Mountain Beaver.  The April 15 event starts at 7:30 p.m. at Vedder Middle school on South Sumas Road.