Rare Find in the Ancient Forest
Prince George, B.C. – A two-week biodiversity assessment in the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park by UNBC researchers has resulted in quite the find.
They discovered a rare orchid, one that hasn’t been seen since 1932, and is just one of more than 900 species that botanists found last month.
The biodiversity work is being conducted in partnership with the Lheidli T’enneh and BC Parks, with funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the B.C. Real Estate Foundation.
“There are many habitats (in the new park and protected area) that have not been visited by scientists,” said Dr. Darwyn Coxson, UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management professor. “We’re just starting to understand the incredible diversity of plants and other species that exist in those areas.”
The summer research program continued this month with more work planned for September.
Researchers hope the assessments will provide evidence for any future nomination as a World Heritage Site under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“With our additional findings of so many rare plant species in this little pocket of coastal habitat, I believe we’ll have a very strong case in the future to seek nomination and designation as a World Heritage Site under UNESCO,” said Coxson.
The Ancient Forest was designated a Class A Provincial Park in May. In June, the adjacent Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Protected Area was established.