CAMPBELL, R. Wayne (1944- )




Author Tags: Essentials 2010, Natural History

QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

Since the arrival of botanists José Mariano Moziño and Archibald Menzies, and the ground-breaking treks of naturalist David Douglas, there have been hundreds of “outdoors” titles from and about B.C. but few qualify as classic works of natural history. Of these, the co-authored, four-volume compilation known as The Birds of British Columbia is perhaps the most impressive, but one could also cite recent titles by the Cannings twins, Richard and Robert, as well as Andy Lamb and Phil Edgell’s Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest (1986), and Andy Lamb and Bernard Hanby’s Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds and Selected Fishes (2005).

The Birds of British Columbia was a 25-year project (with publications ranging from 1990 to 2001) led by R. Wayne Campbell, one of its seven co-authors. The others are Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser, Andrew C. Stewart and Michael C.E. McNall. The four volumes in The Birds of British Columbia provide a wealth of information on the “ornithological history, environments, habitat, breeding habits, migratory movements, seasonality and distribution patterns” of 472 species of birds. Over seven thousand birdwatchers and naturalists contributed their observations, including Chris Siddle who has recorded more than seventy thousand sightings.

A longtime curator of ornithology at the Royal B.C. Museum, Campbell also co-wrote The Reptiles of British Columbia (1984), a series of bird books for Lone Pine Publishing and co-compiled A Bibliography of British Columbia Ornithology, Volume 1 (1979).

Campbell’s scientific forefather was the eminent UBC zoologist Ian McTaggart-Cowan who taught from 1945 to 1975, serving as head of the zoology faculty from 1953 to 1964, and who served as a model for David Suzuki, hosting two widely seen programs on national television in the 1960s, The Living Sea and The Web of Life. McTaggart-Cowan died in 2010 at age 99.

Campbell co-edited a biography, with Ronald D. Jakimchuk and Dennis A. Demarchi: Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist (Harbour, 2014) $49.95. 978-1-55017-623-0.

FULL ENTRY:

Born in Edmonton, Campbell moved to B.C. in 1944. He has worked with the provincial parks branch as a seasonal naturalist, a Curator of the Cowan Vertebrate Museum at UBC and as the Curator of Ornithology at the Royal British Columbia Museum. He has also worked as a Senior Research Scientist in the Wildlife Branch with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. He co-authored the three volume The Birds of British Columbia with several other writers. The comprehensive book took 15 years to complete and was in considerable demand before its printing. In 2005, Birds of the Raincoast won the BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie. With Patrick Gregory he co-wrote The Reptiles of British Columbia (British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1984). He is also the co-author of a series for Lone Pine Publishing that includes Birds of Vancouver and Birds of Victoria and Vicinity. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Order of British Columbia in 1992 and the Commemorative Medal of Canada. Campbell also co-compiled A Bibliography of British Columbia Ornithology, Volume 1 (Victoria: Provincial Museum, 1979).

[For other authors pertaining to natural history in British Columbia, see abcbookworld entries for Bandoni, R.J.; Blood, Donald A.; Bodsworth, Fred; Brayshaw, T. Christopher; Brown, Robert; Burbridge, Joan; Busch, Robert H.; Campbell, Susan; Carefoot, Thomas; Carrick, Doug; Corkran, Charlott; Croft, Philip; Davidson, John; De Maddalena, Alessandro; Delehanty Pearkes, Eileen; Douglas, George; Forsythe, Robert; Green, David M.; Greenfield, Tony; Gregory, Patrick T.; Guiguet, C.J.; Harcombe, Andrew; Hardy, G.A.; Hearne, Margo; Hitchcock, C. Leo; Horwood, Dennis; Hoyt, Erich; Hume, Mark; Hunter, Tom; Hutchings, Kevin; Jones, David; Kaiser, Peter; Klinka, A.; Kosloff, Eugene N.; Kozloff, Eugene; Lambert, Philip; Lansdowne, Fenwick; Lord, John Keast Ludvigsen, Rolf; Martin, Carol; Matsuda, Brent; McTaggart-Cowan, Ian; Merilees, Bill; Mudd-Ruth, Maria; Munro, J.; Nagorsen, David; Osgood, Wilfred; Owen, Audrey; Parham, H.J.; Parsons, Harry; Pasco, Juanita; Pearse, Theed; Penn, Briony; Pojar, Rosamund; Power, Margaret; Ricketts, Ed; Scagell, Robert; Seavy, Mary Lynn; Shackleton, David M.; Sheldon, Ian; Taylor, Keith; Taylor, T.M.C.; Waaland, Robert; Weston, J.; Whittington, Bruce; Yip, Mike.] @2010.

R. Wayne Campbell has been published by the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, British Columbia Provincial Museum (now Royal British Columbia Museum), Centennial Wildlife Society of British Columbia, Environment Canada (formerly Canadian Wildlife Service), Discovery Press, Douglas & McIntyre Publishers, Harbour Publishing, Hemlock Printers Ltd., Hurtig Publishers Ltd., Lone Pine Publishing, Ucluelet Recreation Commission, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver Natural History Society, and Victoria Natural History Society.

BOOKS & MAJOR PUBLICATIONS

1969
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1969. Birding on the West Coast. Pages 12-16 In A Glance through the
Tofino-Ucluelet Area. Ucluelet Recreation Commission, Ucluelet, BC. 68 pp. [chapter]
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1969. The Steller Sea-lion. Pages 10-11 In Ruth Chambers, editor. A Net of
Naturalists: Some Notable Naturalists in the Pacific Northwest. Victoria Natural History Society
Special Publication, Victoria, BC. 39 pp. [chapter]
1972
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael G. Shepard, and Wayne C. Weber. 1972. Vancouver birds in 1971.
Vancouver Natural History Society Special Publication Number 2, Vancouver, British
Columbia. 88 pp.
1973
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1973. Birds. Pages 157-198 In Kay M. Smith, Nancy J. Anderson, and Kay I. Beamish, editors. Nature West Coast. Discovery Press, Vancouver, BC. 283 pp. [Chapter]
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1973. Land invertebrates: gastropods "stomach foot." Pages 269-271 In
Kay M. Smith, Nancy J. Anderson, and Kay I. Beamish, editors. Nature West Coast. Discovery Press, Vancouver, BC. 283 pp. [Chapter]
1974
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael G. Shepard, Bruce A. MacDonald, and Wayne C. Weber. 1974.
Vancouver birds in 1972. Vancouver Natural History Society Publication Number 5,
Vancouver, BC. 96 pp.
1976
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1976. Seabirds breeding on the Canadian west coast. Pages 39-65 In H.
Hosford, editor. Mountains and Seas: Selected Papers from a Conference. British
Columbia Provincial Museum Heritage Record No. 1, Victoria, BC. 65 pp. [Chapter]
1978

Hatler, David F., R. Wayne Campbell and Adrian Dorst. 1978. Birds of Pacific Rim National
Park. British Columbia Provincial Museum Occasional Paper Number 20, Victoria, BC. 194 pp.
1979
Campbell, R. Wayne and Harold Hosford. 1979. Attracting and feeding birds in British
Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum Methods Manual Number 7, Victoria, BC. 31
pp.
Campbell, R. Wayne, Harry R. Carter, Christopher D. Shepard and Charles J. Guiguet. 1979. A
bibliography of British Columbia ornithology ? Volume 1. British Columbia Provincial
Museum Heritage Record Number 7, Victoria, BC. 185 pp.
*Manuwal, David A. and R. Wayne Campbell. 1979. Status and distribution of breeding seabirds
of southeastern Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Pages 73-91 In J. C. Bartonek and
D. N. Nettleship, editors. Conservation of Marine Birds in Northern North America. United States
Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Research Report Number 11,
Washington, DC. 315 pp. [Chapter]
*Munro, William T. and R. Wayne Campbell. 1979. Programs and authorities of the province of
British Columbia related to marine bird conservation. Pages 247-250 In J. C. Bartonek and D.
N. Nettleship, editors. Conservation of Marine Birds in Northern North America. United States
Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Research Report Number 11,
Washington, D. C. 315 pp. [Chapter]
1982
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael G. Shepard, Brigitta M. Van Der Raay, and Patrick T. Gregory.
1982. A bibliography of Pacific Northwest herpetology. British Columbia Provincial Museum
Heritage Record Number 14, Victoria, BC. 151 pp.
1983
Vermeer, Kees, Ian Robertson, R. Wayne Campbell, Gary Kaiser, and Moira Lemon. 1983.
Distribution and densities of marine birds on the Canadian west coast. Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, AB. 73 pp.
1984
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1984. Wings over the water. Pages 95-117 In Islands Protection Society,
editors. Islands at the Edge: Preserving the Queen Charlotte Islands Wilderness. Douglas- McIntyre, Toronto, ON. 160 pp. [Chapter]
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1984. British Columbia ? Fort Nelson area. Pages 44-47 In J.C. Finlay,
editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1984. British Columbia ? Fraser estuary and Reifel Refuge. Pages 26-28
In J.C. Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1984. British Columbia ? Pacific Rim National Park. Pages 36-39 In J.C
Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]

*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1984. British Columbia - pelagic (offshore waters) British Columbia.
Pages 39-40 In J.C. Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers Limited,
Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
*Campbell, R. Wayne and Yorke Edwards. 1984. British Columbia ? Queen Charlotte Islands.
Pages 42-44 In J.C. Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers
Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
*Campbell, R. Wayne and David Marks. 1984. British Columbia ? Iona Island and Sea Island.
Pages 24-26 In J.C. Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers
Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
*Campbell, R. Wayne and Dave Mossop. 1984. British Columbia ? Haines Road/Chilkoot
Pass. Pages 47-48 In J.C. Finlay, editor. A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. Hurtig Publishers
Limited, Edmonton, AB. 387 pp. [Site guide]
Campbell, R. Wayne, Eric D. Forsman and Brigitta M. Van Der Raay. 1984. An annotated
bibliography of literature on the Spotted Owl. British Columbia Ministry of Forests Land
Management Report Number 24, Victoria, BC. 115 pp.
Green, David M. and R. Wayne Campbell. 1984. The amphibians of British Columbia. British
Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook Number 45, Victoria, BC. 101 pp.
Gregory, Patrick T. and R. Wayne Campbell. 1984. The reptiles of British Columbia. British
Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook Number 44, Victoria, BC. 103 pp.
1985
Campbell, R. Wayne and Andrew P. Harcombe. 1985. Wildlife habitat handbooks for British
Columbia: standard taxonomic list codes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
British Columbia Ministry of Environment Wildlife Report Number R-11, Victoria, BC. 86
pp.
1987
Butler, Robert W. and R. Wayne Campbell. 1987. The birds of the Fraser River delta:
populations, ecology, and international significance. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper Number 65, Ottawa, ON. 73 pp.


1988
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1988. The birds of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Pages 88-94 In R.J. Fox,
editor. The Wildlife of Northern British Columbia: Past, Present, and Future. Centennial Wildlife
Society of British Columbia Symposium, 27-29 November 1987. Smithers, BC. [Chapter]
Campbell, R. Wayne, Tracey D. Hooper, and Neil K. Dawe, and. 1988. A bibliography of British
Columbia ornithology ? Volume 2. Royal British Columbia Museum Heritage Record
Number 19, Victoria, BC. 591 pp.
Campbell, R. Wayne, Kenneth H. Morgan, and Calvor Palmateer. 1988. Wildlife habitat
handbooks for the southern interior ecoprovince. Volume 2: Species notes for selected birds.
British Columbia Ministry of Environment Wildlife Report Number R-16, Victoria, BC 131 pp.
Ritcey, Ralph, David Low, Alton S. Harestad, R. Wayne Campbell, and Andrew P. Harcombe.
1988. Wildlife habitat handbooks for the southern interior ecoprovince. Volume 5: Species-
Habitat Relationship Models for Mammals. British Columbia Ministry of Environment
Wildlife Report Number R-19, Victoria, BC. 245 pp.
1989
Bovey, Robin and R. Wayne Campbell. 1989. Birds of Vancouver. Lone Pine Publishing,
Edmonton, AB. 143 pp.
Bovey, Robin, R. Wayne Campbell, and Bryan R. Gates. 1989. Birds of Victoria. Lone Pine
Publishing, Edmonton, AB. 143 pp.
Turnbull, W. Graham and R. Wayne Campbell. 1989. Illustrated keys to the identification of
the birds of prey of British Columbia. British Columbia Conservation Officer Service
Information Report Series Number 1, Victoria, BC. 37 pp.
1990
*Campbell, R. Wayne. 1990. Birds. Pages 27-37 In R.A. Cannings and A.P. Harcombe, editors. The Vertebrates of British Columbia: Scientific and English Names. Royal British Columbia Museum Heritage Record Number 20; Wildlife Report No. R24, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture and Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC. 116 pp. [Chapter]

Campbell, R. Wayne, Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser, and
Michael C.E. McNall. 1990a. The birds of British Columbia ? Volume 1: Nonpasserines
(Introduction, loons through waterfowl). Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, BC. 535
pp.
Campbell, R. Wayne., Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser, and
Michael C.E. McNall 1990b. The birds of British Columbia ? Volume 2: (Diurnal birds of prey
through woodpeckers). Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, BC. 632 pp.
1991

Campbell, Eileen C., R. Wayne Campbell, and Ronald T. McLaughlin. 1991. Waterbirds of the
Strait of Georgia. Hemlock Printers, Vancouver, BC. 60 pp.
1997
*Campbell, R. Wayne and Kenneth R. Summers. 1997. Vertebrates of Brooks Peninsula. Pages
12.1-12.39 In Brooks Peninsula: An Ice Age Refugium on Vancouver Island. (Richard J.
Hebda and James C. Haggarty, editors). British Columbia Parks Branch Occasional Paper No. 5,
Victoria, BC. [Chapter]
Campbell, R. Wayne, Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser,
Michael C.E. McNall, and G.E. John Smith. 1997. The birds of British Columbia ? Volume 3:
Passerines (flycatchers through vireos). University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC.
693 pp.
2001
Campbell, R. Wayne, Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser,
Andrew S. Stewart, and Michael C.E. McNall. 2001. The birds of British Columbia, Volume
4: Passerines, wood-warblers through Old World sparrows. University of British Columbia
Press, Vancouver, BC. 739 pp.
Campbell, R. Wayne, Robin Bovey, and A. Bezener. Revised and updated edition. 2001. Birds of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, AB. 160 pp.


2004
Thommasen, Harvey, Kervin Hutchins, R. Wayne Campbell and Mark Hume. 2004. Birds of the
raincoast ? habits and habitats. Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC. 222 pp.

2005
Campbell, R. Wayne, Gregory Kennedy, Krista Kagume, and Carmen Adams. 2005. Compact
guide to British Columbia birds. Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, AB. 192 pp.
2007
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael I. Preston, and Linda M. Van Damme. 2007. British Columbia
nest record scheme 52nd annual report ? 2006 nesting season. Biodiversity Centre for
Wildlife Studies Report No. 8, Victoria, BC. 55 pp.
2008
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael I. Preston, and Linda M. Van Damme. 2008. British Columbia
nest record scheme 53rd annual report ? 2007 nesting season. Biodiversity Centre for
Wildlife Studies Report No. 9, Victoria, BC. 54 pp.
2009
Campbell, R. Wayne and Gregory Kennedy. 2009. Birds of British Columbia. Lone Pine
Publishing, Edmonton, AB. 384 pp.
Campbell, R. Wayne, Michael I. Preston, Linda M. Van Damme, and Mark Nyhof. 2009. British
Columbia nest record scheme 54th annual report ? 2008 nesting season. Biodiversity
Centre for Wildlife Studies Report No. 10, Victoria, BC. 73 pp.
2010
Campbell, R. Wayne, Linda M. Van Damme, Mark Nyhof, and Michael I. Preston. 2010. British
Columbia nest record scheme 55th annual report ? 2009 nesting season. Biodiversity
Centre for Wildlife Studies Report No. 12, Victoria, BC. 92 pp.
Hoar, Tyler L., Ken De Smet, and R. Wayne Campbell, and Gregory Kennedy. 2010. Birds of
Canada. Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton, AB. 528 pp.
2011
Campbell, R. Wayne, Linda M. Van Damme, Mark Nyhof, and Patricia Huet. 2011. British Columbia nest record scheme 56th annual report ? 2010 nesting season. Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies Report No. 13, Victoria, BC. 104 pp.

2012

Campbell, R. Wayne, Linda M. Van Damme, Mark Nyhof, and Patricia Huet. 2012. British Columbia nest record scheme 57th annual report ? 2011 nesting season. Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies Report No. 15, Victoria, BC. 110 pp.

2013

Campbell, R. Wayne and Phillip S. Henderson. 2013. An old-school naturalist: Glenn Roderick Ryder (1938-2013). Wildlife Afield 10 (2): 84-256.

Campbell, R. Wayne, Linda M. Van Damme, Mark Nyhof, and Patricia Huet. 2013. British Columbia nest record scheme 58th annual report ? 2012 nesting season. Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies Report No. 16, Victoria, BC. 112 pp.

2014

Rodway, Michael S., R. Wayne Campbell, and Moira J.F. Lemon. 2014. Seabird colonies of British Columbia: A history to 1990. Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies, Victoria, BC. 325 pp.
2015

Jakimchuk, Ronald D., R. Wayne Campbell and Dennis A. Demarchi. 2015. Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The legacy of a pioneering biologist, educator and conservationist. Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC. 399 pp.

[BCBW 2015]

McTaggart-Cowan biography
Article (2014)



Zoology professor Ian McTaggart-Cowan is the subject of Ian McTaggart-Cowan (Harbour 2014), the first comprehensive biography of one British Columbia's most distinguished scientists--a renowned biologist, educator and conservationist.

A major influence on David Suzuki when Suzuki was a student at UBC, McTaggart-Cowan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 25, 1910 and came to Canada in 1913. He taught in the zoology department of UBC from 1945 to 1975, serving as head of the faculty from 1953 to 1964. He was Dean of Graduate Studies from 1964 to 1975. He wrote many books and papers concerning mammals, birds, parasites, diseases and conservation,

McTaggart-Cowan was the scientific forefather of prolific naturalist and bird expert R. Wayne Campbell, one of the three co-authors of the McTaggart-Cowan biography, along with Ronald D. Jakimchuk and Dennis A. Demarchi. He served as an inspiration for David Suzuki's populist approach to science and environmental activism by hosting two widely-seen programs on national television in the 1960s, The Living Sea and The Web of Life, thereby prompting Suzuki to subsequently create The Nature of Things. Ian McTaggart-Cowan died on April 18, 2010, at the age of 99. The co-written biography was commenced as a project to mark his hoped-for 100th birthday that never came.

[BCBW 2014]

An Old-School Naturalist – Glenn Roderick Ryder
Review (2015)



[ALTHOUGH HE WAS NEVER THE SOLE AUTHOR OF A BOOK, GLENN RYDER CONTRIBUTED ENORMOUSLY TO THE WRITTEN RECORD OF WILDLIFE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.]

Not so great at school, Glenn Ryder would arrive late each day to, ahem, borrow a bicycle.

Not a hooligan or a troublemaker, he just wanted transportation to go exploring the natural world. He would always return the bike before the school bell at the end of the day.

He was caught only once.

This went on for years. In fact, his fascination for flora and fauna—and especially birds—lasted for a lifetime, as outlined in An Old-School Naturalist – Glenn Roderick Ryder (1938-2013), published by the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies ($25).

Over 70 years, Glenn Ryder amassed an amazing 44 linear feet of field notes on the natural and human history of the province. The province’s leading bird expert, R. Wayne Campbell, says Ryder’s lifelong passion for documentation of wildlife is “unparalleled for any naturalist (or biologist) in Canada and probably elsewhere…. In my opinion he was the most committed and experienced naturalist the province has known.”

The unprecedented vigilance of Glenn Ryder as an observer and recorder of animals and their environment in B.C. arose from extreme poverty. He and his brother were taken away from their parents after his father could not overcome the trauma of serving overseas in World War I.

As outlined in An Old-School Naturalist, Ryder spent his formative years in orphanages and foster homes and never completed primary school. But before he was three years old, Ryder was identifying birds seen along the waterfront in White Rock by comparing them with coloured pictures in books.

By five he had an innate passion for recording his encounters with wildlife but had not yet learned to write. His brother, and foster parents, recorded his field observations each day until Ryder learned to read and write. In particular, his brother, who was five years older, helped him identify birds.

Ryder was frequently distracted by animals he saw on his 5-mile trek to school and was lured to follow them. He was, however, street smart and learned how to avoid the classroom and instead spent time exploring the forests, fields and marshes.

The only time Ryder regularly attended classes was when he discovered a pair of American Kestrels nesting in the wall of the school house. He had to know the outcome. When he was sixteen, Ryder and his brother Donald camped and explored Sumas Mountain, a new territory for them. Ryder was so impressed with the diversity of plant and animal life that he decided to make it his personal amphitheater for the next 59 years.

Ryder also became an expert on the flora and fauna of Celista, Scotch Creek, Green Timbers Urban Forest (Fleetwood), Campbell Valley Regional Park (Langley), Tamarack Lake, and Stum Lake.

What made Ryder so unusual was his intense and committed attention to nature. Most naturalists would look at a bird such as the Northern Flicker at its nest and merely record its presence. What differentiated Ryder is that he took the time to sex the bird, check the contents of the nest, count the eggs or young, age the nestlings, watch the bird’s behaviour, and identify the tree and measure its diameter. It was this quality of value-added information that set Ryder apart and established him as one of the province’s great naturalists.

Ryder’s pursuits made him into an active conservationist. He and his brother Donald saw their first pair of Western Screech-Owls near Penticton in 1942 when he was four years old. When he moved to Surrey in 1954 to re-unite with his biological family, his interest in owls escalated. On his first outing to explore the woodlands that were still abundant near his parent’s house, he found a roosting family of Western Screech-Owls and over the next several months contemplated their future.

Ryder could see that most of the forests in the vicinity were second-growth and did not provide many of the natural nest cavities the owls needed for nesting. So he started a personal project, dubbed “Operation Owl,” to construct and place nest boxes throughout protected and natural woodlands in the Lower Mainland.

For nearly six decades, Ryder continued with this project and it is considered one of the primary reasons that small populations of Western Screech-Owls still exist in wooded regions of the Fraser River Valley.

Ryder may not have written in academic journals but he was recognized by those in the know. He was one of 28 ‘observer-naturalists’ highlighted in the definitive four-volume set The Birds of British Columbia published by UBC Press.

The Langley Field Naturalists and the Abbotsford-Mission Nature Club both gave Ryder honorary life memberships. In 2012, he received the Steve Cannings Award for contributions to ornithology from the B.C. Field Ornithologists.

Glenn Ryder—the bicycle thief—left behind a wealth of observational records and a legacy of conservation. Even though he wasn’t as eloquent and educated as great naturalists like Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau, R. Wayne Campbell argues persuasively his contributions were equally invaluable.

“He was one of B.C.’s most remarkable naturalists,” says Campbell. “He provided over seventy years of detailed baseline information that today can be used in interpreting the effects of climate change in the province as well as establishing conservation priorities, species population trends, and identifying critical habitats that require protection.”
Glenn Ryder died on October 2, 2013. An Old-School Naturalist – Glenn Roderick Ryder (1938-2013) is available for $25 (includes postage) from the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies (www.wildlifebc.org) via Pay Pal or cheque.

The publication was overseen by R. Wayne Campbell who has authored ore than 600 peer-reviewed and popular articles (mainly on birds) that includes some 35 books published by the Royal BC Museum, Lone Pine, UBC Press, Harbour Publishing, Discovery Press, Vancouver Natural History Society, Canadian Wildlife Service, BC Ministry of Environment, and BC Ministry of Forests. He was the lead author on the four-volume set The Birds of BC (UBC Press, 1990, 1997, 2001) to which Glenn Ryder was a major volunteer contributor.

[BCBW 2015]


Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist
Article (2015)


from BCBW (Autumn)
Harbour Publishing has released Ian McTaggart-Cowan: The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist (Harbour, $49.95), co-edited by R. Wayne Campbell with Ronald D. Jakimchuk and Dennis A. Demarchi, slightly in advance of Penn’s book.

Ian McTaggart-Cowan died on April 18, 2010, at the age of 99. The co-written biography from Campbell et al. was commenced as a project to mark his hoped-for 100th birthday.

McTaggart-Cowan’s milestones were many: he was the founder of the first Canadian university wildlife department and his early work in Canada’s national parks became the basis for wildlife conservation and environmental education.

McTaggart-Cowan addressed issues from climate change to endangered species before these topics were on the public’s radar.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1910, McTaggart-Cowan came to Canada in 1913. He taught in the zoology department of UBC from 1945 to 1975, serving as head of the faculty from 1953 to 1964.
At UBC, where McTaggart-Cowan became dean of Graduate Studies from 1964 to 1975, he served as an inspiration for David Suzuki’s populist approach to science and environmental activism. McTaggart-Cowan’s two widely-seen programs on national television in the 1960s, The Living Sea and The Web of Life, prompted Suzuki to create The Nature of Things.

McTaggart-Cowan was similarly a scientific forefather for prolific naturalist and bird expert R. Wayne Campbell, one of the editors of The Birds of British Columbia (UBC Press 2001).

978-1-55017-623-0.