New moth species discovered near Logan Lake given Indigenous scientific name

New species of moth found

A new type of moth has been discovered near Logan Lake and given a First Nations species name.

Skwunkwlitkaxni (pronounced shkwoon-kwleet-kaxh-nee), also known as the brown copper moth, was given its species name in nle7kepmxcín after consultation with nle7kepmx elders, according to a news release from the Citxw Nlaka'pamux Assembly, a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2013 to manage and administer the agreements relating to Teck Highland Valley Copper Mine and eight area First Nations.

The moth was discovered last year during joint research for the Highland Valley Copper Biodiversity Monitoring Program.

Sixty-four individual moths were collected from 27 sample locations spread between the HVC mine site, the Logan Lake burn area and three off-site reference sites.

"Naming this newly discovered species in nle7kepmxcín is not just a scientific endeavour — it's a testament to the enduring legacy of the nle7kepmx and our deep-rooted connection with tmixw [the land]," said Nicole Johnny, executive director of the CNA and acting general manager of K'en T'em, an Indigenous-owned for-profit corporation representing the eight bands that are part of the CNA.

Field sampling was conducted between July and September.

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