NEW Invasive Mussels Lake Monitoring Grants

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has created a new granting program to fund invasive mussel monitoring in British Columbia’s lakes and rivers.    Zebra ( Dreissena polymorpha ) and quagga ( Dreissena rostriformis bugensis ) mussels are two freshwater invasive species that are not currently found in BC, but pose significant environmental and economic risks if introduced. You can read more about the potential impacts of these invasive species  here .  This new program will provide grants to organizations for sampling BC lakes and rivers to test for the presence of zebra and quagga mussels. Application information is available here .      This program is made possible by a $450,000 contribution from BC’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV).       Download the Invasive Mussel Lake Monitoring Grants brochure .

New Conservation Grant Specialist

Last week, we welcomed Courtney Sieben to the HCTF team as our new Conservation Grant Specialist. Courtney recently moved to Victoria from Calgary, where she worked as an Environmental Analyst on oil and gas infrastructure projects. Courtney has a BSc with a biological sciences major/mathematical sciences minor from the University of Alberta and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) from the University of Calgary. As Conservation Grant Specialist, Courtney will be facilitating HCTF’s application and review process.  She has inherited this role from long-time HCTF staff member Jane Algard, whose involvement with the Foundation stretches back to 1983. Courtney will be working with Jane until the end of this month when she begins her well-deserved retirement. On behalf of the Board and staff at HCTF,  a big welcome to Courtney, and a huge thank you to Jane for her many contributions to HCTF over the past four decades.    

Update on the Fisher Den Box Project

Can’t get enough fisher footage ? HCTF project leader Larry Davis has put together another video update on the artificial den box project with some fantastic video captured with some innovative use of a Go-Pro and a selfie-stick:   Larry writes: “Work at the start of this fiscal year focused on identifying any den boxes that were being used by fishers for reproductive purposes. We monitored all den boxes on a monthly basis by inspecting the inside of each box with a Go-Pro camera inserted through the door. In addition, hair-snaggers installed at the entrance of each box are examined and these were collected when any hair was present. Den boxes that were receiving attention by fishers also had motion detection cameras positioned to capture video of any fisher using the structure. DNA samples from the winter of 2016-17 and the 2017 denning period were submitted for analysis in July 2017. Results of the analysis indicate 26 fisher samples were obtained out of the 39 samples submitted. Other species in the samples included red squirrel (8), American marten, (4), and one black bear. Of the fisher samples, we had 9 different individuals leave DNA at the denboxes (7F and 2M)...
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HCTF Welcomes Al Gorley and Greg Anderson to the BOD

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) would like to congratulate Al Gorley and Greg Anderson on their election to the HCTF Board of Directors. Both Greg and Al have extensive experience in the BC natural resources sector, with experience in all regions of BC.   Al Gorley is a Professional Forester and President of Triangle Resources Incorporated. Prior to becoming a consultant, Al held a number of positions with the BC Forest Service, including District Manager at Houston, Regional Manager at Prince George, and Assistant Deputy Minister. He was also the Vice President and Chief Operation Officer of Forest Renewal BC. Al served on the Association of BC Forest Professionals Council for four years, including a term as President in 1992. He is the past president of the McGregor Model Forest Association and has played an active role in both the Canadian and International Model Forest Network.  Al has been a member of the province's Environmental Appeal Board and Forest Appeals Commission since 2004. In 2016, Al authored a report commissioned by the BC government making recommendations to restore moose populations in BC.   Greg Anderson recently retired as Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC .  This...
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Public Help Needed to Monitor Spread of Deadly Bat Disease

  BC bats may be threatened by disease, and researchers are asking for the public's help in monitoring for the disease. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America, has moved to the west coast. Confirmed in Washington State in both 2016 and 2017, the presence of the fungus is very worrisome for the health of bat populations in British Columbia, with near 100% mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus. Although devastating for bats, WNS does not affect humans. The BC Community Bat Program in collaboration with the BC Government is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of this disease. “We knew this deadly fungus was moving westward across North America,” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program, “but we thought we had many years to prepare.” Instead, the disease has suddenly appeared in the west, spurring BC researchers into action. Because so little is known about where BC bats hibernate, researchers want to hear from anyone who sees a bat flying during winter, which can be an early sign of the disease.  Another sign of the presence of WNS...
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