Thu, 14 Feb 2019
Tags: Wildlife

Feel the love today!

Haida and Pup
Oli Gardner for https://marmots.org/

Featuring Vancouver Island marmot mama Haida and her pup (possibly Muffin). Haida was born in 2002 and was one of the first released from Mountain View Conservation Centre. Despite the challenges of learning to survive in the wild, Haida went on to produce her first litter in 2006. One of those pups was Muffin. Now 12 years old, Muffin still lives at Haley Lake. She is currently hibernating with marmot Alan, and we are hoping that the pair produce a litter of pups this summer! Haida passed away a few years ago, but her loving legacy lives on.

HCTF continues to fund grants in support of the conservation of this endangered species <3

Tue, 12 Feb 2019

Keeping watch for invasive mussels

Nerissa-Abbott-CKISS-Plankton-net
Nerissa Abbott, a CKISS Invasive Species technician using a plankton net at Gyro Park in Trail to collect samples that get sent to a lab for testing. The lab will test for free-swimming microscopic mussel larvae, called veligers.

Vigilance is the price of keeping our waters free of invasive mussels. According to the 2018 interim report on the Provincial Mussel Defence Program, of the 38,000 watercraft inspected during the 2018 operating season 25 boats were confirmed to have highly invasive zebra and/or quagga mussels. Luckily these mussel-fouled boats were stopped, as they were destined for waters all over BC!

To date, BC is still free of invasive mussels, and many groups such as The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) are working hard to keep it that way. The CKISS and other HCTF-funded organisations are monitoring for the mussels across the province. From June through October 2018, the CKISS collected 350 samples at 34 sites within nine different high priority waterbodies. To date, the province has analyzed 812 samples from across B.C. and all have come back negative for invasive mussels.

Keep up the good work monitors!

Wed, 6 Feb 2019

WANTED: Reports of dead bats and of bats flying during winter

Hibernating Little Brown Bats - Al Hicks

Pubic help needed to monitor for bat disease

BC bats are threatened by disease, and researchers are again asking for the public to help. 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 just 150 km south of the BC-US border, the presence of the fungus is very worrisome for the health of our bat populations. The disease has near 100% mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus, including the familiar Little Brown Myotis. 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 believe that our bats hibernate in relatively small groups across the province” says Mandy Kellner. “Detecting WNS in our province will require many eyes on the ground”. The typical first sign of this disease is bats flying during the winter, an unusual sighting at a time of year when bats should be hibernating. Another sign of the presence of WNS is the appearance of dead bats outdoors as they succumb to the effects of WNS.

“We are encouraging the public to report dead bats or any sightings of winter bat activity to the Community Bat Project (CBP) toll-free phone number, website, or email below. Bat carcasses will be submitted for testing for White Nose Syndrome and would provide the earliest indication of the presence of the disease in BC” says Kellner. Reports of winter bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts.

If you find a dead bat, report it to the CBP (1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or info@bcbats.ca) as soon as possible for further information. Never touch a dead bat with your bare hands. Please note that if you or your pet has been in direct contact with the bat you will need further information regarding the risk of rabies to you and your pet.

Currently there are no treatments for White Nose Syndrome. However, mitigating other threats to bat populations and preserving and restoring bat habitat may provide bat populations with the resilience to rebound. This is where the BC Community Bat Program and the general public can help.

Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the Province of BC, and the Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program works with the government and others on public outreach activities, public reports of roosting bats in buildings, and our citizen-science bat monitoring program.

To contact the BC Community Bat Program, see www.bcbats.ca, email info@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 24.

HCTF is providing funding for the BC Community Bat Program through grants to project 0-476, Got Bats? B.C. Community Outreach, Conservation and Citizen Science Project

Tue, 5 Feb 2019
Tags: Stewardship

Enhanced farmland benefits farmers and fowl!

Snow-Cackling-Geese-Grazing-sm
Snow & Cackling Geese grazing on winter cover crop in Richmond.

HCTF grant recipients Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust have been working with farming operations on the Fraser River delta to enhance farmland with winter cover crops of cereal grasses, forage grasses, clovers and legume mixtures. Not only does this enrich the fertility of the soil, it also provides much needed fuel for migrating waterfowl passing through the delta.

“This project directly supports Delta and Richmond farmers committed to land stewardship. These 18 farmers have established over 2,850 acres of winter cover crops on farmland for the 2018 project year.” says Program Manager Drew Bondar.

Mon, 21 Jan 2019

Hop to it! Go Grants Deadline is February 15, 2019!

GoGrants

The focus of GO Grants is to help get students learning and participating in hands-on experiences in nature. Field trip grant applications are available to K-12 classes and schools in BC to experience BC’s biodiversity.

For more information visit: https://www.hctfeducation.ca/go-grants/

Tue, 15 Jan 2019

Invasive Mussel Monitoring Grant Deadline!

A reminder to all applicants that our 2019 deadline for applications is January 28, 2019 at 4:30 PM PST

For more information visit: Invasive Mussel Monitoring Grants