Three major air masses converge in Sub Region: wet coastal air from the west, cold plateau air from the north, and dry interior air from the east. Annual precipitation varies from 2,000 mm in the west to 300mm in the east. Much of the area is semi-arid, in the Coast Mountains’ rain shadow. As a result of the climatic diversity, there is an abundance of wildlife in the area, with a great number of species.
Of the pool of priority species that have suitable habitat in the Plan area, the species included in the plan were chosen according to the following five guidelines:
- Is the species at risk or threatened?
- Is the species an invasive species?
- Is this an introduced species that is causing significant damage to the population numbers of indigenous species that are important to ecological balance within the Sub Region?
- Is the species of historical or cultural significance?
- Is the species of economic importance?
- Does the presence of this species contribute significantly to the economy of the Sub Region?
- Is the species of ecological importance?
- Is there significant dependence upon this species by other species or for the maintenance of ecological balance?
More species will be added to the plan as it evolves. The species included have been organized by type because there will be general management plans for the each whole group. The groups included are ungulates, fur bearers, predators, upland birds, birds of prey and waterfowl. For each species, general issues will be addressed first, followed by issues specific to each species’ population.
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program ( FWCP) has put together an Action Plan to manage and conserve the at risk species. The management objective is the maintenance or the improvement of the species populations status and their habitat. The second focus is on the development and improvement of sustainable activities that are already taking place in the area such as hunting, bird watching or wildlife viewing. The main species that are considered ‘at risk’ and considered by the action plan are the Roosevelt Elk, Vancouver Island Marmot, Great Blue Heron, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Band-Tailed Pigeon and Northern Red-Legged Frog.The research for these species is on the obstacles faced during migratory season and deviations that can occur. The other research will focus on species habitat which will be different for each species, within the locations of streams, wetlands and riparian areas. The projects are organised into five different categories: research and information acquisition, habitat based action, land securement, monitor and evaluating.
Some of the plans are already taking place are being implemented and the FWCP is helping fund the projects. For example the Vancouver Island Marmot Action Plan consists of a recovery strategic management project that is ongoing and should remain to increase the marmot’s population. However, the northern red-legged frog does not have an implemented action plan from FWCP but other plans are already in place and funded by FWCP. In conclusions, the major focus of the FWCP is the protection of the wildlife and plants that were affected by any of the watershed creations in the past.
Source: Campbell River Watershed
British Columbia is the province with the highest number of species in Canada. A lot of theses species are endangered. According to the B.C. Conservation Data Centre, at least 1,918 species or wildlife populations are now at risk or are already lost. Most of the wildlife, like bears and birds, don’t spend the whole year in the same region and therefore can be safe on one side of the border. However, the other jurisdiction still allows to exploit and hunt them. Species like this are called transboundary species. It is obvious that animals and plants don’t recognize political or administrative jurisdictions that separate parts of their habitat. Therefore, transboundary species need a persistence and sustainable range across the borders to protect them. The majority of the wildlife in B.C. are transboundary and a great number of them are also at risk of disappearing from the province or they are already eliminated. 68 percent of B.C reptiles and turtles are transboundary and at risk, almost 20 percent of them are already lost. There are different reasons why we should protect them. One reason is to maintain a fully functioning and healthy ecosystem to help species to adapt to global warming by reducing stressors. There are a range of legislation which lists endangered species but unfortunately it does not require their habitat to be protected. There are several recommendations for the future such as enacting a new legislation that identifies species at risk and provide for their protection and recovery as well as habitat protection. B.C. should consider all transboundary species, including peripheral, equally at risk. Another important legislation is to help them to adapt to global warming. B.C should recognize the importance of transboundary and peripheral species over the long-term. In addition to protecting ecosystems and species at risk it is also necessary to more effectively coordinate protection activities with neighbouring jurisdictions.