One of several insects approved for release in North America in 1989, and widely used in Western Canada for weed control of leafy spurge, on which it lays its eggs. The larva feeds on the spurge’s roots and kills the weed.
The Arrow Lakes Reservoir was created in 1968, by the impoundment of
the Columbia River, which flowed through two natural lakes - Upper Arrow
and Lower Arrow - and has a surface area of 51,600 ha with water storage
capabilities of 8.8 billion m_. Water levels are maintained between 420
and 440.1 m. The water flow is regulated between the Revelstoke Dam, Hugh
Keenleyside Dam and the Arrow Lakes Generating Station.
|Badger, American (East Kootenay)
A predominantly nocturnal, secretive animal that spends daylight hours
underground, the badger is poorly understood because of the inherent difficulty
in collecting information on the species. The badger (Taridea taxus jeffersonii)
is one of four subspecies of the North American badger, and its B.C. range
is limited strictly to the southern iInterior and the southern part of
the Cariboo region.
The badger’s body and other physical characteristics have moulded
uniquely to its fossorial (adapted to digging) existence. It is a stout,
compact animal, built low to the ground, with very muscular forelegs and
curved claws up to five cm long, toes partially webbed to remove loose
soil, and a body nearly as wide as it is long, allowing greater maneuverability
The badger breeds from May to August but implantation is delayed until
January or February. The female gives birth to an average of two young
in March/April after an eight-week gestation period. The delayed implantation,
a unique characteristic of only several mammals including the black bear,
helps synchronize birth with maximum food availability to enhance survival
rate. Females breed very early, occasionally having young before they
are two years old.
An insect (or micro-organism) introduced in a controlled setting to
help manage or eliminate a specific species (e.g., leafy spurge or purple
loosestrife) where other control mechanisms such as herbicides are ineffective
or environmentally unsafe.
The variety, distribution, and abundance of different plants, animals,
and micro-organisms relative to the ecological functions they perform within
a specific area or region.
A map of the physical/geographical characteristics of a region combined
with data that is relevant to wildlife habitat, including soil moisture
conditions and vegetation.
The American Black bear currently occupies about 85% of its historical
range and has been eliminated from most of the more southerly regions of
all provinces, primarily through human encroachment. The black bear (ursus
americanus) requires a mixed forest habitat with a variety of tree and shrub
species of varying ages. While mainly vegetarians, they are also scavengers
and attracted to carrion which they can scent up to a mile away. Black bears
have the lowest reproductive rates of any land mammal in North America—with
the possible exception of the muskox. They have several remarkable characteristics:
although they mate in midsummer, the fertilized eggs remain unattached to
the female’s uterus until fall when their minimum body weight in preparation
for hibernation is attained. The cubs are born late December to early February,
and the mother nurtures them without having consumed any food for up to
A vulnerable fish or animal that is particularly sensitive to human
activities or natural events, and for which:
a) populations have recovered or increased to a point where extinction is
unlikely as long as currently available habitat is preserved or managed;
b) populations have experienced no evidence of a decrease for the last three
to five years;
c) populations are so low that the species is uncommon within its range
or confined to a small geographic area;
d) the species’ habitat requires protection and the regulation of
other activities in the area.
Bobolinks are small relatives of blackbirds, meadowlarks and orioles
that breed in scattered, small populations throughout the Southern Interior
in moist hayfields in valley bottoms. Much of the Bobolink's habitat is
privately owned, so landowners are encouraged to assist the continued survival
of this bird by delaying hay-cutting until after the bird's nesting season.
The Bobolink has the longest migration of any North American songbird, spending
the winter months in the pampas (native grasslands) of Brazil and Argentina.
The capture of adult fish to obtain eggs and milt, primarily used in
hatcheries to increase fish production.
Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) are members of the char family and
have recently been classified as a separate species from Dolly Varden. Found
in lakes and streams throughout the upper and lower Columbia and Kootenay
systems, bull trout are identified by a dusky-coloured dorsal fin without
bold black marks, and spots on the trout’s sides that are not surrounded
by light haloes. The fish is a sub-surface feeder with kokanee as its primary
food source. Bull trout mature slowly and often reach five to seven years
of age before beginning to spawn. They can live for more than 20 years and
can reach a size of 13.5 kg.
The burbot (Lota lota) is a member of the codfish family and recognized
by its long body, elongated dorsal and anal fins, and a single barbel on
the tip of the chin. Burbot, which grow up to 100 cm, are found in large
lakes and rivers throughout the Columbia River Basin. The primary food sources
for larger burbot include kokanee and other small fish, as well as aquatic
insect larvae and mysid shrimp. The burbot, a sport fish, is also known
as ling cod, and spawns in February at night time under the ice in shallow
bays or streams. A number of burbot will mill together to form a large ball
which may stay together for several minutes. The burbot’s liver contains
oil comparable to salt-water cod in vitamin richness.
Most often refers to the uppermost layer of foliage in a forest stand,
but the term can be used to describe lower layers in a multi-storied stand.
It includes above-ground leaves, branches, and vegetation that provide shade
and cover for fish and wildlife.
To manage human use of living (animals, plants) and non-living (e.g., soils, nutrients) resources within an ecosystem in an attempt to restore, enhance, protect, and sustain the quality and quantity of a desired mix of species and ecosystem conditions for present and future generations.
The collection of data specific to the number of fish caught by sport
fishers on a particular stream or in a particular area.
|Drawdown or drawdown zone
The controlled limited drainage of a body of water such as a marsh to
improve wildlife habitat and food values. Commonly it is the area of mud
(for freshwater bodies) that becomes exposed during the months when water
levels drop, either as a result of natural factors such as reduced precipitation
during the summer months or because of dams with flood control or power
Completed in 1967 and the first of three BC Hydro Columbia River Treaty
dams, Duncan Dam is located 42 km north of Kaslo. The 40 metre-high structure
created a 45 km long reservoir with a surface area of 7,150 ha that holds
1.7 billion m_ of water.
A 200-ha parcel of property in the Meadow Creek area purchased by CBFWCP
in 1998 and enhanced for its wildlife values. The property is adjacent to
eight similar and inter-connected properties in the area, which together
form corridors for travelling wildlife.
To heighten specific environmental values of a habitat or ecosystem
by management intervention to reduce the severity of undesirable impacts.
To increase specific environmental values of a habitat or ecosystem. For
wildlife this may include a wide of techniques such as slashing, thinning,
weed control or prescribed burning and for fish, hatchery programs, fertilization,
or habitat complexing in streams.
The number of adult fish that return to their spawning grounds in a
given period of time.
The elimination or disappearance of a species or subspecies from a particular
area, but not from its entire range.
All of the animal life found in a specific region; e.g., Columbia Basin.
Adding nutrients, usually phosphorus and nitrogen, to a body of water
that are essential to the growth and well-being of its living organisms.
Comprised of five members, two each from the provincial Ministry of
Environment and BC Hydro, and one from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. This
committee is responsible for the review, evaluation, and recommendation
of fisheries-related projects submitted to CBFWCP.
Fry refers to the second developmental stage of young salmon and trout.
During this stage, the fry is usually less than one year old, has absorbed
its yolk sac, and is rearing in the stream. The main stages of development
are: egg, fry, juvenile, and adult, which is when sexual maturity has been
A strain of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) native to the Columbia
Basin system, the adult Gerrard are primarily lake dwellers and not normally
found in rivers or streams, except during spawning. A slow-growing fish,
the Gerrard matures later than most rainbow strains and can live for up
to 20 years. It feeds mainly on kokanee salmon, which helps account for
the size of up to 16 kg that this popular sport fish can achieve. Gerrard
trout over 4.5 kg consume around 200 kokanee per year. A lake with 3,000
Gerrard rainbow trout would eat about 600,000 kokanee annually. The Gerrard
rainbow trout spawn only in the Lardeau River system.
A wildlife enhancement technique used to create food for browsing ungulates
by stimulating suckering (creation of new growth) of favourable browse from
shrubs, and to create habitat in trees for cavity-nesting birds and small
The Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is a subspecies of the
Brown bBear, which also includes the Kodiak Bear. Grizzlies are slow-growing
and long-living (20 – 25 years) with low reproductive rates averaging
two cubs per litter every three to six years. Females can grow up to 280
kg (640 lb.) while males can achieve sizes of 500 kg (1150 lb.) depending
on the food supply within their range. Grizzlies have only six months
to obtain sufficient food to last a full year. Pregnant females have less
time because they den earlier and exit later. The species have relatively
short stomachs. Consumed food passes rapidly through their systems resulting
in a high rate of food consumption. In fact, starting around mid-July,
grizzlies feed 20 hours a day and consume more than 20,000 kcal (1 kcal
= 1,000 calories) a day in preparation for hibernation. Grizzlies compete
directly—and often aggressively—with humans for food and space,
which greatly affects their nutritional levels and survival.
Contrary to popular belief, grizzlies have good eyesight and hearing.
Their sense of smell is excellent. Grizzlies are omnivores and their movement
patterns within their range are determined by the quality of their food
supply at different times of the year. Grasses, herbaceous plants, roots
tubers and berries make up a large proportion of their diet but in spring
winter-starved, or young ungulates make up a larger proportion of their
diet, as do spawning salmon in the fall.
The application of logs, rocks, and/or vegetation to enhance stream
habitat for fish. For example, boulders that change the water-flow patterns
and offer fish shelter are said to add complexity. Primarily, this allows
for better spawning and rearing habitat as well as providing cover for fish.
The hibernating, over winter habitat for bats, typically found in abandoned
mines, abandoned buildings, and similar enclosures. It also refers to over
wintering habitat for snakes such as under uneathered bedrock, in stone
walls, or holes in the earth.
The area that an animal traverses in the scope of normal activities,
such as feeding. For example, the home range of a male badger in the East
Kootenay area can be 500 sq. km, typically much larger than the home range
of badgers studied in the U.S.
|Hugh Keenleyside Dam
Hugh Keenleyside Dam, located eight km east of Castlegar, controls a drainage area of 22,560 sq. km in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir extending 232 km north to Revelstoke. The dam, 52 m high and 853 m long, includes a navigation lock, providing passage for river traffic.
The process of interbreeding between two different species, such as
yellow fin rainbow trout with other rainbow trout species, either in the
wild or under artificial conditions.
Hugh Keenleyside Dam, located eight km east of Castlegar, controls a drainage area of 22,560 sq km in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir extending 232 km north to Revelstoke. The dam, 52 m high and 853 m long, includes a navigation lock providing passage for river traffic.
Created as a result of the Mica Dam and generating station, this 216km-long
water storage reservoir can see its water level decrease/increase by up
to 24 m -with a surface area of 42,500 ha—from 754 m in late summer
to 730 m in April.
Introduced from Eurasia in the early 1900s and with no natural enemies
or parasites, knapweed spread rapidly across B.C. and has become well-established
in this area over the past three decades. Both types of the weed, Diffuse
and Spotted, are present in the Columbia Basin. Diffuse knapweed is recognizable
by its white (sometimes pink or purple) urn-shaped flower surrounded by
yellowish-green bracts with narrow stiff spines. Spotted knapweed has
pink to purple flowers with a black-tipped fringe, giving the flower head
a spotted appearance. Both types contain volatile oils which have an extremely
bitter, non-poisonous taste.
Both species invade grassland sites and out-compete all native vegetation.
As well as severely reducing the grasses and herbs that are the food supply
of domestic animals, knapweed encroachment can also destroy wildlife forage
resulting in significant declines in deer and elk populations. Over 40,000
ha (100,000 acres) in B.C. are currently infested, potentially reducing
forage by up to 90% in some areas. Successful long-term control requires
a combination of proper grazing management, judicious herbicide use, bio-agent
control, and a high level of public awareness and responsibility. While
these plants are highly resistant to most herbicides, several insects
have proven effective, including seed-reducing flies and moths, and a
Sockeye salmon that became landlocked in B.C. lakes after the last ice
age and adapted to their freshwater habitat, kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)
occupy open waters at intermediate depths. While their primary food source
is zooplankton and phytoplankton, kokanee will also eat insects and mysid
shrimp. Kokanee have retained many of the biological and instinctive characteristics
of their sockeye ancestors. After four to five years in the lake, red-flanked
adult salmon will return to their spawning stream in the fall, lay and fertilize
their eggs, and then die. The kokanee, which can grow to 4.5 kg, is a popular
sport fish but serves a more important function as the main food source
for other fish species including adult bull trout, Gerrard rainbow trout
and white sturgeon.
Formed by the Libby Dam in Montana as part of the Canada/U.S. Columbia
River Treaty, this reservoir is 145 km long, with the upper 68 km located
in B.C. Water levels are controlled by the Libby Dam at Libby, Montana,
77 km south of the B.C. border. The dam, constructed and operated by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is owned by the U.S. government.
A perennial, hardy weed that spreads by seeds as well as buds on persistent,
creeping roots, leafy spurge is an aggressive competitor with no natural
enemies. The weed grows quickly in clumps, forming dense and extensive stands.
A non-indigenous plant, leafy spurge has spread from Pacific Northwest states
into the grasslands and open forests of the southern B.C. interior, including
the East Kootenay and Boundary regions. All parts of the plant contain a
milky-coloured latex juice that can poison livestock and cause skin irritations
on humans. Herbicides are ineffective in controlling leafy spurge. The best
control methods involve using approved Eurasian bio-agents, specifically
several subspecies of flea-beetles and moths.
While the Lewis’s woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) ranges throughout
southern B.C., Bull Mountain is one of the only known local wintering habitat
sites in Western Canada., It can grow to 29 cm from beak to tail, is identifiable
by the extensive pinkish-red belly (the only North American woodpecker with
this colour) and wide black wings. The preferred habitat of the Lewis’s
woodpecker is open ponderosa pine forest, scattered or logged forests, and
The study of aquatic ecology or interactions between aquatic organisms
and their physical and chemical environments.
The study of in-land waters (both saline and fresh), specifically lakes,
rivers and ponds (both natural and manmade), including their biological,
physical, chemical, and hydrological aspects.
The largest of the three Columbia River Treaty hydroelectric developments,
Mica rises 244 m above the riverbed and is an earth-fill structure made
up of 33 million cu. m of gravel, sand, rock, and glacial till. The dam,
located 135 km north of Revelstoke, has been in operation since 1973. Mica
Dam impounds the Kinbasket Reservoir and regulates water flow into Revelstoke
To reduce the severity of impacts on fish or wildlife habitat.
The moose (Alces alces) is the largest member of the deer family and
one of the largest land mammals in North America. Males can weigh up to
595 kg and females 418 kg. The life cycle of the moose begins with rutting
season from early September to late November. After a gestation period
of eight months, females typically give birth to one calf, although two
is not uncommon, in late May or June. The pregnant female seeks seclusion
as birth time approaches and will aggressively drive away her young from
the previous year to devote her attention to the new calf. The newborn
calf is licked copiously and regularly, establishing a strong cow-calf
bond. Moose calves receive a substantial proportion of their food from
their mother’s milk until fall.
There are four subspecies of moose including the Columbia Basin’s
Shira’s moose (Alces alces shirasi). They are solitary animals and
keep to a small home range of five to 10 sq. km. While moose are not territorial,
cows are very aggressive to one another during the rut, in contrast to
other antlered species. Moose are a very hardy and adaptable species,
evident in that they winter successfully in some of the coldest regions
of the world. They will adapt to a variety of available forage, but their
preference is early succession plants found in new growth areas after
fires and logging, such as willow, forbs, and aquatic plants.
The primary limiting factor of moose populations is good habitat. Their
winter mortality is related to snow depth, density, hardness, and the
duration of these factors. As well as restricting forage, deep snow leaves
moose snowbound and vulnerable to wolf predation. Other causes of mortality
include: bear predation on calves in spring; competition for forage with
deer, elk, and livestock; and collisions with vehicles and trains.
The Mountain caribou (Rangifer tarandus) is a member of the deer family.
Caribou are unique in that both the male and females have antlers. Non-pregnant
females shed their antlers in March or April, while pregnant females will
shed their antlers at the time of calving. Breeding occurs during a one-week
period between mid and late October and, after a gestation of 228 days,
90% of the females will give birth to a single calf within a 10-day period.
The reproduction rate of caribou is low while the mortality rate is high.
While calves are able to follow their mothers around within one hour of
birth, they are highly vulnerable to predation. Calf mortality can exceed
90% where there are high densities of wolves and/or grizzlies. As well,
calves are susceptible to wind chill and starvation.
Caribou are highly adapted to their environment and adaptable to a changing
environment. They eat a wider variety of plants than other deer species,
but prefer green vascular plants, mushrooms, grasses, sedges, and cottongrass.
In winter, when the snow crust will support their weight, caribou will
shift from open habitats to forest cover seeking arboreal lichens growing
on coniferous trees. As well, they can smell food buried under snow up
to 18 cm. Ideal winter feeding conditions include: irregular terrain with
variable snow depths; habitat with three-vegetation strata-ground, shrubs
and well-spaced trees; and shallow, hard snow.
The populations of Rocky Mountain Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus)
are larger than all 11 mule deer subspecies in North America combined.
Remarkably adaptable, this mule deer is migratory and will travel 80 km
or more from summer to winter ranges. They breed in November/December
and will typically bear two fawns in June, which minimizes fawn exposure
to late spring or early fall snowstorms.
Mule deer capitalize on abundant and nutritious forage in summer and fall
for growth and weight gain, and minimize intake and expenditure in winter
when energy costs are high and forage is poor. They store fat rapidly
from April to October, but deplete most of it by December and reach a
low weight in March. Females gain and lose weight more slowly and reach
their low weight in May. The survival of mule deer is a matter of enduring
very long periods of inadequate forage, an environment they have evolved
in and adapted to in North America. Intermediate feeders rather than browsers,
mule deer consume a wide range of forage types in a wide range of climatic
conditions. Major causes of population declines are: human encroachment
in deer habitat, predation, forest fire suppression, forest encroachment,
excessive hunting, and collision with vehicles.
Mysid shrimp (Mysis relicta) are an exotic shrimp introduced into Kootenay
Lake from Upper Waterton Lake (Alberta) in 1949 as a supplementary food
source for intermediate-sized rainbow trout, and in Arrow Lakes Reservoir
in 1968 for young fish-eating trout. Instead, the mysid shrimp became an
efficient competitor with kokanee for zooplankton. However, mysids are an
important food source for white sturgeon and burbot.
A colourless, tasteless, odourless gaseous element that makes up 78%
of the earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen is an essential component of
proteins and nucleic acids required by all living organisms. In the aquatic
food chain, nitrogen enters lakes through the air as nitrates where it
is converted to complex organic compounds by bacterial action and absorbed
by drifting microscopic plants called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is
consumed by zooplankton, which in turn is eaten by mysid shrimp and kokanee
salmon. These salmon are the main food source of bull trout and Gerrard
rainbow trout. When aquatic living organisms die and decay, the complex
organic compounds are reduced to nitrates again to complete the nitrogen
If lakes don’t have adequate water flows and circulation, the nitrates
settle on the bottom where they are locked in and effectively removed
from the nitrogen cycle and the food chain. This reduces the abundance
of phytoplankton and the domino effect can contribute to declines in kokanee
populations and sizes.
The Northern Leopard frog (Rana pipiens ) was once a very common species
in southern B.C. and north-western U.S. and a favourite specimen in high
school biology experiments. Their populations have been decimated as a result
of several factors including: diseases believed to be related to environmental
stress, habitat loss, and increase in ultraviolet light exposure resulting
from a thinning ozone layer. Their preferred habitat is marshes, wet meadows,
riverbanks, and moist, open woods.
The Northern Long-Eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) is one of the rarest
bats in B.C., two of only three known locations are in the Revelstoke area.
Its diverse diet includes caddis flies, moths, beetles, flies, and leafhoppers.
They hibernate alone in caves and abandoned mines. They have small maternity
colonies of up to 30 individuals, and females produce a single young in
late June/early July.
The amount of nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, found
in water bodies that contribute to the overall health of these ecosystems.
A body of water with very low nutrient levels that would offer little
to sustain life. Usually these waters are poor in dissolved nutrients, have
low photosynthetic productivity, and are rich in dissolved oxygen at all
The study of the physical properties of freshwater lakes in prehistoric
times, specifically Upper Arrow Lakes Reservoir geochemistry (nitrogen,
carbon, and phosphorus) conditions, algae evolution, and fossil zooplankton.
A microscopic plant life that is an important source of food for zooplankton,
which is, in turn, food for kokanee and mysid shrimp. Fertilization projects
underway in Kootenay Lake and the Arrow Lakes Reservoir are adding nitrogen
and phosphorus to these water systems to produce healthy levels of phytoplankton
to stimulate the food chain.
An allotropic (element that can exist in two or more forms; e.g.,
diamonds and graphite are allotropes of carbon) non-metallic element in
phosphates, phosphorus is a nutrient required by all living organisms.
Phosphates occur naturally in the different strata of rocks throughout
the earth, including under bodies of water such as lakes. In the aquatic
food chain, phosphates are leached into the water where it is converted
by bacteria into the complex organic compound, phosphorus, and absorbed
by phytoplankton (drifting microscopic plants).
Phytoplankton is consumed by zooplankton, which in turn is eaten by mysid
shrimp and kokanee salmon. These salmon are the main food source of bull
trout and Gerrard rainbow trout. When aquatic living organisms die and
decay, the complex organic compounds are reduced to phosphates again to
complete the cycle. Some phosphates settle on the bottom where they are
locked in and effectively removed from the food chain. This reduces the
abundance of phytoplankton and the domino effect can contribute to declines
in kokanee populations and sizes.
The planned use of carefully controlled fire for habitat enhancement.
Prescribed burns are commonly used to prepare a site for planting, create
a better quality browse for wildlife, manage a fire hazard, and reduce pest
problems. The timing of the burn is determined by a combination of conditions
including weather, fuel moisture, soil moisture, and relative humidity to
ensure the fire is confined to the planned area. Prescribed burns by the
CBFWCP may be postponed for several years because of unfavourable weather
The gain in weight which the total number of a species in a specified
area (e.g., kokanee in Kootenay Lake), or the total number of all living
organisms in a specified area accumulates in a given period of time.
To manage the conservation of ecosystems, habitat, or species by management
Improvements to habitats to ensure the preservation of resident fish
and wildlife populations.
An important focus of the CBFWCP whereby residents and interested groups
are encouraged to submit specific projects in which they will participate
and that will protect or enhance fish, wildlife, or their habitats in the
Accidentally introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800s, purple
loosestrife has made a slow, relentless invasion of wetlands across Canada.
While the weed prefers wetlands, it is as devastatingly effective in dry-land
habitats. Each plant can produce up to 2.7 million seeds a year. Growing
up to two m high with square woody stocks, a colony of purple loosestrife
forces wildlife to consume native vegetation around the weed, creating more
space for new loosestrife to grow. Pulling and digging the plants by hand,
a labour-intensive exercise, is still one of the most effective ways of
dealing with the infestation problem.
Areas in rivers or streams where juvenile salmon and trout find food
and shelter to live and grow.
An endangered or threatened fish or animal facing imminent extinction
or extirpation (no longer live in the wild in B.C. but do live elsewhere)
if certain factors are not reversed. Very few native populations exist,
and remaining populations are declining drastically due to habitat loss,
excessive harvest, natural catastrophes, environmental stresses, or other
factors caused by human activities such as pollutants. The criteria include:
a) the number of offspring that survive to an age where they can reproduce
is only marginally higher or lower than the number of offspring that die
during the same time period;
b) habitat essential to the species’ survival is adequately protected
for the foreseeable future through management and preservation;
c) the population is stable or increasing but their numbers are still very
d) captive or cultivated stock may have to be used if the remaining population
isn’t large enough to reproduce sufficient numbers of offspring; and
e) the factors causing the species’ decline are still evident.
To restore the functions and processes of a degraded ecosystem or habitat
to an effective state rather than an original state.
To return ecosystems or habitats to their original structure and species
Located about five km north of Revelstoke, the dam created a reservoir
130 km long extending back to Mica Dam and has a surface area of 11,534
ha. It is a 175 m high concrete gravity structure with a 122-m high earth-fill
dam and went into service in 1984.
The area of land from the shoreline of a river or lake to roughly 30
– 60 m inland. This habitat supports a wide variety of species—including
raptors—dependent on water systems. Although riparian areas make up
only a small fraction of land, they are among the most productive and valuable
of all landscapes. These areas act as a buffer and filter to maintain water
quality and provide forage, shelter, and habitat to both wildlife and livestock.
Mountain Bighorn Sheep
One of three types of mountain sheep in North America, the Rocky Mountain
bighorn sheep is the largest, with the ram weighing up to 143 kg and the
ewe 91 kg. Few animals are as well-adapted to extremes of elevation and
temperature. Their preferred range is rocky escape terrain in close proximity
to open stands of their preferred food: grasses, sedges, and shrubs. Browse
vegetation is important food during fall and winter. The sheep is also
attracted to natural and artificial salt licks, particularly during spring
and early summer, to correct a sodium imbalance caused by high intakes
of potassium and water from new spring forage.
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are highly social animals that are separated
into two groups: 1) nursery bands of ewes, lambs, and sub-adults that
stay on smaller nursery ranges; and 2) ram bands comprised of males three
years old and older that forage away from the nursery range and travel
great distances to known feeding ranges. These two groups come together
to rut in November/December and again in the spring as sprouting vegetation
The total population of all Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in North America
numbers less than 25,000, with over 1,400 in B.C. Competition with livestock
for food and parasites/diseases contracted from livestock are major causes
for this sheep’s decline. Pneumonia caused by lungworm, one of 51
strains of parasites and diseases they contract from livestock, has been
known to decimate herds particularly in overprotected and overcrowded
While still fairly common inland in the north-western U.S. and Western
Canada, the columbia subspecies of the sharp-tailed grouse (Tympamuchus
phasianellus columbianus) has been on the decline and is blue-listed in
B.C. A pale and speckled brown grouse, the sharp-tailed grouse, can be recognized
by its short, pointed tail, which shows white at the sides when in flight.
The displaying male inflates purplish neck sacs. The preferred habitat of
sharp-tailed grouse includes prairie, clearings, open burns in coniferous
forests, forest edges, and bushy groves.
The science and practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition,
health, and diversity of forests and woodlands. Silviculture entails the
manipulation of forest and woodland vegetation in stands and on landscapes.
A man-made “tributary” that simulates habitat conditions
fish need in order to spawn naturally. This includes streamside vegetation
and gravel beds at a uniform width and depth with pockets of deeper pools.
A channel is constructed according to the species’ requirements and
their projected numbers. For example, the Hill Creek Spawning Channel located
on the upper Arrow Lakes Reservoir is 3.2 km long and designed to accommodate
up to 200,000 kokanee requiring 0.5 sq. m of space for each fish. The survival
rate of fry and eggs is substantially higher in man-made channels than in
natural tributaries. Kokanee have a five per cent survival rate in natural
spawning tributaries, but 30% to 60% survival in the spawning channel.
A biologically distinct population of animal, plant, or organism, other
than bacteria or virus, that is wild to nature and is native to B.C. or
has extended its range into B.C. without human intervention and has been
present here for at least 50 years.
A site-specific operational plan describing the nature and extent of
silviculture activities planned for a free-growing stand of trees for specified
social, economic, and environmental results.
To maintain desired levels of ecological processes and functions, biological
diversity, and productivity of an ecosystem over the long term.
CBFWCP biologists use a variety of radio-tagging methods to gather information
in fish and wildlife projects. These include radio telemetry collars on
wolverines, implants in bull trout, and “fanny packs” on Northern
leopard frogs. Tagging is used to study the movement, migration, habitat
requirements, and other behavioural characteristics of a species very accurately
and cost effectively.
The tracking of subjects using radio transmitters and receivers, often
by plane or satellite. The radio transmitters can be in the form of collars
(on animals) or implants (in fish).
The maternal colony of Townsend’s Big-eared bats (Corynorhinus
townsendii) in the Saint Eugene Mission on the St. Mary's Band Reserve near
Cranbrook represents the largest known maternity colony found to date in
the B.C. interior. Recently this species has been found in the West Kootenay
near Creston and Galena Bay on the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. Unlike many bat
species that travel great distances to hibernate, the townsend’s big-eared
bats only travel up to about 40 km between maternity roosts and hibernacula
(hibernating roost). Also known as the Lump-nosed bat and Western big-eared
bat, they are identified by enormous ears almost one-half their body length.
These bats feed primarily on small moths and grow to only 12 g-little more
than the weight of a loonie coin. A single pup is born in July and is flying
within three weeks.
Hoofed grazing mammals, which have antlers and four-chamber stomachs.
In the Columbia Basin these include deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain
goat, and caribou.
|Western Painted Turtle
The only freshwater turtle native to B.C., the Western painted turtle
(Chrysemys picta) is found in southern parts of Canada and is blue-listed
in the province. Its name comes from the bright red and yellow markings
on the underside of the shell, a black or greenish-brown back and distinctive
yellow stripes on the head and neck. Painted turtles are small: only nine
to 25 cm, with the female growing larger than the male.
The painted turtle breathes by forcing air in and out of its lungs by
alternately contracting the flank and shoulder muscles. It can't expand
its chest to breathe because the ribs are fused to the shell. The turtle
prefers quiet, shallow, thickly planted freshwater with a muddy bottom.
Its main diet includes worms, minnows, and aquatic insects.
Painted turtles mate in the spring. From June to early July the females
travel from the water to their nesting areas, where they lay five to 15
oval, soft-shelled eggs in a flask-shaped hole. The eggs hatch, after
about 10 weeks, in the fall but remain in the nest until the following
spring when they emerge. Lacking sex chromosomes, the sex of painted turtles
is determined by soil temperature during incubation. Low temperatures
make males and high temperatures produce females. Eggs and hatchlings
face heavy predation from skunks, racoons and Great Blue herons. Quick
movements, a good sense of smell, and colour vision are their defences
against predators. To rid themselves of parasitic leeches, the turtles
bask in the sun-often in large groups-on rocks, stumps, or trees partially
submerged in water. Under stressful conditions in captivity they can produce
Areas of land inundated by surface water and groundwater supporting
vegetative or aquatic life that require saturated or seasonally saturated
soil conditions for growth and reproduction. There are five wetland classes:
bogs, fens, marshes, swamps, and shallow open waters.
Comprised of five members, three from the provincial Ministry of Environment,
and two from BC Hydro, this committee is responsible for the review, evaluation,
and recommendation of wildlife-related projects submitted to CBFWCP.
Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are solitary, secretive animals that live primarily
in boreal forests and tundra areas, wolverines typically occupy back country
or wilderness areas that have little human activity or development. Woverines
have few natural enemies and are very well suited for the environment
in which they live. They have exceptional stamina and can cover great
distances in a relatively short time period. Wolverines can withstand
severe cold, exhibit keen sense of hearing and smell, have a caching instinct,
and can defend a food source from larger predators. Their extremely strong
teeth and jaws can crush bones of an adult moose. While wolverines have
poor eyesight, their acute sense of smell can locate carrion buried under
200 cm of snow. Their average weight is 10 to 17 kg for males and seven
to 14 kg for females.
Wolverines breed during early summer and carry the dormant un-implanted
embryo until the following December or January, when implantation occurs.
Litters are two to three kits, each weighing an average of 84 g when born.
At one per 150 to 200 sq. km, wolverine population densities are low compared
to other carnivores. Their home range sizes are large, averaging one every
535 sq. km. Like many carnivores, their density and home range is related
to the abundance and availability of food. Opportunistic feeders, wolverines
are capable predators and efficient scavengers. Carrion is a major food
source, particularly moose, elk, caribou, and deer. They are also successful
predators of small animals including grouse, ptarmigan, voles, mice, and
squirrels. Primarily nocturnal animals, wolverines are active year-round
and don’t migrate from their home range.
|Yellow Fin Rainbow Trout
The Arrow Lakes traditionally supported a trophy rainbow trout fishery
for the piscivorous (fish-eating) yellow fin rainbow trout. These fish were
large (up to 14 kg) with a yellow-orange colour on their bellies and pectoral,
pelvic, and anal fins. The flooding of the lakes almost completely eradicated
this stock and few of these fish were caught between the mid-seventies and
early eighties. Earlier attempts to preserve and enhance this population
by collecting brood stock had some success. However, this method was very
labour-intensive and insufficient numbers of adults were found and collected
to help the yellow fin make a comeback.
Any indigenous species or subspecies in B.C. that is not at risk, but
may be vulnerable during times of seasonal concentration.
Drifting or floating microscopic animals found at various depths in
lakes, rivers, and seas. Zooplankton is the primary food source for kokanee
and mysid shrimp.