A provincial agency dedicated to increasing burrowing owl numbers in the BC interior is looking for a little local help to improve the population locally.
The Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC —with the help of the World Wildlife Fund — will be installing artificial burrows on private property near Osoyoos this Friday (Oct. 5) and is inviting anyone interested in learning more about the endangered species to come along and help.
“This is an opportunity to see burrowing owls in their natural habitat, meet Education Burrowing Owl Pluto and learn from experts about the threats they face,” said Lauren Meads, the society’s executive director.
The event is one of three opportunities organized by the two agencies this fall in an effort to make people a bigger part the solution to wildlife loss in Canada.
Interested community members can register online. Those joining the effort will meet in the parking lot of the Osoyoos Visitor Centre — located at the corner of Hwy. 97 and Hwy. 3 — at 9 a.m.
Another event will be held near Merritt Oct. 13.
Building artificial burrows has proven effective in building the owl population.
“During the 1990s, populations of this charismatic grassland bird dropped by approximately 90 per cent due to habitat conversion,” said Ms. Meads. “Once installed the newly constructed burrows will provide much needed nesting habitat and help support the survival of burrowing owls in the wild.”
A reintroduction program began with breeding and release in 1992 and became a full-fledged society in 2000.
“Our program works with private landowners, government, non-profit agencies and First Nations to protect and enhance grasslands through sustainable range management practices and stewardship activities.”
For more information visit burrowingowlbc.org.