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Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk
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Staff and students try to improve the coastal bluff habitat on Hornby Island for creatures such as birds, bees, and butterflies including the rare Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. (Photo submitted)

With $597,000 from the federal government, Islands Trust Conservancy will be able to launch a program for endangered species protection.

Islands in the Salish Sea, near urban areas of Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver, “are a hotspot for species diversity and have one of the highest densities of species at risk in Canada,” said a press release. The Gulf and Howe Sound islands are considered in a priority zone with more than 100 federally listed species at risk in the area, it said.

The contribution agreement will see the federal government providing the $597,000 over the span of three years, and the conservancy, part of the Islands Trust, will use the money for such initiatives as “conducting surveys and monitoring, restoring critical habitat, providing outreach materials and events, assisting landowners wishing to protect species at risk on their land” and engagement and work with First Nations.

The conservancy currently manages habitat for more than 25 known federal species at risk across its network of 106 protected areas, said the release, adding that the investment, will broaden and increase conservation of species at risk in the area.

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“By partnering with proactive local governments and organizations in priority places, we can achieve better outcomes for species at risk,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, federal minister of environment and climate change, in the press release.

He added that the area is a priority because of its more than 100 plant and animal species at risk including Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, sharp-tailed snake, and yellow montane violet.

“The Islands Trust Conservancy is excited to receive this investment from Environment and Climate Change Canada and provide ‘on the ground’ actions to protect critical habitat for species at risk,” said Kate-Louise Stamford, Islands Trust Conservancy board chairperson, in the press release. “We look forward to working collaboratively with First Nations, islanders, and partners to this end.”


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