According to a new Ipsos Reid poll released today, Canadians overwhelmingly support a strong federal government commitment to protecting species at risk in Canada – no matter where they are found, and regardless of their status in other countries. The poll, which was commissioned by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, indicates that 97% of Canadians view protecting Canada’s endangered animals and plants as an important issue, and 96% feel that the federal government’s current commitment to the protection and recovery of Canada’s species at risk should be maintained or strengthened. A large majority (85%) also agree that federal laws protecting species at risk are essential to the diversity and abundance of wildlife, which in turn are crucial to our economy and health. Visit the Canadian Wildlife Federation website to learn more.
Last winter (2011-12), Snowy Owls swept south across Canada, with sightings throughout the country. This year there has been an echo of that irruption (in British Columbia, at least). Up to 29 birds have been seen from one spot along the Boundary Bay dykes, the traditional site of Snowy Owl concentrations in the past. There, the owls are hunting ducks among the large flocks of wigeon and pintail that winter on the Fraser Delta. Bird Studies Canada Board Member Anne Murray has been interviewed by CTV and CBC about these birds. The real surprise for birders was in BC’s Interior, a region that usually misses out on Snowy Owl irruptions. In comparison with BC’s Lower Mainland, fewer owls have been seen from Prince George to Penticton, but regionally the numbers are unprecedented. For instance, four Snowys were seen on the Prince George Christmas Bird Count (CBC) – the first since 1973!
In time for the holiday season, Andy Nowak and Mary Reher gave their resident Nighthawks a significant gift – a permanently protected home. The North Pender couple donated a conservation covenant through the Islands Trust Fund’s NAPTEP program, protecting the forest on their land forever. Read more here