New funding supports animals at risk
The federal government is investing $2 million over four years to support species at risk and habitat protection in southeastern B.C.
Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change, says the funds come from the $1.3-billion nature legacy initiative included in the 2018 federal budget.
The funding will support the work of the Kootenay Conservation Program to protect more than 10,000 square kilometres of wetland and other areas within four Kootenay regions.
Kootenay Connect project manager Marcy Mahr says 28 different species at risk live within the four regions: the Columbia Valley wetlands, Wycliffe wildlife corridor, Creston Valley and Bonanza biodiversity corridor.
Wilkinson says the species at risk include grizzly bears, the western screech owl and the American badger.
Mahr says they’ve had success in rebuilding endangered wildlife, including northern leopard frogs endangered by wetlands that were being choked by vegetation.
Northern leopard frogs were once found widely across southeastern B.C., but now are only confirmed to breed near Creston, she says.