New fund­ing sup­ports an­i­mals at risk

The Province - - NEWS -

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.

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