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Nature Trust of BC launches fundraiser to protect East Kootenay wildlife corridor

The Nature Trust of British Columbia (NTBC) has launched a fundraising campaign aimed at protecting 182 hectares of wildlife corridor between Kimberley and Cranbrook.

The campaign aims to raise the last $300,000 needed to purchase and protect the Wycliffe Prairie wildlife corridor.

“The ecological diversity of Wycliffe Prairie is spectacular. From grasslands and forests to wetlands, this area provides important habitat for endangered species and iconic mammals, like the Grizzly Bear and Rocky Mountain elk. If we can protect this property, we can increase connectivity for wildlife and support biodiversity in the Kootenay and beyond.” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of the NTBC.

NTBC said the Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor – Wycliffe Prairie in a very hot and dry Interior Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic ecosystem.

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“Provincially, only 4.9 per cent of this ecological unit is conserved. The land consists predominantly of rare native grassland, which covers 89 per cent of this parcel,” said NTBC officials. “Grasslands comprise less than one per cent of BC’s landscape, yet these ecologically rich ecosystems provide habitat for over 30 per cent of BC’s at-risk species.”

The wetlands, lakes, and creeks are also home to migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

“The area is home to many species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), including the Species of Special Concern Long-billed Curlew, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Toad, and Western Painted Turtle, the Threatened Barn Swallow, Lewis’s Woodpecker, and Common Nighthawk and the Endangered Williamson’s Sapsucker and American Badger,” said NTBC officials.

According to the NTBC, the property in question is next to the Nature Trust’s 364-hectare Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor Conservation Complex, alongside land that is protected by the B.C. government and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“Once this land, known as Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor–Wycliffe Prairie, is protected, the combined total of conservation land in this multi-partner Wycliffe Conservation Complex will be more than 1450 hectares,” said NTBC officials. “This ecologically diverse area contains native grassland, along with mixed forest, wetlands, riparian habitat along Luke Creek, and two small lakes.”

The wildlife corridor is used by grizzly bears, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, and Elk.

“It is our responsibility to protect Wycliffe Prairie. When we invest in conservation, we invest in our planet and our future. Together, with the support of our donors, we can safeguard both our climate and biodiversity,” said Dr. Jasper Lament.

The campaign runs until Mar. 31, 2024, and you can find the donation link below.

More: Wycliffe Prairie Wildlife Corridor fundraiser (Nature Trust of British Columbia)

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