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Kamloops area burrowing owl reintroduction efforts need your help

Image Credit: Contributed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada
October 11, 2016 - 8:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Due to a loss of habitat, burrowing owls disappeared from British Columbia during the 1970s and while reintroduction efforts started in the early 1990s, it’s an ongoing project.

Nature Conservancy of Canada spokesperson Leslie Neilson says an area near Kamloops is about to get a new group of the owls, which are on Canada's list of wildlife species at risk.

“We’re going out to this conservation area to dig homes for owls,” she says.

Burrowing owls inhabit holes abandoned by other animals, like gophers. When their traditional grassland habitat was used for agriculture, the owls weren’t able to survive. Now the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C. are reintroducing them on land owned by the conservancy.

“We protect land, so we’ll acquire conservation land that has the right habitat for different native species,” she says.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, members of the two groups are going to be at the Napier Lake Ranch Conservation Area south of Kamloops digging about 24 holes and lining them with pipe. They are looking for some volunteers to help out.

“The event really is as simple as coming out and digging holes in the ground,” she says. The digging day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the spring of 2017, Neilson says two to eight pairs of burrowing owls will be reintroduced to the area, the first time the birds have been brought back to the Kamloops region.

Check out the Nature Conservancy of Canada website for more information.

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