Conservation group buys last portion of antelope-brush habitat near Oliver

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

OLIVER, B.C. - A conservation group has acquired nearly 35 hectares of antelope-brush habitat that is home to more than 20 at-risk species such as bighorn sheep near Oliver.

The habitat featuring the grass in the south Okanagan will be added to the 117 hectares of property that the Nature Trust of B.C. began purchasing in parcels starting in 1999.

The non-profit group says the property at the south end of Vaseux Lake between Okanagan Falls and Oliver supports more than half of the Canadian population of Behr's Hairstreak butterfly.

It says the butterfly's survival depends on antelope-brush because it's the only plant the butterfly uses to lay its eggs.

Individuals and organizations helped buy the entire property at an undisclosed price and Nature Trust of B.C. CEO Jasper Lament says species at risk now have the opportunity to adjust to climate change in the years ahead.

Dylan Kennedy says his family had owned the entire antelope-brush habitat since 1886 and that it has remained in a natural state for five generations.

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