Fire suppression efforts, timber extractions and highways changing life for declining mule deers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fire suppression efforts, timber extractions and highways changing life for declining mule deers

Image Credit: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Roughly 100 mule deer are wearing tracking collars as part of the Southern Interior Mule Deer Project, an ongoing study to understand the drastic decline in mule deer populations spearheaded by UBCO professor Adam Ford.

Ford's research in the Boundary Region, West Okanagan, and Bonaparte Plateau, aims to provide recommendations on how to restore mule deer populations in the area, according to a Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation news release announcing new funding for the study.

These research activities are helping to reveal how wildlife along with fire suppression efforts, timber extractions, highways and urban development are changing the movement and size of deer populations in B.C.’s southern interior, according to the news release.

READ MORE: Cougars and mule deer have a tight relationship, UBC Okanagan researcher says

“What we have heard from Indigenous communities, ecologists, and resident hunters is that the decline of mule deer matters to them and the status quo is no longer sufficient. It is time we bring more science to bear on issues affecting wildlife in B.C.,” said Ford in the news release.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is funding $9.2 million for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across B.C., according to a HCTF news release.Other funded projects taking place in the Okanagan include:

  • $28,500 to support the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program to protect fish and wildlife habitat. Co-funded with Forestry Enhancement Society of British Columbia.
  • $47,129 for assessing the bull trout population in the Upper Shuswap.
  • $53,080 for habitat restoration of Black Cottonwood ecosystems in the Kettle River Watershed to help conserve species-at-risk such as the Lewis's Woodpecker.

To see the complete list of HCTF funded projects or explore the conservation work being done near you view the 2020-21 Approved Project List or our 2020-21 Project Map.

UBCO professor Adam Ford
UBCO professor Adam Ford
Image Credit: The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

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