Update: 400+ hectares of badger habitat restored
Improving habitat for Columbia Ground Squirrels is one of the best ways to improve habitat for badgers. That’s because ground squirrels are high on the badgers’ list of preferred foods in the East Kootenay. The Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society is in the process of restoring an impressive 412 hectares of grassland and open forest habitat at Ta Ta Creek, just west of Wasa Lake.
There are estimated to be fewer than 350 Badgers in B.C. – about one-third live in the East Kootenay and are the subspecies T. taxus jeffersonii, commonly known as the American Badger or Yellow Badger because of its yellow underside. They are Red Listed provincially and listed as endangered federally.
Badgers, are a one of several FWCP focal species in the Columbia Region, are thought to be in long-term decline, and continue to face threats from habitat loss (i.e. fewer denning environments). This is due to a variety of factors, including urbanization, reservoir creation and invasive plants. Research has found that road mortality is the largest source of badger deaths in B.C.
The restoration work primarily involves hand-slashing to reduce the density of small diameter coniferous trees that are crowding out native plants and bunchgrasses in the area. This pre-treatment work will prepare the area for a prescribed burn, anticipated to take place in the next couple years.
This important work is being conducted as badgers need large areas to sustain their populations. A typical female will have a territory of between 35-50 square kilometres, while a male will overlap several female territories and range about 350 – sometimes up to 500 – square kilometres.
Ta Ta Creek badger habitat enhancement
This project aims to restore and enhance critical habitat for the Yellow Badger in the East Kootenay. Yellow Badger (Taxidea taxus jeffersoni) is red-listed provincially and is endangered under the federal Species At Risk Act. The project units are in the middle of a major badger population centre in the East Kootenay. Yellow Badgers face many threats, including grassland loss and degradation, urbanization, destruction of denning habitat, invasive species, human disturbance, and and road mortality. The project ultimately aims to implement a habitat improvement/restoration program benefiting the Yellow Badger. Our objective is to restore grasslands and open forests to conserve the quality and resilience of important habitat for the Yellow Badger in the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia.