Report Sightings of Herons in Columbia Region
We’re asking the public to report any heron nest sites, active breeding colonies, or large groups of herons feeding in areas throughout the Columbia River Basin, especially from McBride to Valemount, and south to Revelstoke and Golden.
The project is sponsored by the West Kootenay Naturalists’ Association, and is funded by Columbia Basin Trust and the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP).
Heron breeding activity has continued to decline in the southern portion of the Columbia Basin, based on 2016 monitoring results. At three rookeries south of Golden, breeding sites with 21, 15 and seven active nests were abandoned in 2016 due to crow, raven or bald eagle harassment and predation. Low rates of reproductive success for herons were recorded at several sites. Similar abandonments and low productivity outcomes were recorded in past monitoring.
Heron habitat in the Columbia Basin has been significantly impacted by a variety of activities including extensive land development, construction and operation of dams, other human disturbances, as well as predation.
“The Great Blue Heron has been identified as a species of interest by our regional Board,” says FWCP Columbia Region Manager Crystal Klym. “This work, together with follow-up stewardship efforts to protect important habitat, is a major step forward toward ensuring this iconic, and provincially Blue-listed species, continues to thrive here.”
The heron inventory and stewardship work started in 2016 and is continuing this year.