Restoring species of conservation concern and cultural value in the Alouette River Watershed
Twenty-five snags—standing dead trees— and three boxes have been installed near Pitt Meadows to provide roosting, foraging, and nesting for great blue herons and barn owls. This work is part of a five-year project to implement an eco-cultural restoration plan that integrates Katzie traditional knowledge and priorities. The goal of the project, led by Katzie Development Limited Partnership, is to create and enhance wetland and riparian habitat within the lower Alouette River Watershed.
Before the snags were installed, provincially Blue-listed great blue herons often competed for roosting and foraging sites. The barn owl nesting boxes were placed adjacent to ideal foraging habitat, such as grassy marshes, agricultural fields, and river shores. They’re also located a safe distance from busy roads, since road mortality contributes to the barn owl’s designation as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act.
Other culturally valued species to benefit from the project include juvenile salmonids, western painted turtles, short-eared owls, western toads, black swifts, and bats. Plants like wapato and tule—two highly valued species for the Katzie Nation—and Vancouver Island beggarticks, an at-risk plant, will also benefit.